Monday, July 31, 2006

I'm Still Tired!!

Last night at our weekly SnB all of us who went to Austin commented on how exhausted we were. We shared the excitement of the day with a knitting buddy who couldn't make it but the knitting was slow and we were weary. Today I went to an all-day training for work and after getting home STILL felt tired. I did get some pics taken of the latest additions to my yarn stash so will post pics on all that tomorrow. Until then, I'm going to finish a fish I started yesterday, read a bit, and that's it for this chick...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Yarn Harlot in Austin!

Yesterday I met up with 7 other knitster friends (Janna, Kim 1, Mary, Enid, Susan, Kim 2 and Claudine) at St@rbucks and we headed up to Austin to see the great Yarn Harlot. We wanted to get there early so we'd have a good seat..and we the second row at the Baptist church the event was held. Stephanie's talk/speech was as funny and entertaining as her writing. I really enjoyed hearing how she got started writing her books and can totally relate to the stories of herself and the non-knitters she encounters in her day-to-day life.

While we were waiting to have her sign our books(Sister I got one signed for you!) we visited Hill Country Weavers who sponsored the event. For as many people as there were and as hot as it was, I was so impressed with how orderly and smooth everything went. Only in Texas would a classy yarn shop have water and beer along with brownies and pralines free for the taking as we waiting for our turn to go to the book signing line(we all had tickets and they would let us know when our "group" of numbers was ready). Talk about catering to your customers! Yarn and/or books/patterns were bought by all. My yarn "score" will be shown tomorrow.

Finally it was our time to "line up" and the book signing line went fast! I felt like such a dork saying "My name is Amy and I knit fish!" Stephanie was so friendly we all felt like we were her first 25 people she saw instead of #150-175. After we all got our books signed we walked on over to Guero's and met up with around 25 other Texas knitters/bloggers. 2 Texas Bloody Mary's later I was having a great ole time!!

We finished lunch and walked back to Hill Country Weavers for another "walk through" and I believe we all added to our earlier purchases. I know I won't see those colors or quality of yarn until my next visit to Hill Country Weavers so I had to take advantage of this great shopping opportunity.

We shuffled back to the cars and made our way back down to S.A. I know I was exhausted when I got home but would make the trip again in a heartbeat!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Coffee and Internet

I wasn't sure where to start with the Minnesota trip and rather than post one long mind numbing travel entry; I'd do a little bit every day. So today I guess I will talk about Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co. We arrived in Ely around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday (after a 20 something hour drive between Wed. and Thursday). Friday morning I was up and ready to check out the new shops in town. I wondered how I was going to deal with not being able to check my knitting email and read the other blogs. I drove by and saw this place and was excited to check it out. Ely does have a few other coffee places but nothing like this, besides, the name was so inviting to me. I walked in and it was even better than St@rbucks! The atmosphere was so neat! You could tell it mainly catered to "city folk" getting their last coffee/internet fix before taking off for the woods. They had great pastries, a neat selection of hot/cold drinks and seemed to have an "organic" subtle theme going on. I was only able to go twice but each time the people were friendly, lots of conversation, and great coffee and food. My only regret is that I didn't get to try their chocolate turtle coffee drink. My sister said there's also a fireplace that just begs to be knit by when a fire is going. I seemed to miss the fireplace both times although there was always a group of people visiting in the corner where the fireplace was suppose to be. I ended up buying a coffee mug (the last one they had on the shelf!) as a reminder and everytime I drink from it will bring happy memories of the cool weather and fresh air of northern MN. I hope this place is still there the next time I visit.

I didn't get nearly as many fish knit that I thought I would. I found out I'm not much of a "car knitter." When I wasn't driving (DH tended to frown upon me trying to knit and drive at the same time :-)) the scenery was interesting enough I wanted to soak it all in. I didn't even attempt to knit on the way up, I did knit a little bit while we were there and was able to finish 3 fish and that was it. I did pull out the knitting on the trip back to Texas but found the quality of the roads also was a factor. It was hard to knit when you kept bumping along. The Kansas turnpike made for great knitting though-it was like driving on buttah. I am easing back into my knitting now that I'm back but laundry and so many other things need to get done before school starts my knitting time has started to dwindle.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

We're back!

DH and I are back from our fast and furious trip to MN! I will post pics and recap the trip later. Until's a meme..Thanks Janna!

5 Things always in my purse:
cell phone
St@rbucks receipts
loose change

5 Things always in my wallet:
Driver's license
ATM card
St@rbucks receipts (they get stuffed everywhere!)
cash..often all crumpled up much to the annoyance of my husband who thinks it's easier to lose it that way
frequent buyer cards (Great Harvest bread, etc)

5 Things always in my refrigerator:
Diet soda
Bottled water
Sandwich meat
Something green and moldy

5 Things always in my closet:
bags from clothes stores
goody bag (bag where I keep things I pick up along the way for family members)

5 Things always in my car:
St@rbucks receipts (I swear they breed and multiply)
empty St@rbucks cup
cell phone charger for the car
dried blades of grass (from walking on our poor dried out front lawn)
dried out french fry

5 Things always on my desk:
current knitting project
notebook for the many lists I make (shopping, to do, etc)

If you are reading this...Then you are officially tagged!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Front Porch Coffee & Tea

I am back again at Front Porch Coffee & Tea enjoying some coffee, quiche and high speed internet! My parent have "dial up" at the cabin but it takes too long to to download emails and such-so here I am!! The weather is gorgeous: highs in the upper 70's low 80's; lows in the 50's and 60's...I do feel like a "city gal" amongst all the canoes, campers, and crunchy granola types. Which is really strange since I pretty much grew up in the area. Ely is pretty much the last town before the wilderness between MN and Canada. It's where everyone comes to go camping, canoe trips, and other outdoorzey type of activities. My parents grew up here and have had a cabin up here since before I was born. I remember lots of summers spent up here at the lake. DH and I are staying at a hotel "in town" and spend our days at the cabin (an indication how truly city folk we really are).

On the needles: The fish are back!!! My mom (who the blanket is for) and sister were impressed with my fish makin' ability although mom commented on how the fish looked much bigger in the pictures on my blog :-)I'm still debating on what I want to purchase at the LYS. It's going to be a case of me purchasing yarn without a project in mind-go figure! Better go before my computer time runs out!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Greetings from Minnesota

Hi everyone! DH and I made it safe and sound to Northern Minnesota! I'm at an "Internet Cafe" and drinking an Italian Cream cool is that?? I went to the local yarn shop and was amazed at the different yarns (so different from the experience in SA)! I decided to check out the knitting mags and books I brought with me to really plan my purchase well. I fell in love with some kettle dyed yarns in the most amazing colors. So much of the yarn is wooly and bulky to meet the needs of the long MN winters so I'm trying to find something to meet my needs in SA. I'll post pics of my trip when we get back.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Scenes from a SnB

Here are some pictures from last night's SnB. Several friends and family members have often wondered what my new found knitting group is like. I also want to let anyone who hasn't come but wants to, know that we really are a bunch of fun, friendly and talkative "knitsters"!! Please join us-the more the merrier!

On the needles: I finished knitting the small Mason-Dixon felted box and am 3/4 the way through the medium one. I still want to do the large one and plan on seaming up the sides and felting all three at the same time. The fish will go back on the needles in the next day or two.

Last night I finished reading Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter. I have mixed feelings about it. I didn't think it was a good as At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much but did get enough enjoyment out of it to justify the time reading/cost. In one sense it was good to read about Stephanie's trials and tribulations with her knitted projects, it made a beginner like me feel better about things being difficult at first and how EVERY knitter makes mistakes, even the experienced ones. I found myself wishing there were photos of the projects she described. It just wasn't a book I felt like I would want to read again and again like I did with the Meditations book (I can read that one over and over). I also have Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks yet to read before her visit to Austin in the 29th. I'm bringing it with me on the long roadtrip ahead on me and just from paging through it I think I will like it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Well, I finished all the Warming Grace blocks that I could get done. They are now drying and will hopefully be dry in time to bring them to SnB this evening. Last night around 8 p.m. I contemplated trying to squeeze in knitting another one but decided not to since I was already getting tired and me being tired and trying to knit doesn't usually turn out well. I've taken a fish hiatus for a few days. I wanted to do the WG blocks, nesting boxes and get started on a warshrag. I'm leaving for a long road trip (24 hours each way) in a few days so I know lots of fish will be done then.

While at W@lm@rt today I spotted Peaches n Cream yarn but wasn't crazy about the color selection. I think I'll stick to H0bby L0bby and their Sugar n Cream selection.

I did score some killer coupons from the local grocery store today : $15.00 in free gas and 2 free Silver St@rs BB tickets. I usually get coupons for things I'd never buy-but these were halfway decent. I'll give away the Silver Stars tickets (value $19.35 each) to anyone who wants them. I'll bring the coupon to SNB tonight.

Not much else going on. Pretty boring-I know.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Purlypants Peeve #1

Purlypants Peeve #1: Clueless fastfood workers (C.F.W. for short).

Me(after waiting behind 4 cars): I'll have a Sausage Mcmuffin with egg, sandwich only

C.F.W.: Ummm ok...You want a Sausage Mcmuffin but no cheese, right?

Me: No...I want the cheese on the sausage mcmuffin but the sandwich only

C.F.W: So that's 1 sausage mcmuffin without cheese

ME: (a little louder) I WANT THE CHEESE...on a Sausage Mcmuffin but I don't want the hashbrowns or coffee, just the sandwich...SIGH....

C.F.W.: you want cheese on your Sausage mcmuffin, do you want the meal?

ME: No!!! Just the sandwich...


Guess what I was in my bag when I got it??? A FREAKIN Sausage biscuit!!!!! Grrrrrrrr...So I had to turn around and drive back to the fast food place and get my sausage mcmuffin with egg...and the cheese.

I wish I was making this up..but I'm not.....

Childlike knitting

As I completed my third square for Warming Grace, I still wasn't happy with the quality of the work. 100% cotton shows off every deviation in thread tension. When I look at the first square I did, it was like a map of that evening, I could tell when I got tired or when I wasn't paying attention because the stitches were loose, I could also tell when my DH had said/done something to annoy me and the stitches are too tight. It reminded me of a "Friends" episode when Monica and Chandler are trying to adopt and their friend Joey (who is somewhat simple minded) wrote a letter of recommendation/support for the adoption agency. When Monica and Chandler found out they were going to be able to adopt, the agency person commented on how touched they were by "Little Joey's" letter, thinking he was 8 years old (instead of 30 something). I feel like the person sewing all these blocks is going to think the same thing, "Ohhh look! A youngster knit these! How precious!" or posted on the website will have the caption : Knitted Blocks By Children and there will be my blocks, not knitted by a child, but by a 30 something year old...sigh... With each square/block I knit it does look better. I'm not sure how many will make the cut and how many will end up as dishrags.

I also discovered what I called, the "Knitter's Rubik's Cube." That's when your yarn becomes one big mass of spaghetti noodles and you end up spending hours trying to untangle it....good times....As I was untangling the blob, it reminded me of the patience and thinking that also goes into solving the Rubik's Cube and viola-it came to me....the Knitter's Rubik's cube. Maybe it's something I could market :-) Put a huge wad of tangled yarn in a ziplock bag...Hours of enjoyment!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A Tale of Two Mornings

Monday Morning: Wake up around 3:00 a.m.; toss and turn; watch TV; toss and turn. Do this until 5:15 a.m. and wonder if I should just get up and go workout or knit or do laundry..something...Decided to try to make myself fall back to sleep. I finally fall asleep and wake up 8:30 ish and feel crummy, tired, worn out all day.

Wednesday Morning: Wake up around 4:15 a.m. do same routine as above but at 5:15 a.m. decided to get my booty to the gym and workout. So at 5:45 a.m. when MOST people on vacation would be catching their zzzz's I was pedaling a bike(I have a blister the size of Rhode Island on my foot so treadmill is out for awhile) listening to my IPOD. I have to say it was nice to be up to see the sun come up and experience the "cool" weather (nearly 80 degrees at 6 a.m.). I then came home, messed around online, threw in a load of wash, finished my fish for the day, and got addicted to Season 2 Project Runw@y Marathon (thanks Kim!) So I guess I would have to say should this happen again, I'm better off just getting up and working out or doing something than trying to go back to sleep. I did end up taking a nap this afternoon though.

Today's knitting: Completed 1 more fish (I have the pattern memorized now!); working on my Warming Grace block; have one more side to do on the felted nesting box.

Future projects: I saw a really cute pattern for a stuffed hedgehog ( you can go here and look up the "Huggable Hedgehog" pattern in the "What's New" section) in the latest Knitter's magazine I bought at B@rnes and Noble while at SNB last night and knew I had to make it! The LYS is listed as a retailer for the yarn and pattern so hopefully tomorrow I will get the needed supplies.

Monday, July 10, 2006


The needles were flying today!!! I decided to join some of my SNB buddies and contribute to the Warming Grace project. Of course that meant another trip to buy yarn! Thankfully I was able to find the yarn I needed at H0bby L0bby-and it was cheap!!
Once I finished my fish for the day, I was able to knit the next side on my felted box and start my swatch for the Warming Grace block. I am in love with the colors of cotton yarn I bought today. I also bought some of the same yarn to make into washcloths, but those will have to wait until I'm done with the Warming Grace squares. I'm planning on learning how to pick up stitches tomorrow at SNB on my box, finish up the box I'm currently working on, and then just focus on my fish and blanket squares for the next few days.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Back on Blossom Street

Anyone who is a Debbie Macomber fan will recognize the street name of "Blossom Street." That is where two of my favorite Debbie Macomber knitting books (A Good Yarn and The Shop on Blossom Street) is set. In fact, those two books inspired me to finally learn how to knit last Fall. After reading them, I couldn't help but want to experience the same love of yarn, knit shops, and a knitting group. Fans of those two books will be thrilled to know Ms. Macomber has just finished writing the 3rd book in the series, "Back On Blossom Street." I don't know when it will be published but can hardly wait to read of the latest adventures on Blossom Street. Her most recent book, Susannah's Garden, briefly mentions Blossom street at the very end which had given me hope another book was forthcoming. I have also read and loved the Cedar Cove series and Midnight Sons series. She is one of my favorite authors!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Fish free and Knitting Boxes

As stated in yesterday's post, I aim to knit 1 fish a day but don't want to be stuck only knitting fish so I'm starting a few "side" projects. This will give me the incentive to quickly knit up my fish for the day(which some days really is a challenge) so I can tackle other knitting projects when I need the change. Last night with the help of a late night showing of "B@by Boom" on TV I was able to knit a second fish which gave me today free of knitting fish. I plan on putting some time knitting my first of three felted nesting boxes from Mason*Dixon Knitting which I had started earlier in the week. I am knitting these with yarn I purchased with a birthday gift card given to me from some friends to the LYS . I wanted to use the yarn to make something more lasting/useful than just a scarf. This way I will see the felted boxes on my shelf and think of them...ahhhhhhh.....If these turn out well, I may consider making them as gift boxes come holiday/birthday time.
I also plan on catching up on some recorded shows-DVR's are a WONDERFUL thing; reading the latest Janet Evanovich book, read some blogs and possibly trying to figure out how to configure things on my blog.
That's it...Have a great Saturday!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Knittylocks and the 3 Fish

Knitty McPurlypants Fairytale Theater is proud to present:

Knittylocks and the 3 Fish (loosely based on the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears)

Once upon a time Knittylocks was surfing the net and reading blogs when she saw a picture of a knitted fish blanket. She knew right then and there she had found her Summer/Fall knitting project. Her parents are "Winter Texans" and the fish blanket would be perfect for their condo in S. Padre. After further research she found out the pattern was from a Summer 1998 Knitter's magazine which could only be found on EBAY. So, onto EBAY Knittylocks went and bid/won the desired issue.
After reading the pattern, Knittylocks, being the beginning knitter she was, thought it just might be a little too "advanced" for her mad knittin' skillz. The thought was further supported when she couldn't get past "casting-on"---it was a different cast-on(crochet cast on) than she had learned and try as she might, she could not figure it out. Also, Knittylocks had read several comments on how hard the "magazine fish" was to block. Luckily Knittylocks found a modified and much easier "fish" pattern on the internet and was set to go. The first fish she knit was toooo small. The second fish she knit was toooooo big. The third fish she knit was jussssst riiiiiight (different yarn/needle size). AND it was the 3rd damn fish she had knit and she wanted to get on with the project. Knittylocks has been continuing to knit her fish (one a day) and is up to 23-only 137 more!!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Chopping and Mixing

Today is a day of recipes. I felt like "putzing" around the kitchen in between knitting. The first thing I made was an appetizer dip you can get from a local restaurant. The recipe was published in the newspaper several months ago. It is so yummy and great to have on hand with some Ritz crackers. Here's the recipe:

@pple @nnie's Appetizer Dip

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/3 cup scallions (green part only), finely chopped
1/3 cup green bell peppers, finely chopped
1 cup crushed pineapple in syrup, drained well
1 cup pecans, chopped fine in food processor
1 tablespoon seasoned salt

Add cream cheese, scallions, peppers, pinapple, pecans and seasoned salt to bowl of mixer. Mix well to a smooth consistency. Serve with your favorite crackers. Store dip in refrigerator.

Makes about 4 cups.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Yarn Sale!

Magic words to a knitter's ears-YARN SALE!!! I heard/read the other day of a local fabric store closing and everything was 50% or higher off! So that was my mission for the check out this so called sale and see what was left. When I pulled into the parking lot I was surprised at the number of cars there and disappointed since I obviously wasn't the only one who knew about this. I walked in and there were sale signs everywhere and I could feel my heart starting to beat fast at the thought of all the yarn I would find...except I didn't see yarn right away. There was lots and lots of fabric and lamps and other sewing notions, but I still hadn't found the yarn. Not wanting the trip to be a total waste I looked at buying some bamboo knitting needles at half price figuring I would use them someday..then I spotted the magazines and books and picked out a couple knowing the yarn must be close...I could feel it in my bones...Then I turned and looked and found the yarn display and must say was a bit disappointed. There really wasn't much left unless you were into the novelty yarns and it wasn't what I was looking for at this time-not even for my stash. I was almost ready to give up when I spied some "charcoal" cashmere yarn and I immediately pictured a scarf for my hubby (to wear during the two weeks a year it is actually cold enough) or any other male in my family (who live in Minnesota). I just knew I had to have it-I grabbed what was left along with a few other skeins of wooly, dark colored yarn and some yarn for my fish blanket. I ended up putting back the needles and still spent nearly $50.00 (and that was with a 60% discount)! I'd have to say it was worth the trip across town for that! Then I went to the nearby Mich@el's and pretty much spent what my discount was so I guess it all evened out in the end! Now that I have added 24 skeins/balls of yarn to my stash I figure I have enough yarn to last for quite awhile and need to start looking for a place to store it.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Jumping In

After reading literally hundreds of blog entries over the past few months I decided to jump in and create my own. soooooo...Here I go!