Thursday, May 31, 2007

Happy Birthday to my Baby Sister!!

I would be remiss if I didn't wish my sister a happy birthday today. She is about 4 and a half years younger than me. Although we weren't always the best of friends we have gotten closer as we have gotten older.

When she went away to college and she really went away, all the way to the University of Arizona, is when we seemed to get much closer for some reason. When she was in her final year, I flew out during Thanksgiving break and we drove from Tucson to the Grand Canyon and back. It was definitely, to this day, one of my most memorable trips.

When I got married, she was my Maid of Honor and not in name only. When I gave birth to the Princess she was there with me and since she had a cold they gave her a mask to wear so she could be there for support. I have repaid a favor and was her Matron of Honor last year at her wedding when she married the man of her dreams.

Now her husband has been given an opportunity of a lifetime for his career and they will be moving to Florida. It seems so far away. At least we will have an opportunity to have a little sisterly bonding on the drive down since we will be driving down together. That is my birthday gift to her this year. So happy birthday little sister! Next year I am just going to knit you something ;-)

Already on a Virtual Vacation.....

Taking a virtual red-eye is very tiring (YAWN).... but to "de-plane" in beautiful Kiritimati, Christmas Islands is just, well, breath taking....

Did you know it is already June 1st in Kiritimati? Did you also know that sign ups for the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap have also begun?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Very Special Gift

My Mom is finally doing it. After working for The Board of Education as a teacher for over 30 years as either a Spanish teacher or as an English teacher to children who don't speak English she is actually retiring this year. I keep telling her I will believe it with I see it. Her retirement dinner is next Thursday. However, My sister and I, along with my dad, got her something extra special that we gave to her last night. Something that has been a long time in the making, something she has wanted for a very long time but would never get for herself and thought she would never own. We made her cry. Okay that isn't something new, we are an emotional family.

When my Mom turned 50, my sister and I took my Mom to have her ears pierced. You see, my maternal grandfather was from Romania and his theory was if you pierced your ears you might as well pierce your nose and become a gypsy (I hope no one takes offense but this was during the early 1900s and he is speaking of real Gypsies here so you have to understand his mindset) So, my Mom was never allowed to get her ears pierced. So we took her. We bought her all kinds of earrings but not the ones she really wanted. She did get her birthstone, though, garnets and several others she liked but, it think she really wanted diamond earrings. I mean, diamonds are a girl's best friend, right? She never got them. Till last night, 16 years later.

We thought, who would be more deserving of this gift than our Mom? Our own very first teacher who went on to teach hundreds more? Definitely!! She did tell me it doesn't get me off the hook from having to give a speech next Thursday (Shoot!) although I thought perhaps my brother should have too since he is the oldest but, Mom thinks I am more eloquent. Besides, I was the one who took speech in college.

At least there is only 2 days left till sign ups begin for the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap unless you live on Kiritimati Christmas Island. Then it is only one ;-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

The Girls are back and the definitely missed their Mom. We cuddled together last night, stayed up way too late on a school night and watched "Cars" yet again. For some reason Miss Sunshine really likes it. Then again, I think all kids her age really like it.

I did have a really great weekend. I didn't get everything I wanted did but, I got enough done. It was relaxing enough. As they say, always leave them wanting more....

This is as far as I have gotten so far on the baby sweater. I am really liking it so far. I have made some minor changes to the original pattern so far and have only had to really frog one entire row for not liking it. I am definitely LOVING the Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton. It is very soft on the hands. For those of you who have complained about cottons being hard on the hands, this is no Sugar N Cream or Peaches N Cream. This is a nice soft cotton and very easy to work with and very easy to frog btw. In fact, it was the easiest frogging I have ever done, not that I like to frog a project but I wasn't hating it and it was over 100 stitches to work back. I am a row or two away from dividing for back, sleeves and front. I am in the home stretch, so to speak.

This is a close up of the very lovely stitch markers that Jessica is making now at her Alabama Fiber Dreams Esty Shop so check it out. They have been so easy to use. I haven't confused a stitch yet and for me that is a miracle because I used to do it ALL THE TIME. I have two sets of them and if Miss Sunshine doesn't steal them, which she tends to do, I will be using them with my lace projects as well. They are adorable.

The, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap starts this Friday, already has the key information up and is going to be a ton of fun!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Whether we agree or not.....
Remember our brave men and women through the 12 major wars and every action in between:
The American Revolution 1775-1783
The War of 1812 1812-1815
The Mexican American War 1846-1848
The Civil War 1861-1865
The Spanish American War 1898
World War I 1914-1918
World War II 1939-1945
The Korean War 1950-1953
The Vietnam War 1954-1975
Operation Desert Storm 1991
Operation Enduring Freedom 2001 – Present
Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003 – Present
The one organization that I do support especially during Memorial Day, as a knitter, is The Ships Project. They send handmade hats, slippers, cool-ties and cool-heads to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed currently across the world. Each one loves receiving “Hugs from Home” It is the one organization that when I can, I knit a hat and when I can save enough pennies too I send them money for postage as well. Whether I agree with what they are doing over there doesn't matter but, I believe that they all deserve to not be forgotten and deserve a touch of home.
Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Busy, Busy....

Well, I brushed off that Mommy guilt especially since I got called about a million times yesterday when hubby took the Princess shopping at the outlet mall up near where the cabin is in the mountains (Frances, you know which ones I am talking about) He kept calling and asking, what size does she wear in pants? What size dress? what size shoes? Does this one need xx? Does she already have xxx? For both the Princess and Miss Sunshine. Then he called about himself and his sizes. Every 15 minutes. Literally I got called.

I am getting a lot done. Made more soap yesterday and today. Made my Mom's party favors for her retirement dinner which is June 7th.

Sixty some odd lotion bottles scented with Candy Apple lotion colored light pink. It smells AMAZING if I can brag just a little. I thankfully have some left over because it is AWESOME. I had made some soap out of the same fragrance Friday, YUM. (okay enough boasting, LOL)

I also finished the Heartbreakingly Cute Kimono. Hooray!

I was going to do an I-cord tie but then I found a button that matched (the picture doesn't do it justice) and used that instead. The pattern is from Mason Dixon Knitting and very easy if you don't get interrupted often and have your needles stolen repeatedly since it is knit in one piece with minimal sewing. I highly recommend it. Also very easy to use alternative yarn than is recommended in the book.

Already cast on the 5-hour baby sweater as the next layette piece in a lovely orchid Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton. This one is neck down but, I already see some changes I want to make. We will see how it turns out.

Have a happy Sunday!

Counting down till Friday and the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap! If you are not going to be near a computer during sign ups (like on vacation for real, please do not hesitate to drop me an email message now)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Little Bit of This and That on a Saturday

Well, it is finally here my Mother's Day present weekend! The husband actually took the kids away for the weekend. I had to pack them but they are gone. For at least today. I am actually thinking for the entire holiday weekend since their grandmother, my MIL, went as well. The Princess, Miss Sunshine, Aunt in law, MIL, hubby, and the dog all packed into the car to go to the cabin in the mountains. they left at 9 AM EDT. WAHOO. I was a tad worried though since Miss Sunshine hasn't been feeling well and she was very clingy to mommy this morning. i was feeling a bit of the mommy guilt but when it came time she hoped into the car, gave kisses and said see you later Mommy. The princess, of course, was like Bye, Mom, be back Monday! and gave a wave.

I have already been very busy soapmaking and made 4 batches: White Tea (sorry the entire batch is spoken for already), Sandalwood Patchouli, Candy Apple and Blackberry Sage. These are added to the Coconut Lime Verbena and Sweet Raspberry I made earlier in the week. Just for Jessi, since I made it her favorite color, here is a picture of the Blackberry Sage as it sits cooling

I also got a very lovely surprise in the mail yesterday. Well, technically I knew it was coming. I had won a prize of my very own over at the "Spring Into Summer" Dishcloth Exchange thank you oh great hostess Anne! The prize is two hanks of Elite one in purple and one in pink, a magnet pad of paper that miss Sunshine decided to play hide and seek with so it is not in the picture, a bar of VERY delicious chocolate that is also not in the picture for obvious reasons (evil grin, a house with three ladies, need I say more?) and a very cute Lantern moon key chain.

Last, but very not least, one of my goals while the girlies are away is to finish my heartbreakingly cute kimono. I wanted you all to see where it is now so you would know how far I have to go. plus I wanted you to see just how cute it really is, which it is. It's cute in peaches in Cream yarn but look how much cuter it is when you use Rainbow Ribbon by Cherry Tree Hill!

Now to find a good girlie movie on TV so I can sit and knit without being bothered and truly enjoy my weekend.

Have a great holiday weekend everyone.

Oh and remember, the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap is going to be tons of fun and sign ups begin next Friday!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

and the 100th Post Contest Winner is.....

May I have a drum roll please.... (no Miss Sunshine don't steal my needles again!!)

The Winner is: Susan of No Knit Sherlock!! Congratulations!! You are the lucky Winner of a Brand new Tropical Monoi Salve Gift Set !!! (sorry not a car)

(thank you oh great random number generator)

Please email me (find my email address in my profile) your snail mail address so I can get your prize out to you) I did leave you a comment on your blog that you have won

If you'd like other opportunities to win prizes and have swappy fun, check out the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap!!

Has Anyone Ever Knit With....

I have the opportunity to buy some natural Hemp and/or nettle yarns from Nepal at a discount but, I have never used it before. I want to try them for many reasons. A) it's an alternative natural fiber. B) They look very cool. C) My dad's sister, my Aunt lived (not sure if she still does, you never know with her) in Nepal for many years.

So, has anyone every knit with it? Is it rough to work with? What do you make with it? Anyone have a pattern they can sent to me if I actually go through with it and order some? Cass, have you? I know you like the natural, alternative fibers, don't you?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Little Drummer Girl....

The needle thief strikes again! (aka Miss Sunshine) sigh.

My brother, her uncle, has spend WAY too much time telling her about Phil Collins when he is drummer for Genesis (he is going to see them live in concert here this year) because she decided to try it out with my knitting needles when they innocently where sitting on the couch inside the Heartbreakingly cute kimono. She took care of that and pulled them out of the kimono so she could play drummer girl. Obviously she is feeling better. Grrrr.

Jessica graciously offered to mail Miss Sunshine real drum sticks although I don't think it would give her the same thrill as ruining Mom's knitting. Three rows frogged and two dropped stitches needed to be fished but the kimono is back on track. Whew!

Just wait till Miss Sunshine is older and I pull her knitting needles out just for fun.... Nah, I could never do that to someone. However now you know why I STILL don't really knit anything more than some very nice "vanilla" patterns that are very easy to frog back and to pick up stitches. She still likes to pull out my needles and play Phil Collins or Liberty Devitto (Billy Joel's Drummer) Happy Happy Joy Joy.

For more fun, check out the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap It is going to be tons of fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Help A fellow Knitter....and other stuff

A fellow knitter from across the Pond, Kat, is trying to start up a new business and would LOVE it we gave her a hand. So, if you are reading this, pop on over there and fill out her survey. She wants to start a biz dying yarn in gorgeous handpainted colors. This is where you can get your input in before. So help her out!

On my home front, Miss Sunshine has the stomach bug, poor little thing. She can't keep anything down. She is an avid milk drinker and it pains me to not let her have any but she definitely can't keep that down. She did tell me yesterday, "Mommy you knit. I watch." As she cuddled up to me and passed out. I definitely knew she was sick. A. she never lets me knit. B. She never naps. Poor thing. Hopefully she will feel better today and I can get more of the Heartbreakingly cute kimono done (I am up to the neck bind off)

If you haven't done so already, check out the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap It is going to be tons of fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A little heartbreaker...

I casted on last night, or at least I attempted to start, the Mason Dixon Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono. I, of course, the every switcher of yarns although I could have used the Peaches and Cream they recommended but who whats to use that when you can use Cherry Tree Hill Rainbow Ribbon in Wild Cherry. I have about an entire 2" done. Who can knit with a bunch of screeching going on in the background? "That's my Game Boy!" "No Mine!!" "My Turn" "No Mine!" All Afternoon and night. OY! The Joys of Little ones. You just have to love them. They are only this young once. Right? I hopefully will get more finished today. I am still looking for a cute cardigan pattern as well that I like for the Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton. Perhaps the 5-hour or another cute pattern I found or a combintional thing.

At least my friend's baby isn't due till October

Oh and if you haven't done so already, check out the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap It is going to be a ton of fun!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Here is "most" of what I bought yesterday. I can't show everything because what if my secret pals or swap partners are watching. I don't want to spoil their surprises.
The one to far left and far right is Suss Twisted Slub 100% Cotton in Fuchsia/Baby Pink (I guess it isn't cream) and it is for a baby sweater. I am still debating on the exact pattern for this one. Next, going left, if Alchemy Bamboo which I have been eyeing since I bought the No Sheep for You and it is for a pattern in that book. If you know me at all, you know the next two are Blue sky alpaca cotton in the two shades of purple they offer. My debate begins here because originally I was going to make a purple bear and a purple hat but then I got home and started browsing my patterns and thought well maybe a purple bunny or purple pants or make the kimono out of this and make the bear out of something else. I have to wait till I actually lay everything out , see everything sitting there and sit down and start knitting before I can actually decide I think. At least every hank is wound (I just LOVE that service) and I can get right to it.
Oh and if you haven't done so already, check out the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap It is going to be a ton of fun!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

If You Don't Ask....

Today I went with Aileen to Loop Yarn, A FABULOUS LYS, here in Philadelphia. They were celebrating their second birthday. They had some yummy cupcakes and cookies and yarn on sale (have to LOVE that), lots of people mulling around, sleeping babies and people knitting, of course. the owner remembered who I was, which surprised me since I had only been there once before. impressive enough. I guess since I am one of those types that asks for the odd non-wool and has to replace everything in a pattern you'd kind of remember. After being there a while though, I finally got up enough courage to ask for a donation/contribution for the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap. I figured the worst he could say is no. He didn't. He said to give him a call after he goes to the trade show and he would be more than happy to give a donation for the swap and that he loved the idea for the swap!!

It never hurts to ask your favorite LYS....

PS I will take pictures of my goodies tomorrow and I got some good ones but they do include somethings for my spoilees... I did get a bunch of Blue Sky Alpaca cotton, some Alchemy bamboo and some very lovely pink and cream cotton that was on sale :-)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday Ramblings

I am so excited about all the contest entries! Keep them coming and I will draw a winner on Friday.

I did cast on for my Un Swap project. If you don't know what the Unswap is you should definitely check it out. It is not really a swap, per se, it really and truly a KAL where you make something just for you. It can be anything you want with any yarn, needles or project but, you have to blog about your progress and you aren't allowed to give it away. It has to be for you. A very difficult task, let me tell you.

One of my closest friends who is pregnant with her first had her ultrasound this morning and found out she is having a GIRL!!! I am so excited I can't contain myself!! She is the one that taught me how to make cold process soap and who I bounce ideas off of and who experienced Miss Sunshine's pregnancy with me. We meet up in NYC all the time or here by me. She has been very generous with my girls and it is my turn to repay the favor. It is going to be a purple and pink explosion!! I am already planning on making the Mason Dixon Kimono and a matching hat. Perhaps a bib or two and maybe some booties. She has cats and ferrets and I already made them a blanket so they don't feel left out when the baby comes. I figured not to make the baby a blanket because that is the common gift everyone gives. Of course her older adopted "cousins" can hand her down some gorgeous clothes as well.

If you haven't done so already, check out the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap It is going to be a ton of fun!

Friday, May 18, 2007

100th Post with a Contest

Wow, where did the time go? 100th post already? It has been a great 100 posts on this blog. You have helped me along with my crafty things, knitting, soaping, crafting with The Princess and Miss Sunshine. You have taken me out of swap "rehab" and thrown me right back into the whirlwind of swaps which, of course, I am completely loving.

So, in honor of Blog post #100 I am having a contest!! Just leave a comment as to why you love blogging and what post number you are up to on your own blog (of you know) and I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner. (Or I will have the Princess pick a name out a hand knit hat) I will give you till next Friday to get your entries in. Here's the prize:

A 2 ounce jar of Tropical Monoi Salve, Monoi De Tahiti Liquid Soap and Madagascar Vanilla Oil, all handmade and all 100% natural. It is my favorite product that I make; smells divine without fragrance add. Good Luck!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Princess Rose, She is Complete!!
It is not the outfit my Princess wants her to wear as her final outfit but, she has a face, she is wearing clothes, has hair on her head and has a name, hallelujah!! It is going to be a loooong time before I make another one of these babies but at least I can say I made one of these.

Knitting Group, a Break From The Everyday

Just when you think you can't take your week anymore, a Wednesday comes up and it is knitting group night. My knitting group meets every other Wednesday at a local diner. It is an eclectic group of Women and sometimes husbands and SOs come as well. We have yet to recruit a male knitter to our group but, I know someone is working on it.

On a rare occasion, the kids come. Sometimes Sally's Princess comes sometimes mine do (rarely though). Last night, Liz's perfectly well behaved children where there, I was jealous how well they could behave in a restaurant. Miss Sunshine could never do that.

I did get a ton of the Babe done. She has both legs, her arms, some stuffing and almost all of her head sewn. Picked up her lovely shade of deep, rich brown cotton hair (THANK YOU GINA!). It was difficult to finish while laughing so hard at group and then when I got home I had to watch LOST, of course.

Our group did begin planing our first Sip n Knit of the summer, which is exciting. Since we meet every other week normally, during the warmer months we begin meeting every week by rotating through various places and include refreshing "beverages". You have to remember to bring not so complex knitting projects to those events, LOL

If you need a break from your every day come see us at the, Knitter's Virtual Vacation

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

No Sheep, Some Tea, Other Swaps and Nonsense

Let's hear it for the swap addicted!!! Not only did I get my No Sheep for You swap partner yesterday, I also received my tea swap partner yesterday. I have been looking forward to the No Sheep For You swap more so than any of the other swaps. I hope none of my other partners take offense to that especially my KTE and my Summer Dishcloth partners because I could not have asked for better swap partners in either one of those two. They are the BEST!! (and I don't even know who my dishcloth swap partner is yet since it is a secret swap). In fact I think so highly of my KTE swap partner that she and I are putting a swap together that if you do a little detective work, and check out a profile or two, you can figure it out. No it isn't the Un-swap.

I have been looking forward to the No Sheep for You Swap because it is all about alternative fibers to wool. If you have been reading my blog or know anything about me you know I am HIGHLY allergic to the animal fibers so this swap is perfect for me. I have already been in contact with my swap partner and waiting to here from my spoiler. I can't wait!

Then I received my partner from the tea swap. Yup, had to sign up for that one. Barely made it into that because I completely forgot about it on the sign up day. I am very excited for this one. Yet, has there ever been a swap I wasn't excited for?

Tomorrow I have a beginner soapmaker coming over for a hands-on demonstration. We are going to make a few batches of soap, I think. My spring soaps are dwindling so I do need to make soap actually. I am thinking Raspberry and perhaps more Mango Coconut or maybe Mango Papaya. I did make Coconut Lime Verbena yesterday and the house smells amazing.

My friend Robin (blog-less) said her mint was blooming so we could clip some soon for the mint products and she might have some other fresh herbs too (yeah!)

I do need a Vacation ;-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Procrastination is My Middle Name

I promised myself I would finish this Knitted Babe before I cast on any other project (washclothes don't count because that is business) so I have been staring at my shawl yarn and pattern for DAYS now but, I have not cast on.

The doll has a face, I fixed what I messed up when I was rushed on Mother's Day and I attached the legs. She is going soooo slowly. Because I am procrastinating. I am hopefully getting her hair on Wednesday at my knitting meeting so my goal is to have the rest of her ready, minus the knitted dress, by then. I will have some make-shift clothes for her. Size 2US needles are so not me. How many times can I say that? Have I complained enough, yet? Can I burn the book yet? No, because I will probably have to make another one of these lovely little cursed things in another two years for Little Miss Sunshine. Grrrr

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tagged, again and other stuff

I have now been tagged again by Anne, Jessica, Michele , and Susy, NO ONE ELSE TAG ME PRETTY PLEASE I am not doing this again and doing it this time jointly. In fact, I am no tagging anyone else either, :-P~~~ (that is a raspberry for those that don't know)

Here is how it works (AGAIN): Each player starts with seven random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog with their seven things as well as these rules. You need to tag seven others (which I ain't doing) and list their names on your blog. Remember to leave a comment for them letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog.

1. I got on my first airplane when I was 9 months old (my first summer). It would have been when I was 2 months old but, my Mom thought that was a bit young. I flew on a plane for the first time by myself when I was 9

2. When I was 16 I spent my first half of my junior year of high school in Jerusalem. It was a program through my high school

3. Speaking of high school, I just recently re-connected with someone I hadn't spoken to in over 20 years though That thing really does work (Now I really don't have a need to go to the reunion)

4. I am a HUGE Goofy fan and collect Goofy Memorabilia. I have several hand painted original cartoon cells and even Peter Max's version of Goofy

5. Even though I only really started making soaps and lotions when my oldest daughter was 1, when I was younger, I used to play junior chemist and mix concoction in my mom's bathroom with all my lotions, powders and creams because I always hated all the ointments I had to use for my eczema as a child

6. I have a Great Aunt who has a painting hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Now you know where the creative gene comes from

7. Jessica and I are putting together a very unique and different Knitting swap for later on in the summer that you are all signing up for. It will be a great "Vacation". This is teaser #1


I hope everyone had a nice relaxing day yesterday. I did and didn't for many reasons. My husband claims he is giving me what I asked for. We will see in a couple of weeks come memorial day weekend and if the girls go to the Poconos with my husband and grandma an I get to stay home.

The Knitted Babe is almost ready for her debut. She has a face and a name which I will reveal with she is done. I goofed on sewing her up which I need to fix. I started in a hurry, a HUGE no-no and forgot about her LEGS. Then when I went to undo, she began unravelling and we were about to leave for my Mom's, a huge mess all around. I will try to fix her later today and she will be gorgeous for the Princess who is so excited. Hair will be obtained at Wednesday's knitting meeting and then clothes need to be made. We did buy some pretty felt with patterns so we can make temporary clothes in the meantime.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day to All

A Sonnet for My Incomparable Mother

I often contemplate my childhood, Mom.
I am a mother now, and so I know
Hard work is mixed together with the fun;
You learned that when you raised me long ago.
I think of all the things you gave to me:
Sacrifice, devotion, love and tears,
Your heart, your mind, your energy and soul--
All these you spent on me throughout the years.

You loved me with a never-failing love
You gave me strength and sweet security,
And then you did the hardest thing of all:
You let me separate and set me free.

Every day, I try my best to be
A mother like the mom you were to me.

By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gifted By My Summer Dishcloth Swap Secret Pal!

My Secret Pal, who goes by the name 007 Knitter, has gifted me for Mother's Day!!

I do not know who she is but, she sent me some wonderful yarns that arrived today.

A very lovely rainbow Tahki cotton, a very hot pink cascade and a deep, dark rich purple Kona Bay cotton that is sooo soft when you rub it against your cheeks. Plus a set of US7 bamboo needles, my all time favorites to knit washcloths with. My current set are warped from over use (how did she know that?!) and I had contemplated buying a new set but they weren't messing up my patterns yet so I haven't bothered.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! This definitely made my day brighter today (which desperately needed it!)

The all FAMOUS Knitting Survey

I was tagged for a SECOND time and told I have the possibility of being tagged for a third and fourth. Well, I am not doing another 21 random things so I decided to do the knitting survey instead, LOL.

When I first saw this survey on Mommy Susy Knits blog a few days ago, I was in awe of all that she had done. Then it kept popping up on several other blogs I frequent so I copied it down and thought I'd get to it eventually. However, since the prospect of being tagged so often occurred, I actually looked at it and was shocked at all I have actually tried and I think I owe that thanks to you all. As I was emailing Jessica this morning it did occur to me though, that I try a lot of new things when I knit up washclothes. So, if you have never tried one, you really should.

With that said.....

Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn (never going to happen due to allergy)
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk (never going to happen due to allergy)
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca (never going to happen due to allergy)
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns

Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Fulling/felting (never going to happen due to allergy)
Knitting with wool (never going to happen due to allergy)
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn

Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere (never going to happen due to allergy)
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern

Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies

Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting (?)
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair (never going to happen due to allergy)
Hair accessories
Knitting in public (ALWAYS!!)

What have you learned to do that has marked a definite change in your knitting

nitting blogs, KAL's and Swaps have helped me to meet lots of other knitters around the States and the world which has helped me meet some of the most AMAZING new friends

(Did you see the sock section? One of these days if I find yarn that is thick enough with big enough needles *wink*)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Some Friday Ramblings....(and answers to Anne's Contest)

Last night my Princess, the 6 year old, and I did it, we each chopped off 10 inches a piece from our hair. It will be donated to Locks of Love. Everyone at the Salon was so impressed with her that she was doing it and going through with it and that it was her second time doing it. I, of course, am proud of her. I also whipped out the knitting there and had the ladies staring at me asking questions. Showed one of the employees how to do a long tail cast-on.

Today went on a field trip with the Princess's Kindy class. I give huge kudos to her teacher. That is definitely tiring. If you did not appreciate your child's teacher this week for Teacher Appreciation week you should have., They do a TON. Also knitted on the bus there and back. the kids were in awe. I might try to teach some of them next year how to do it when they are in first grade as an after or before school thing.

I was surprised when I got home with a different kind of swap box. A soap swap box!!! Gosh I LOVE those.

A variety of soaps, lotions, lip balms and other bath and body goodies for me to try. My contribution is not there cause I don't get one of those back. I can't wait to try everything

Now for my answers to the Summer Dishcloth Swap:

What one CD of music would you take? Billy Joel's Greatest Hits Volume's I and II they came together
What one book? The Ultimate Hitch Hicker's Guide
What one hobby-related item? Knitting Needles, of course
What one person? That is impossible since I have two daughters. If this was imaginary, I would say my Maternal gradmother who past away when I was 11 1/2
What one food? (no, you couldn't survive on a single food, I'm just SAYING) Sushi - yum!


I was tagged by Jennifer Here is how it works: Each player starts with seven random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog with their seven things as well as these rules. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. Remember to leave a comment for them letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog.

1. I am first generation American on my Mother's side and My Mother is first generation Colombian. She is was born in Cali Colombia. My grandparents fled Russia and Romania in the early 1930s from the Russians and the Nazis. I used to spend 3 months out of every year in Colombia from the time I was born till I was 14.

2. Although most of you know that my favorite color is now any shade of purple, when i was younger, I loved the color yellow because it reminder me of sunshine and I wanted everything to be bright and sunny

3. The first time I went to the dentist, the hygienist left me way too long with the fluoride treatment so I bit her and then threw up on her (sorry Jessi don't tell the hubby)

4. None of her 6 grandchildren or 3 children had the patience to sit and keep her company except me so, my maternal grandmother passed down all her family knowledge to me including her family recipes, pictures and ability to knit. Doesn't make my Aunt very happy that I know how to make my grandmothers knishes and strudel well nor the fact that I can knit and she can't.

5. I plan on completely blowing off my 20th high school reunion which is a week from Sunday. (now you all can kind of figure out how old I am, LOL) I went to a very small school, do not keep in touch with anyone and they are combining it with the 60th anniversary of the school as well. Then, they are going to turn around and change the name of the school so it will be as if I didn't graduate from the place anyway. I don't really want to know how anyone turned out because I didn't really like any of them 20 years ago and no one had the decency to stay in touch now. So, why go?

6. When I was 12 I was accepted into The The Pennsylvania School of Ballet and would have gone straight into a chorus of a ballet that fall except my father really didn't want that kind of life for me. That same year I was also accepted into an advanced art program at school. Although not the same, it was an acceptable replacement. I still go to see the ballet every chance I get but it gets expensive for non-nose bleed seats.

7. I am very glad my soaping friends Frances and Denise persuaded me to take knitting back up again. Otherwise, I might have missed out on a lot of new friends. Thanks ladies!!

I'm tagging:


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Locks of Love

Two Years ago, my older brother was diagnosed with cancer. It is one of the most difficult things a family can go through. You feel helpless. You want to do everything in the world for them but you can't.

My at the time four year old daughter really did not know what was going on just that her uncle was losing his hair. She asked if girls too lose their hair. When she found out that the do, the sensitive little thing that she is felt it wasn't fair that children, kids like her should lose their hair. She wanted to give them hers. "I have a lot of it Mommy. I can give them my hair". Together, we discovered that, in fact, there was an organization called Locks of Love and that most of their donations actually come from children. It has to be at least 10" long and usually the cut is free from a participating salon. Not soon after, both my oldest daughter, then 4, and I went and cut our hair for the first time and donated it to Locks of love.

Now, today, two years later, we are ready again to donate to Locks of Love again.
Here is the Princess's hair and you can see how long it has gotten already. She knows it will be cut just below her ears but she is ready and she knows her hair is going to a good cause, kids who don't have hair.
It is something she can take control of herself and something good she can do herself as well.
In such a materialistic world, I am definitely extremely proud of her!!
My brother is in remission as of April but the donations of hair will continue as long as The princess and I can grow hair

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mother's Day Gifts Complete!!

The gifts are ready to be wrapped in tissue paper and put in gift bags with lovely handmade Mother's Day gift cards. Although little Miss Sunshine would love to glitter glue these things to death, I think I can safely say we are done!

These are just a sampling of the ones we did. Some have names on them already (and I didn't want their names blasted around the universe, etc). I think my girls did an AMAZING job. Makes sense that a very crafty Mom would have crafty offspring ;-)

All of the wooden pieces were pre-painted, btw so don't think we are over the top crafty. Some were pre-sticky and some we had to glue on. The frames we painted. Of course all the glitter we added.

My sister's birthday is at the end of May. To make our lives a tad easier we always include we in the Mother's Day project so that her gift is already made and set aside therefore it is done as well.

Now on to think of Father's Day but that is usually the same gift. My dad loves chocolate and The Princess is all too happy to oblige him with handmade chocolates. Yum!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

My Entry for Contest #2 for the Knitter's Coffee Swap

Contest number 2 is "Still Life with Coffee and Yarn". To take a digital picture of yarn and coffee and post about it on the Knitter's Coffee swap blog. (the alternative is you can write a poem about coffee and yarn) I think your posts kind of get lost on that blog over there. there are over 100 people in this swap and although I just LOVE the theme of the swap you kind of get lost in the shuffle.

When I first read about this contest, I had no idea what I wanted to do. The first few entries where of yarn and mugs and they looked like pastries or typical cups, coffee and yarn. Being that I have studied the more artsy type still life, I decided to do something a bit more unconventional and this is what I came up with.

The yarn is a 1 pound cone of 100% Cotton Bulky Boucle Natural easy to dye Yarn that I decorated with whole coffee beans from Starbucks. It kind of looks like a yummy treat to me.

I do plan on actually dying the yarn, which I have 2 pound of, with Alkanet (a natural herb that I use to color soaps too) sometime in the near future but, right now it smells like coffee, LOL

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Own Mother's Day

So you know what I am having the girlies make the Grandmothers and therefore me too but, that got me to think, what do I want for Mother's Day? What do I want to do on Mother's Day?

My husband is an only child so no competition on that side of the family but, if we don't go see his Mom and bring her brunch on Mother's Day proper or at least lox and bagels we will be in big trouble. So there goes part of the day.

On my side I am the middle child. My baby sister is moving to Florida in June and my BIL would like to see everyone before they move. For some reason my brother and sister planned something on Saturday. There goes Saturday.

I actually feel for my Mom. She doesn't get to do what she wants to do. So I actually asked her what she wants. She said since we are bringing brunch to my MIL's and last year I actually had to eat the same thing twice (don't ask), this year she would love dinner from this particular restaurant and that my dad and my husband should pick it up. Spoke to my dad, spoke to my husband, arrangements made. At least my Mom will be happy.

I thought about it. Mother's Day is just one day. It should really be Mother's Day every day, right? Who said it should be just one day, Hallmark? So, I told my husband instead of him taking the girls out Saturday or Sunday morning scrambling for some last minute gift like he has every year for the last 6 years maybe this year he will listen to me finally. Here is what I'd Like:

1. Don't buy me cards because unless he has the girls make them themselves, they have no meaning for me. I have told him this for every gift giving occasion but he doesn't listen.

2. Give me some peace and quiet at home without the girls or you in the house to do what I'd like. Maybe knit, read, knit, take a bath, knit, what ever. We do have a house in the mountains he could take the girls to for the weekend and even take Mom with him. They'd love it.

3. Either a gift certificate or good old fashioned cash to spend at a LYS. You can't go wrong with that. I told him I could give him either Aileen's (blog-less) phone number or even some web sites to look at. He suggested the cash.

Both Two and Three would be great but I'd take an or scenario as well.

Do you think I asked for too much?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Talk About Knitting Every Chance You Can

Yesterday, I went to a bridal shower for my sister's husband's brother's fiance (did you follow all that?) Why I was invited is beyond me but, I was with my Mom and my SIL, who found some reason not to go. However, my Mom and I went and we sat at a table with my sister and my sister's MIL.

All the ladies from my sister's shower and wedding from her husband's side were there, of course, and since I had planned her shower they all remembered me. They remembered how wonderful my sister's shower was and how well organized and planned it was. How smoothly it ran, how excellent the favor was (my handmade shower gel that they are still raving about), how yummy the food was, and how everyone could see all the gifts because one of the bridesmaids walk around and showed it off. This shower, not quite the same. I guess that is why they kept raving about my sister's shower which was last year.

At any rate, a few of the women kept telling me how crafty I am and my sister's MIL said not only that she makes all the holiday gifts every year and she knits the most beautiful things too. One woman whips around and says YOU KNIT?! Well guess what I pretty much spent the rest of the shower talking about? You guessed it, knitting. It pretty much made for a less boring time after that.

So, if you ever go to a function where you really do not know anyone or are really bored, slip some how into the conversation something about knitting and chances are you will find someone who knits or wants to learn about knitting. The time will just fly by.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Babe in Progress (For Those Who Wouldn't Believe Untill They Saw It)

So here she is in all her rare glory. Yes, those really are size 2US needles. I made sure I got them in the picture as proof for myself that I have actually painstakingly been knitting a doll for my eldest child on these little needles when I would prefer to knit on size 10US or larger.

For the knitting, all that is really left is the head, arms and legs. Then the fun begins. Giving her a face, hair and making a wardrobe for her. My Wednesday night knitting group really came through for me and brought tons for fine grade yarn for the clothes. One wonderful lady is even rummaging through her stash and found some coffee colored yarn for the hair (The Princess's hair is dark brown). For how small this little lady is, she is taking a long time to knit. Probably for several reason. I want to make sure I get it right, I am not fond of the teeny tiny and of curse there is Miss Mary Sunshine and her evil knit interuptus ways (she is getting better). I have been very good. This has not ended up in a drawer some where. I will also not started a new project till this is finished so it gives me GREAT motivation to finish. I did decide that if I am going to make another one of these things, I am going to rework it for thicker yarn. Eventually I will make another at this size but, it is definitely not for me. Give me thicker yarn and bigger needles any day. When she is all "dolled" up with clothes and all she will model for you.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Time to Jump Back into the Deep End

The Babe's body is almost complete so it is time to think of that next project. My friend who is due in October is finding out what she is having so until she does, I can start a different project. Of course, Murphy's Law, as soon as I do I will get an email from her telling me she is having a (fill in the blank)

With some persuading from Aileen (blog-less) and Jessi, both thought I should consider doing a wrap/shawl but Jessi is the one that gave me the idea of doing something vanilla. Being that Little Miss Sunshine is still terrorizing my knitting to some extent and I can't do any lace where I really need to concentrate or I will end up having to frog too much, I thought what the hey, I am going to attempt a very Vanilla Lace shawl pattern that I will most likely make up as I go along. That way I won't worry if I have to put it down frequently. Between a few of my books, a few of my magazines, Knitter's Review and the beautiful yarn, I am sure to come up with something that is gorgeous and wearable and my Mother will probably steal.

The yarn - Wool in the Woods (I still find that ironic) Gold Dust, 48% Rayon, 44% Cotton, 6% Nylon, 2% Mylar
200 yards per skein and I have 2
Gauge: 20 sts/26 rows to 4" on US 6 needles
Color: Lottery (it is purples and pinks with gold flecks although the picture sort of makes it look grey doesn't it?).

I need to see if I have the right needles but with a couple of stitch markets, yarnovers, knit, purl, knit two together and slip, slip knit, something I can easily detect and easily put down a simple lace shawl can be born. I just need to keep Miss Sunshine occupied.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Start of the Mother's Day Gifts

I figured since it is less that two weeks away we had better start our Mother's day gifts so, we began our gifts today. We started the tradition when the Princess was 3 years old for the girls to make handmade gifts for their grandmothers and Aunts (and grandfather and father for father's day) because if comes from the heart and is something they would keep for years to come or so one would think.
As you might recall, we decided to take their spring school pictures and make hand painted and hand decorated wooden frames. We began the painting process today.
Little Miss Sunshine decided she had enough after she helped clean the work area, set up the work area, put out the newspaper, put out the paints, the frames and glued the pictures. It was quite a lot of work for a 4 year old to handle so, I was surprise she made it that far. We did all that before the Princess got off the bus. She did get two frames painted, the green ones of course (two at the top left)
The rest were/are being painted by the Princess. As you can tell they are being done in some very lovely shades of pink and purple.The girl does take after her Mother. She did decide to do one Rainbow one which she is in the process of and has taken her well over an hour because she is blending her own colors. AH such the young artist.
When they dry, either tonight or tomorrow, they will get a coat of glitter paint because of course we need some sparkle and then some other decoration like jewel stickers or painted wooden shapes and then some very nice packaging and we will be ready for Mother's Day. Don't worry, I will make sure to taken some snapshots of the final products.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I am Such an Enabler

I am a strong follower of the KIP philosophy so I take my knitting every where. If my main project is too big, I will always have a wash cloth on the needles so that I can throw that in my bag and take that with me. As some of you have read, I have knit on the playground to other frowning Moms and I have even knit at Burger King when I take Miss Sunshine to play at their indoor play yard because she just takes off and I can watch her and my knitting quite easily.

At any rate, yesterday I was waiting in the waiting room for my doctor and he usually keeps me waiting so I always take some knitting or a pattern book with me to select my next knitting project. This time I took the Babe with me. His new assistant came out to hand me a form and it was the first time she noticed I knit. Then the fun began because she is a fairly new knitter. She began asking all kinds of questions which I happily answered. Then, of course, I gave her a laundry list of web sites to check out for very simple patterns to follow since, she is of course, a beginner. Then I asked her where she lives.
Me: Oh did you know there is a knitting group that meets fairly close to you? They meet on Such and such a day and such and such time?
She did not know that. She will have to check that out.
Me: Did you know there was such and such LYS near you?
Her: Yes, but I haven't been there yet.
Me: Oh you must. they are fabulous and offer wonderful classes
Her: Really?
Me: oh yes, definitely go. they are very friendly too
Her: Then I will definitely go. Perhaps this weekend
Me: Did you know There is a shop closing soon
Her: Oh No where is it
Me: (I tell her where)
Her: That is near here. I might have to go after work.

Ah, and another stash is born. She told me she is very happy knitting squares and scarves right now so I did give her a few web sites where it gives you some very nice patterns with simple knits and purls and she has attempted color work so she is well on her way. I do love meeting new knitters.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Visual DNA

Happy May! With the weird weather we've had in April, I am happy to arrive at May and hope it brings up nice spring like weather.

I have seen these Visual DNA things on a few other people's blog so, I thought I'd give it a go. It didn't have knitting or soaping as a choice, so I took the next best option. Rather interesting information, I thought anyway.