Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Problem With Reading

I visit several blogs each day. It's a habit I enjoy and I feel I have a connection to others across the blog-o-sphere who share some of the same passions I have.....fiber, food, books, travel, etc.

The problem with such a reading habit, however, is that one is likely to stumble upon a variety of buttons and counters on other blogs.

Yesterday I ran across a blog which included a "Countdown To Chrismas" clock on the sidebar.


That was a wake up call!

Less than 2 months left until the gift giving festivities! (Even less if you're celebrating Hanukkah!!)

I finished off the handknit gifts for guys a while back. This was not really too difficult as the hand knit portion of the guy gifts is small this year. (Especially compared to the aspirations I harbor for the ladies' gifts.)

I'm not saying who is getting what, but here is what I have thus far for the women:

Thank goodness it's a felting project! That means (generally speaking) using larger needles than I do when knitting socks. This results in quicker knitting times.

Wish me luck!! (and do you think people in warm climates need something like what's pictured above?)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Former Indulgence

Ok, I'll admit it.

When my kids were younger I used to like watching some of the programming they chose, and one of my favorites was the PBS series, Arthur.

Someone on Ravelry found this episode and I couldn't resist passing it on.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Ahhh, Friday

You've got to love a beautiful Friday in autumn!

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Twisted Stitches

I picked up this book because I am fascinated by the effects that can be accomplished with simple, twisted stitches.

When I opened the book, however, I must admit to feeling a bit intimidated!

Fortunately the fine folks at Knitting Daily must have anticipated that this might happen to knitters and they put together a very informative
video for us! (Note: there are a couple of twisted stitch patterns in the current issue of Interweave Knits (Fall 2010) you won't want to miss. It's a great intro to the genre and will perhaps picque your curiosity!)

Happy Knitting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

On My Swap Box

My friend in CA and I recently had our annual swap fun. Let me tell you, I am one spoiled knitter! Look what I found when I opened the box!!!

This generous gift makes the box I sent her look pathetic.

She sent not one, or even two(!) skeins of yarn, but rather six! Five of these beauties were hand dyed by me friend. (Isn't she talented?! I'm telling you, she should sell these on Etsy or something!) And the other is Wool In the Woods!! It's so lovely with delicate gold threads running throughout....simply lovely!

Here are the details of what-is-what:

1. Hand dyed wool in greens/golds.
2. Hand dyed in lovely red/scarlet.
3. Hand dyed blues/purple.
4. Hand dyed sock blank in orange/toffee colors. (She knew I struggled with knitting the other one she sent last year and so unknit it and rewound it into two seperate balls.) I really love this one and am saving it for when I feel the dead of winter greys/whites surrounding me. I will need a splash of color and this is perfect!!
5. Autum spice blend to add to my coffee in the morning. This stuff is UNBELIEVABLY delicious!!!
6. Wool In the Woods which I'm thinking is likely to become a shawl....but we'll see.
7. Second hand dyed sock blank. Look, I've already cast on my next pair of socks!
8. Sachet of lavender...smells incredible!
9. Pair of scissors for my knitting kit with lovely bead work attached. I'll always know which pair is mine at knitting group!
10. Stitch markers which match the scissors. (Someone has some mad beading skillz!)
11. Festive ceramic pumpkin. (Looks terrific on my mantle!)
12. Labels to put on my hand knit projects.
13. My favorite treat this time of year!

Now don't you all agree, I'm terribly, horribly spoiled, aren't I???

Want a closer peek? Here you go!

Thank you K!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Color Work

Went to be with my knitting friends for our weekly gathering today. I took this for show-and-tell:

It's knit from Rauma wool I purchased at the new yarn shop in Ames a few weeks ago. Those of you who know I knit some Latvian mittens for people last year will recognize the braid technique I picked up from that experience.

Everyone oohed and ahhed over the hat this morning. They wanted to know if they could get a copy of the pattern. That's when I had to admit to making it up as I went along.

I thought the three colors I found in the sale bin ($4 each) would look nice together and I just cast on 128 stitches and took off with whatever struck my fancy at the time. (I do tend to keep Fibonacci numbers in mind somewhat when thinking of rounds/patterns, but not always!)

I had enough wool left over to finish off the last 6 items I needed to create for the male presents I'm doing for the holidays. (Hopefully some of the men I'm gifting are ok with deep turquoise and eggplant purple. I think some of them will be.)

On another note:

For those who are interested in the issues of bullying and suicide, I would direct you to one of people I follow as a personal knitting icon, Franklin Habit, who wrote a very poignant and elegant blog entry regarding the topic on his blog The Panoptican titled "It Gets Better." Go, read it....and don't skip the hundreds of comments, especially if you have been bullied or felt hopeless/desperate because you felt no on supported you, no one cared, no one was there for you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Things I've Been Shooting

I've been on some very interesting photo shoots for various work projects in the past couple of weeks. Here are a few of the things I've captured.

Well, I would show you more but my DS sat down to watch Hulu and has sucked up all the bandwidth making it impossible for me to upload any more photos right now. Suffice it to say there were smiling ladies, a dental hygeine school lab, and a restaurant.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I Am Sick & Tired

I'm sick and tired of opening the newspaper or turning on the news only to hear that another precious life has been lost to suicide. And while I understand that not all of the people who take their own life are dealing with homosexuality, enough of them are that I feel it's vital to get the message out.

Chris Colfer for The Trevor Project - It Gets Better from The Trevor Project on Vimeo.

If the above doesn't represent your situation but the desperate feeling is still a part of your life, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach someone who cares and who will help.

It gets better! There are people who want to help, people who care, people who understand.

Added on 10/15/2010:

Thank you Joel!!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Resistance Is Feudal

Greetings! Feels like it's been a while since I blogged! We had a fun trip to Riverssance this past Saturday. It's a Renaissance Faire in Sioux City which has been going for a few years now. What a great time! (I had forgotten how much FUN Renaissance reenactors are! If I ever decide to get into reenacting, it will definitely be Renaissance period stuff.)

Lords and ladies, knights, falconers, artists, elves and faeries, pirates, belly dancers, peasants, musicians, craftsfolk and tradesfolk...I love the atmosphere!

(Plus, who doesn't love a good shout of "Huzzah!" every now and then, right?!)

Here's the photo recap!

This last photo requires a bit of explanation. It is a 4 ton carillon, the only instrument of its kind in existence. It dates back to when the cathedrals had carillons in their bell towers. The musician would be hidden away and noone ever knew who played the melodies that tolled from the towers. This is Cast In Bronze and he tours with the instrument. It is AMAZING!! What a site to see and a musical experience not to be missed. My niece kept asking me to take her back over to see and listen to the bells. I will be putting a few of his CDs on my holiday wish list!

One thing I enjoyed was the village where you could experience the trades and crafts of the Renaissance. Particularly interesting to me were the weaver and the lady with a small hand mill who was milling grains and baking bread over a campfire.