Sunday, August 27, 2006

Knee Slappin' Swatch Makin' Saturday

Most of Saturday was spent with my fellow SnBer's at Melanie's house helping knit up some swatches for the October opening of her S.A. yarn store, Yarnivore. I met up with Kim at Border's and we were chitchatting so much on the ride over we missed our turn! We finally arrived at Melanie's shortly after 1 p.m. to see Janna, Susan, Mary, Eileen, Enid, and blogless Debra knitting up some swatches surrounded by good food, good conversation and GREAT yarn!!! Blogless Claudine arrived shortly after we did and joined in the fun. Melanie's instructions were to find some yarn from the McDreamy Yarn Box and knit a swatch. She also mentioned that we could knit up project samples including socks, hats, etc. I momentarily panicked when I realized Melanie didn't know my current knitting repetoire only consists of squares (warshrags), rectangles (scarves and boxes), and fish! After confessing my lack of circular skills(Melanie assured me I would do just fine), I started on a rectangle (scarf) and was off and running. The first shift of knitters departed I think around 4ish, Kim and I stayed and knit with the second shift of knitters and finally left a little after 6:00.

Here's Janna, Eileen, and Kim.

Mary and Melanie were having too much fun with the Sari yarn!

Enid's basking either in the glow of her pregnancy or the yummy yarn!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

It's not just for cow teats!

I've decided to make this a "Knitty McHelpfulpants" type of entry.

Tip #1: Bag Balm At one SnB this past summer, somehow the conversation went to Bag Balm and how good it was for cracked heels. Being that it had been awhile since my last pedicure I was very interested and got the low down on where to find it. I was so excited when I found it at W@lgreen's and thought the tin was so bright and colorful. Surely something that comes in such a neat little tin must have a fresh summer scent. UHHHHH not so much! I nearly fell over from the smell. It's so hard to describe, but take my word for it and don't stick your whole snout in thinking it smells like something from B@th & B0dy W0rks. Even DH came in from down the hall asking, "What's that smell??!!" As bad as it smells, it is wonderful for dry cracked feet! I lathered it on my feet, put on some socks and by morning my feet looked and felt like a babies bottom! So kudos for Bag Balm!!

Tip #2: Angie's List DH and I have been home owners for over a year and have needed various services done to the house. This is a great resource! Info from their site: Angie's List collects reports with grades ranging from A-F (like a school report card) in more than 250 categories that pertain to home, yard, auto and personal services, such as roofers, electricians, barbers and hairstylists, computer repair companies, plumbers, landscapers and auto mechanics. These reports are consolidated into a database, which is then shared with our members. Right now you can get a one year membership for free and then after that it's only $5.95 a month.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Saturday Sky and More!

Here's my Saturday Sky Photo for today. A few more clouds than what we normally see, but not enough for rain.

Today I was able to FINELY complete my first Mason*Dixon warshcloth and knit another fish. I'm up to 40 fish-only 120 more!! I try to change the colors of the fish after knitting each set of 10 which helps with the monotony. Speaking of fish- check out these fish mittens! Not my style or practical for San Antonio, but still neat to look at! I also like this knitting bag and may get the pattern one of these days. I guess I'm into funky fish these days.

I also bought this pattern for R@gamittens which I think I will find a use for during our 2 weeks of winter.

I am discovering a love for podcasts, I've listened to Tim's podcast for Project Runw@y and the Pixie Purls podcast. Let me know of any others worth checking out!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What Famous Work of Art Are You?

You Are Best Described By...

San Giorgio Maggiore, Twilight
By Claude Monet

Monday, August 14, 2006

I Survived!

Well, I survived my first day of teaching middle school. After 16 years at the elementary level it was quite a change, but I loved it! I discovered that the students either smelled like B.O. or poured the cologne/perfume bottle over themselves. My morning students (I have 4 morning sections) were active but my 4 afternoon sections were super well behaved and quiet. Guess they were tired too! I can hardly wait to see what tomorrow will bring. I always consider it a good day when we're not on the 5:00 news :-)

I went to SnB last night and really had a good time. It was the perfect thing to calm my "night before the 1st day of school" jitters, yes teachers get them too! I just wished I could have stayed longer to enjoy everyone's company. It was great to see some new people to the group and group members I just hadn't met before. I also wanted to send a BIG thank you to Susan for giving me her Knitter's Companion book(she now has the updated version) and who I also bought some stitch markers from, and to Kim for the lovely pair of stitch markers.

On the needles: I'm going to try try try to finish the warshrag tonight if I can stay awake long enough; I still haven't decided about my 1/2 done fish so I just moved it to a different set of needles so I can start a new fish. I haven't added to my M/D nesting box since last Sunday but I'm not too concerned since I just wanted to get it done by Labor Day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Some Progress

As you can tell from the picture (with needles crossed for Kim who is hoping her house will sell); not much progress has been made on my Sunday "Cast-ons." I did finish 1 1/2 fish but you may notice I ran out of yarn for the second fish and am now debating if I want to finish the fish in a different color or keep it the same color even if the yarn is from a different lot. Any opinions? I also made a boo boo on the warshrag but figured it was just for me and wasn't worth the frogging to re-do it. I'm thinking for the next warshrag I will either put it on longer needles or circular needles since it's creeping off the needles I have it on now. I haven't had as much knitting time this week as I normally do with work starting back up for the school year. I'm hoping things will settle down in a week or two.

Next is something I got from Janna. I think it is pretty accurate for me.

Your Life Path Number is 7

Your purpose in life is to find truth and meaning

You are very spiritual, and you are interested in the mysteries of life.
You are quite analytical and a great thinker. You have many theories and insights.
A life of solitude is perfect for you. You need time to think and do things your way.

In love, you are quite charming. You attract many with your confidence and wit.

While you enjoy being alone, sometimes you take it to an extreme.
You can become too isolated, shutting out loved ones and friends.
Express yourself a little bit more, and you'll be surprised where it takes you!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Casting On

Today was a day of casting on! I casted on 3 projects and added to a 4th which had been a U.F.O. I'd thought about sending to "yarn heaven" but decided to see if it was worth keeping around.

I cast on my fish for the day (of course), then I started my first MD warshcloth, and then my 3rd and last MD nesting box (for now). I am loving the the warshcloth best at this point (shhh!! Don't tell the other projects-especially the fish, they're sensitive these days and are feeling neglected). My goal for the nesting boxes is to have them finished and seamed by Labor Day weekend which is when I'd like to make my first attempt at felting. The 4th project wasn't an official cast on but I wanted to see if it was worth salvaging. I like the color of the yarn, but it is a bee-otch to work with and am constantly adding stitches. It had been so long since I worked on it I don't even remember how many stitches each row is suppose to have. Right now there are 21 per row. I'll give it sometime before decided its final fate.

I also felt like cooking up a storm and made a batch of blueberry muffins and 2 loaves of blueberry/banana bread. The bread got put in the freezer for future use and plan on feeding off the muffins for the next week or so.

At 3:00 I looked at the clock and thought it was time to get ready for SnB but all of a sudden everything I did today hit me and I was just too pooped to go but at least stayed home and enjoyed the little rain we got. I'll be there next week though!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Can you find the gecko?

While walking by one of my hanging plants this morning, a movement caught my eye and upon closer inspection found this little creature....can you find him?

Thanks to Janna, I've decided to include a Saturday Sky photo. This one was taken mid morning with hope the clouds would signal rain ahead but sometimes I feel like it will never rain again.

Janna also challenged us to bring out our Un-Finished Objects to show and I know I have a few but decided to consider them R.I.P.'s rather than U.F.O.'s. I'll have a proper burial for them in the next fews days and post about it. These were objects started last winter when I was just beginning to knit and thought I was a better knitter than I actually was. I just cringe when I look at the sloppy stitches and ugly yarn-what was I thinking?!

I am not knitting today and decided to drink wine instead as I head into my last official day of summer vacation before going back to work on Monday to begin another school year.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

When a Foodie goes to an Outlet mall

Yes, in addition to being a "knitter"-small k; I am also a "foodie." B.K.(before knitting) I had been known to pour over recipe books and magazines finding new recipes to try (my DH learned to fear these episodes). Now, my "new recipe" meals have decreased(interferes with knitting time) but I still love checking out the gourmet food stores at the outlet mall. So here's my foodie stash from today's shopping trip:

At Le Gourmet Chef I bought 2 jars of "ina's favorite bbq sauce" (FoodTV's Barefoot Contessa), 3 jars of Rothschild's Farm Dirty Martini Dip, 2 pkgs of chocolate cookie cones, and 2 little whisky things. The bbq sauce was not cheap-nearly $7.00 for a 10 oz bottle, but I had to check it out being the Ina Garten fan I am. The Dirty Martini Dip was something I sampled during my last visit to the store and loved. My mom and I even tried to recreate the dip but it just didn't compare so I broke down and bought some-it's yummy!! The cones were for DH who had been asking for cones made of oreos and that's what these pretty much are...These were 1/2 price and worth it!!! The little whisky thing was I bought 2.

At the Le Creuset store I had decided not to add to my pot/pan collection and instead got a food chopper(my P@mpered Chef one is missing a piece) and silicone brush thingy that I had been wanting.

My foodie stash was complete with 2 cookbooks purchased at the Borders Outlet store that I absoultely did not need about appetizers and finger foods.

While in MN I was introduced to Mavis's Salad Dressing (Mavis is a good friend of my mom's). It was served with our salad at every a sippy cup. Mom says she loves this dressing because "you can pronounce all the ingredients"and probably already have everything in your cupboard. The sippy cup makes for easy mixing and serving-plus a good conversation piece at the table. I LOVED it and made it for our dinner with SIL last night and she loved it too...It's a sweet/sour type dressing and the sugar could easily be reduced or replaced with Spenda.

Mavis' Salad Dressing

1 tsp salt
1 tsp tobasco
dash pepper
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 c. oil

Mix all ingredients in a sippy cup (or other container of choice) and serve.

I also decided to include a picture of my new favorite wine. It was sweet and went down smooth..and fast...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Yarn Yarn Yarn!

My "stash" was increased in the span of a week from the following purchases: The top picture is the LYS in Ely, MN where I was visiting family and bought 2 hanks of Malabrigo in "sunset" and 2 hanks of Malabrigo in "garnet." I also purchased a "Cables and Vine" scarf pattern and an Entrelac scarf pattern(good practice for Lady Eleanor). The neat thing about the Ely LYS is that it definitely had a "small town" feel to it-in a good way. It was a place where you wanted to curl up in a chair and start knitting. It is packed front to back and top to bottom with yarn, books, needles, and buttons. I even overheard a customer saying, "Last winter when I was here dog sledding I picked up the neatest buttons."-Not something I'd hear in S.A. that's for sure!!

The third pic is my Sugar 'n Cream yarn I bought from Michael's for a dollar a piece at their yarn sale. Plenty of M/D warshrags are sure to come from those!

Finally, the "Pièce de résistance," while at Hill Country Weavers this past Saturday I purchased the Prism yarn I had been oogling over for weeks. I didn't even realize they carried it and was thrilled when Kim pointed it out to me. It was so difficult trying to decide which color and kind ("Wild", "Cool" or "Neat") to get. I was so thankful I could hold it in my hot little hands and get a feel for it rather than having to order it online without really knowing what it is like in person. I ended up getting 450 yards of Prism's "Neat Stuff" in their "Storm" shade which is comprised of blacks, browns, purples and blues-good winter colors! The fiber content is listed as: rayon, cotton, nylon, kid mohair, wool, alpaca, poly (everything but the kitchen sink!) I'm afraid to even knit with it given it's price and keep it in a protective covering and fondle it now and then-I'm sure I'll get over that at some point :-) I also purchased some Berroco ribbon yarn and the Huggable Hedgehogs pattern.