Monday, December 18, 2006


Well, here we are headed into the home stretch of the holidays. I've finished up all my Christmas projects except one. Here's my total:

*15 pairs of socks (only 4 of which were "slipper socks" that knit up quickly)
*7 hats (4 teen/men sizes, 3 child sized)
*4 scarves (3 men, 1 child)
*5 pairs of fingerless mitts in various patterns
*1 3'x3' Aran panels lap afghan

I have one more pair of fingerless mitts to do and I'll be done!

We have our tree up. I've managed to bake 5 or 6 different goodies for Christmas.
The cards have been mailed. The packages that are traveling to other states have been gone for several days now. I still have wrapping to do and groceries to purchase for Christmas dinner, etc. But I think I will make it!

I'm looking forward to finishing a pair of socks for myself and one for my daughter after the Christmas knitting is complete. I have a nice stash of yarn just waiting for snowy weather to blow in so that I can curl up on the couch with a cup of cocoa and knit away! Hope you have a wonderful holiday in whatever way to celebrate the season!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Christmas Frenzy

I've been busy knitting away for Christmas! I've gotten 6 of 9 panels done on my aran afghan. I completed two pairs of slippers, a hat, and some fingerless gloves for nephews. And I just whipped up two smaller hats for 4 and 7 yr. old friends. (See picture below.) Phew! All this and I've been busy helping out with sports photos at the paper and other projects there. (*yeah!*) Of course, my house isn't tidy and I don't have the tree or decorations up yet....but hey, it's not even December yet, right??!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just a quick post to show off the first bowl I completed. It was a fun and quick project!

Back to work for me!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Silly Nonsense Stuff

Looks like this promises to be another busy week at work! Final deadline on the project is Friday so wish me luck!

In the meantime, I took the "What Kind of American English Do You Speak?" quiz. Here are my results.

Your Linguistic Profile:
75% General American English
15% Upper Midwestern
5% Midwestern
0% Dixie
0% Yankee

Guess that makes sense! My parents were born in Minnesota and Iowa. And although I was born in California, it doesn't really count as we moved back to Iowa when I was 6 months old. (And just for the record, I'm from the part of Iowa where the word "wash" has NO "r" in it!!!!)

OTN: Lana Grossa MegaBoots Stretch sock #2 along with the Aran afghan I'm making for my DS and some fingerless gloves I'm doing for my 15 yr. old DN for Christmas as well.

Here's my felting supplies for "Get Felted" over at Romancing the Yarn (check them out!) I've got my first bowl knitted and will take pics tomorrow before I felt it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Busy, Busy!

Hi everyone! Wow! Has this been a busy week for me! My deadline at the paper for completing the writing of copy and shooting of photos for the 60-70 page glossy magazine "All About FD" for the Chamber of Commerce is looming! I can't wait to see how the whole thing comes together! It's been a really exciting first "big" project to work on!

In the meantime, I got to attend the local Domestic & Sexual Assault Vigil this past week. I was there to get photos of Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del) who was the guest speaker. He authored legislation about Violence Against Women and is a big advocate to stop domestic violence. It was a very moving service. In the background you can see re sillouettes. These represented locals who had lost their lives in such tragic ways. At the end, their balloons were released into the night at last.

I'm still knitting away on my Lana Grossa socks. I haven't had a lot of extra time so I'm just to the toe decrease on sock #1. I am loving the color and the feel of the wool. Can't wait to finish so that I can wear them as the weather is turning cold here!

I've also got supplies to start my "Get Felted" project for Romancing the Yarn. I'm going to do some bowls. That'll be a new venture for me! I'm looking forward to seeing how they turn out. I may use a few for Christmas gifts. I also have some lovely soft yarns to do some fingerless gloves with. The pair I have was knit as an experiment out of waste yarn and I can't stand to wear them out of the house as the color is horrendous. I'm anxious to resolve that with my new cashmerino pair!!

Gotta scoot for now! Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Lana Grossa MegaBoot Stretch

This is the sock I've begun from the Lana Grossa Mega Boots Stretch Softcolor I picked up on vacation in Michigan. (What a great souvenir! I get to enjoy the knitting and then I'll have something to wear around too!!)

Not much time to write tonight. Just wanted to share the picture!

Knit on!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What's In A Joke?

There's a joke I heard that went like this:

The new pastor was settling into her study when the phone rang. "Grace Lutheran, this is Pastor Mary, how may I help you?" she answered.

"This is Bob. The fellas and I would like to take you fishing on Friday. We'll pick you up at 6:30 am. Sharp."

"Sounds great!" said Pastor Mary without hesitating. She wanted to make a good impression while getting to know her new parishoners.

Friday came. Bob, Elmer and Don arrived at the parsonage at 6:30 am with the boat in tow and off they went to the lake.

After not a little fussing with ropes and fishing poles and tackle boxes the foursome was finally off to the middle of the lake. It was a perfect morning!

As Bob switched the motor off and Elmer dropped anchor, Don exclaimed, "We forgot the bait bucket!" Looking toward shore, sure enough.....there it was sitting near the trailer.

"Not to worry, I'll get it!" said Pastor Mary happy to help. She stood up, stepped over the edge and began walking on the water toward shore.

"Would you look at that!" exclaimed Bob.

"I can't believe it!" shouted Don.

"She can't even swim!" said Elmer.

I've been thinking about this joke a lot today. You see, I was a pastor for 13 years in the same church before I took a leave of absence last November. I'm in the process of deciding where the journey of life is taking me now, whether it be back into ministry or some other path.

While the joke makes me laugh, there's a part of the joke that really stings too. There's just enough truth to it that some days it cuts like a driving, freezing rain in February. So I've been thinking a bit about the purpose of humor and jokes--how they work (and don't work) and what impact they, along with many other sorts of words, have on our lives. I'm not sure people give enough creedance to the impact words have on us and our lives. And to me it's especially sad when that happens in the realm of church work, where our lives are to be particularly ordered around The Word. (Perhaps I'll just never get that one!)

One woman's thoughts as she tries to figure out this thing called life and how she's a part of everything. I think I'll go connect up with my knitting now!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Blues

Well, I just can't seem to get this blue-themed yarn to work. I'm at the point of giving up. I've started a sock three times with this yarn and have frogged all three attempts. I've decided it's the yarn's fault. I just don't like it. Hey, it's not like it's one of my children or anything. I am allowed to say I just don't like it. And I can even go put it at the bottom of my stash in the other room and be o.k. No "sock yarn police" are going to come arrest me for neglect. I believe I've given it an honest shot. What do you think? Would you like working with this yarn?? Any brilliant ideas for ways to use it other than socks??

My other blue experience this weekend was to finish the slipper socks I'm making my FIL for Christmas. As you can see, they're blue:

My FIL is over 80 now and prone to slipping on his linoleum flooring. I'm a bit worried about the "slick" factor in this silly acrylic yarn. Any brilliant ideas on adding something to the bottoms of the slippers to give them a bit of grip? I'm thinking about adding some puff paint (the type you'd use on fabric) in dots or wavy lines. I think I read about someone doing that to the bottoms of socks before. Anyone ever tried??

Well, that was my weekend adventure in knitting. A visit to the frog pond and these slippers. Knit on!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


I've managed to complete my Sock Hop socks! Yeah!

Now it's on to one of my other WIP....

..... the aran afghan.......

.... the Nature's Pallete socks in Eagle's Flight pattern.......

.... the woolease socks for my son........

.... the second slipper sock for my FIL for Christmas........

So much to knit, so little time!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Knitting A.D.D. Strikes Again!

Yes, it's true! I have attention defecit disorder when it comes to my knitting!

I am trying to Knit-Along with the Sock Hop on Romancing the Yarn. I was off to such a great start the first week. Then.....something happened.

I guess it could be Second Sock Syndrome. Perhaps it's the change of seasons that leaves me restless. Pre-menopause short attention span???

Whatever it is, this is the result:

This is the third pair of these fingerless mitts I've made. This time I improvised some changes to the pattern which I think turned out terrific! I added the picot edge bind-off and also added in a bit of a thumb as my first trial pair left my digit too out in the cold for my comfort level. I think I will be making more of these lovelies......perhaps as Christmas gifts???? We shall see!

Now back to my socks!

Friday, October 13, 2006

A First!

I like to think of myself as a semi-adventurous person, one who is always eager to learn something new. I also like to think that's part of the reason the paper decided to hire me to do some freelance photography and writing for them!

One of my first assignments has been to write a piece for one of the area school districts which recently installed a new track. I will be the first to admit I haven't been an athletic person. I'll also admit I've never actually been to a track meet. I guess that's why taking on this project was kind of exciting . . . I knew I'd be learning new things!

The administration and coaches at the school were wonderful to work with. They were friendly and helpful and didn't seem to mind my "newbie" questions. The enthusiasm of the high school runners was infectious. All that energy and ability almost got me to wishing I was 17 years old again!

I feel that in the end I was able to put together a good piece which will show off this new track and the programs of this school. It was great fun to meet new people and terrific to gain some new knowledge in the process. Isn't that what life is all about?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

One done, one to go!

I've finished the first Sock Hop sock and begun the cuff on sock #2. I have to say I love this Austerman Step yarn! It feels great to work with having the aloe and jojoba in it. I've tried the sock on too....and it feels wonderful on the foot as well!

I like this pattern (Elongated Corded Rib) from Charlene Schurch's book, Sensational Knitted Socks. I ended up having to cast on 88 stitches to get the right size sock for my foot. (That's a LOT of knitting on size US#0 needles!) It's really been fun to see the sock take shape--even knowing that I deviated from the pattern on the heel flap.

I have a friend who doesn't like the fraternal twins she ends up with when she knits socks. I really sort of prefer them in the end! I think they add to the character of the socks and boast "Handmade!" Anyone can walk into a store and buy a pair of perfectly matched socks. Not everyone will have socks that are clearly related, but not exactly alike. Now that I'm over 40, I kinda like that!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


For work this week I am shooting photos of neighborhoods in our town to be part of the 2007 Chamber of Commerce's "Our Town" magazine. (I'm writing all the copy and shooting all the photos! Yeah! Yikes! Yeah! My first "gig!")

Anyway, it's really been quite an interesting journey! After living here for 13+ years, I discovered two new areas of town I was previously unaware of! Go figure!

After this I dive in on the section outlining governmental structure and issues for the area. As I try to prepare myself, all I can think of was how much I really didn't like Civics and Government classes in school but oh how I hope I can pull some of that info out of the dark recesses of my brain where it's been filed away for the past 22-26 years!

On a completely seperate note: I found out this afternoon that my state fair blue-ribbon photo will be published in the Jan/Feb 2007 issue of The Iowan magazine. I'm thrilled! I will also receive a subscription to the magazine which before now I've either purchased off the newsstand or read at the public library. How fun to have it delivered right to my door!

Ok, that's it for today. Back to work I go!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls

It tolls for me. . . .

My run at Sock Wars 2006 sadly comes to an end today.

My lovely merino socks arrived from mistyknits in California in a somewhat symbolic high noon delivery by my postal carrier. They really are lovely Kiyoko! And I love the color!

I posted my "obituary" on the Sock Wars Forum, but here it is for your amusement:

Kim H. a.k.a. "kshotz" died at high noon on Monday, October 2nd, 2006. She was fatally wounded when lovely lime green merino socks arrived at her door via to US Postal Service making her the umpteenth victim in the on-going Sock Wars 2006.
Kim was a devoted wife and mother of two (before Sock Wars.) She will be greatly enjoyed by her family now that she is done frantically and obsessively knitting socks for total strangers. She leaves behind a well stocked knitting basket along with a surprisingly substantial secret stash of sock yarn under the guest bed. Her final moments were spent winding some new bamboo sock yarn and massaging the cramp in her left hand from speed knitting. She will be missed by those with whom she knit but thankfully Christmas is just around the corner so she will undoubtedly be back to her group at the LYS next week to work on other gift projects.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In the Meantime - Sockhop!

In between times of waiting for packages for Sock Wars, I've signed up for my first ever knit-along event over at Officially called a SockHop....we are doing whatever sock pattern we like and keeping track of each other starting today. I decided to FINALLY give my Austerman Step yarn a try and I am loving it!!! I'm also trying out a pattern from Charlene Schurch's book Sensational Knitted Socks for the first time. I have a feeling I am going to love owning this book as it makes every single pattern customizable to exact foot measurements......and I don't have to do any of the math!!

*YEAH!!* (Love that!)

I think I am going to keep this pair all for myself! The pic shows where I am--just on the leg portion of sock #1......but that's ok. I have a feeling I'll be dead tomorrow when the mail comes in (socks of doom from mistyknits in CA for the war......)

Well, back to it I go!
Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Package of Doom

Ok, Ok . . . I'm caving in to pressure! Here's a pic of the Package of Doom I mailed off to Alabama. (Ok, not the actual package, but all the contents anyway!) I'm hoping the local candy bars (I included 2) will make up for the plain, black socks. Think of them of the Black Socks of Death......or socks that go with just about anything.....or the stuff in my stash I was trying to use up.......

The socks are actually extremely soft! Made from Cascade's Pima Tencel.....50% Pima Cotton and 50% tencel (not sure what that is!). Unfortunately they are handwash only and lay flat to dry.

In other may have heard the big $200 million Power Ball lottery ticket was sold and the winner from right here! Fort Dodge, IA!! Believe it or not my husband purchased his ticket at the exact same location on the exact same day!! Dang! We were SOOOOOOO close!! Rumor is that a group of teachers has won--which would totally rock as teachers deserve special care and places in heaven for the work they do with our children day in and day out.

(Shoutout - Hurrah teachers!!! We LOVE you all!!!!)

Well, that's the scoop from my part of the world today. Dooglescout in AL....I hope you enjoy this package of doom!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Mailman Cometh!!!

Well, I have completed my Socks of Doom for Sock Wars 2006 and actually put them into the mail at 2:09 this afternoon! Of course I am not posting a picture of them here for my target to spot and ruin all the fun when they arrive at her doorstep. Now that they're off (with a postcard from my town and 2 candy bars made in my hometown and sold only is a small area of Iowa--hope she likes them!!)......I'm a bit worried that the socks I made are actually a bit boring. I'm worried she won't like them at all! (sheeesh, I hate being a perfectionist and worry wart!) I don't think they're the sort of socks one wears with shoes as the fabric is just too thick. (I figured that was going to be a problem when I saw we were using DK weight yarn instead of fingering weight.) So my sock yarn was chosen with the idea of being more like slipper socks than regular.

Anywho........I'm done knitting for that project and feeling a bit let down now that things are out of my hands for the time being! I could use a good hand massage . . . . and a cup of chai . . . . and some chocolate ice cream. Then maybe I'll get back to my Christmas socks and afghan projects until such time as a package arrives at my door with more socks of doom to knit or a lovely pair that kills me off!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'm In!

I couldn't figure out a way to put this button on my sidebar (code illiterate here!) so I figured I'd just add it into a post as a photo.

I'm really excited about Sock Wars!! I've never participated in anything like this before and I'm thrilled by the prospect of getting a pair of socks just for me that someone else took the time to do. Even more terrific if they happen to come from some "exotic" foreign place like Norway or Australia or Seattle (just kidding, though I've never been to Seattle and hope to go one day!)

Anyway the knitting begins on Sept. 22 and I hope to make it through round one alive! We have to use DK weight yarn, so I'm busy searching my stash for something acceptable (I've got a TON of fingering weight sock yarn! Drat!)

If anyone reading this happens to be a fellow warrior, be sure to say hey in the comments! If you want to read more about the event, check out yarnmonkey's blog. (Too late to sign up for this year though I'm afraid......sorry!)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Aran Afghan

I'm making an afghan for my sister. I'm using different Aran stitch panels from the "All About Aran" episode of Knitty Gritty on DIY. So far I've completed the Trinity Stitch panel and the Rope Cable panel. Each are supposed to be 12" square (although my cable panel appears to be smaller than the Trinity stitch one!) I haven't blocked them yet, so I'm hoping that will help. So far I'm really enjoying trying out these Aran stitches/patterns. I may even figure out the math to make a Celtic Knot panel the same size......we'll see.

I was thinking of using the traditional cream color yarn, however she has three kids at home (all boys) and is busy trying to run 2 I opted to go with something that will hopefully hide the "love" a bit easier than cream would. Plus, I thought this purple heather would fit her decor nicely too.

The pattern calls for making 16 panels that it becomes 4X4. I'm thinking of making 12 panels and doing it as a 3X4. Any thoughts???? Would love to know what you think!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


As I was going through photography school the past coupple of years I suspected that I might end up doing portrait work. You see, I like shooting people (with a camera of course!) I can relate to people of all ages and when I get shots like this for family, I believe I have the skills to make a fine portrait photographer.

The problem is that our town already has enough portrait studios. There wasn't really such a need for that in this area. What to do?

Well, I'm so thrilled to say that following through and doing my best on all the other units of photography (nature, photojournalism, commercial, sports, architectural, etc.) has really paid off!! I've just landed a part-time job with our local newspaper shooting some sports as well as commercial/advertising shoots as well!! I'm so excited and thrilled to have this chance to do something that I dearly love: take my camera, shoot photos and get paid! It's a dream come true for me! What's more, I'll also get to do some freelance writing for them (another thing I enjoy!)

I know that paragraph has way too many exclamation points in it. Sorry! I'm just so excited that I had to share!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Torn Between Two Loves

Ever have a day (or week!) of not being able to do a thing because there are too many choices???

On the one hand are all the things I "should" be doing: dishes, picking up, laundry, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming and dusting........(does this list ever go away????)

On the other hand there are the things I'd LOVE to be doing: knitting or scrapbooking/photography. I've currently got three knitting projects going. One is a second sock (somehow hard to get motivated for!) One is a new child's sized sock using Lorna's Laces leftovers. One is a worsted weight slipper sock for a Christmas gift on US 6 dpns.

I also just received all the print copies of the photos from our early August vacation in the UP of Michigan. I'd love to sit down and begin to lay them out in our vacation scrapbook (I've even got the perfect artwork dreamt up for the title page!!)

Ahhhh! Too many choices! I feel torn between my loves of knitting and photos. (Not to mention the fact that somewhere in the gray middle ground between "should" and "love" lies the fact I feel I should also be out shooting some images for potential sale! We could use the income!!)

Do any of you suffer from this dilema? How do you solve it? I find I can get enslaved to this mentality and end up not accomplishing much for several days in a row. If you've got any words of wisdom to share, don't hesitate to leave a comment!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Simple Socks (&more!)

Well, I finally finished the simple socks I was making out of Lorna's Laces in a purple varigated. I did 2 socks at once on 2 circs. I'm not sure the legs are long enough to be cuffed and still look good. As it turns out, I would have had plenty to make them longer. Live and learn I guess!

I've also managed to finish the first sock that went beyond a "simple" pattern. I followed the pattern for "Eagle's Flight" socks using Socka Fortissima and US size 2 dpns. I feel silly for not diving in and trying something "harder" earlier! I think these socks look great and I'm sure my Christmas recipient will love them!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Road Trip

Just got home from our vacation to
Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula.
We were in the western part, specifically on the Keweenaw Peninsula. This is the view looking south along the shore from our cabin's deck. Serene, beautiful, restful, healing. We shared our bit of the shore with loons, gulls and a family of bald eagles that flew over and went fishing every day we were there.

I surprised myself by not doing as much knitting as I thought I might. Instead, I found many wonderful photo opportunities and took some time to read Karen Armstrong's book The Spiral Staircase. (A very good read by the way!) Now that we're home, I'll be posting the occasional shot from vacation as well as diving back into my knitting projects (Christmas is just around the corner after all!!) Stay tuned for a pair of Lorna's Laces socks in purple that are nearly completed........(doing 2 socks at once on 2 circs.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Moc Crocs

This being sweet corn season in Iowa,
I couldn't resist trying out this lovely
Sockotta yarn from Plymouth that reminds me of the fields and tables in our area. (Not to mention a little blue skies too!)

This is a new pattern to me--it's "Moc Croc Sock" available on the Knit Picks website in their free section. I used US#2 dpns on this project and the finishes sock will fit a women's size 6-7.

I love the way they turned out really looking and feeling almost reptilian! (Not sure the picture does it justice!)

Just had to share......Happy Knitting!

Friday, July 28, 2006

State Fair

Yeah! I'm soooooo excited! Got a postcard today letting me know that two of the three photos I entered into the State Fair Photography Salon will be put on display. The postcard also had a sticker with the word "Award" attached! Yeah! I can't wait for the fair to open to go see what's what! I'm posting a collage I did of Iowa One-Room Schoolhouses in B&W. The special theme of the Iowa State Fair's photography salon this year is one-room schools. I entered one in black & white, one in color and also a color image of a local county park taken this past winter on one of those magical mornings when you awake to freezing fog. We'll see which are in the exhibit when I get there on Aug. 19!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Iowa Soybeans

Just finished a pair of socks using fiber from Street Legal Designs in Fairfield, IA. (Web Address: ) This is Okara Sock yarn and it is 100% Iowa Soybean fiber.

I have to say this yarn was really fun to work with. It felt great in my hands, knit smoothly on my wood needles and makes a thick, soft sock! These will fit a women's size 8 1/2 . I did have a small amount of fiber left over from my one 100g hank.....but not a lot! (Thus the anklet design!)

Who knew that such a great fiber was growing up around me this whole time?! I love being able to buy and use a great renewable resource that supports my home state's economy as well.

Someone's going to get luck at Christmas time, that's for sure!!

PS--I was using US#3 size needles getting 7.5 spi!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Socks! Socks! Socks!

I'm knitting socks for Christmas gifts. (Well, I'm knitting socks because they're fun to do and I'm addicted, but I intend to give them as gifts so DH is more tolerant of my continuing sock yarn purchases!!)

I've finished off my brother's family and these are the results. I did Lynn H's "Mom's Fast Florida Footsies" using Cascade Fixation for my sis-in-law; Cat Bordhi's basic sock pattern on 2 circs for my brother using 100% Icelandic Wool from Tongue River Farms, and put my favorite parts of those patterns to use in making the pair for my 2.5 yr. old niece. I added a touch of fun to the top of the cuff for hers since I figure you can get away with adding frills to socks for kids.

I had a lot of fun doing these and have many more to share. (Didn't want to overload the page all at once!!)

I'm looking forward to some new, shorter dpns arriving to make sock knitting in the car on road trips easier as well as some new colors of Sockotta by Plymouth.

OTN now: a pair of Opal simple socks on US#1 dpns; 2 socks on 2 cirs made from purple hued Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock; some slipper-socks from old acrylic stash; and a pair on my new US#3 shorty dpns of Okara Sock 100% soybean fiber in "Lotus."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What's Blooming

I hit a slump in knitting enthusiasm so I decided to distract myself with a trip to the backyard to photograph what's in bloom. Turns out my day lillies are thriving in the heat and humidity that is Iowa in July. I had fun trying several perspectives on the flowers and found myself getting really inspired by the colors before me.

As it turns out, my stash basket is quite colorful too! And as the temperature and humidty continue to climb day by day the sock knitting seems a LOT more appealing than running around outside. So I'll be hitting the needles again tonight. Funny how one thing can inspire another, isn't it?!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


If you're wondering about the title of this's mainly about knitting (ewe) and photograhy (eye). I'm just getting started in this world of come back soon for an update!