Thursday, March 29, 2007


Jumping on the latest meme bandwagon (with a twist) I asked Susan to interview me. I was thrilled with how her questions hit so many aspects of who I am. I hope I can be half as thoughtful with my answers. Thanks Susan!!!

1. Why did you become a teacher?
I came from a family of educators(father, sister, cousins, uncle) so I feel like it was in my blood! I also really like learning and feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment when I feel like I've made an impact on a student's life. I think this love of learning is one of the reasons that I love taking the classes through community ed, etc that I do and why I've continued to challenge myself by teaching different grades. I've taught/worked with students ranging in grades from 1-8th over the course of the last 17 years.

2. What's your most challenging knitting project? far... I'm working on my first pair. Most of my projects I've only had to learn to do one, maybe two new kinds of stitches but with sock knitting I'm doing something new all the time. Talk about a learning curve!!

3. Who's your favorite cookbook author and why?
It's really hard to say. I have more of P@ula Deen's cookbooks than any other one person but wouldn't consider her my "favorite." I tend to like cookbooks with great pictures and realistic recipes. Not ones with 120 ingredients per recipe.

Most Used Cookbook: North Country Cabin Cooking. I've used this cookbook so much over the past 18 years or so I've had to replace it! The recipes remind me of home and "cabin-life." It has some really good muffin recipes in it.

Most Cherished: My Mom's and Grandmother's recipe boxes-with handwritten recipes

Most Recently Purchased/Used: Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

( Buttermilk Baked Chicken , Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, and Bacon-wrapped Asparagus )

4. Do you like reality tv? If so, what's your favorite show? If not,
why not? I do like some reality TV (Big Brother, MTV's True Life, Project Runway) but am not a reality tv junkie by any means. Some shows I'll watch for one or two seasons and then have no desire to watch them again (Survivor, Amazing Race, etc). My current guilty pleasure reality TV is the show about the D@llas Cowboy Cheerle@ders on CMT. Its just wrong on so many levels, but I just can't help but tune in when I see that its on.

5. What makes you feel beautiful?
The love of my DH....or a good pedicure!!!

If you'd like me to interview you, let me know in my comments and I'll send you 5 questions and you can post your answers on your blog.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Don't Ask Don't Tell

My DH and I have a policy we jokingly refer to when it comes to the financial aspect our hobbies-Don't Ask Don't Tell. I don't ask about how much he spends buying things like this on Eb@y :

He still has another car "on the way" but insists he's bought all he wants. These represent all the cars he would like to own someday. He didn't care if they were used or not. Cars are just the latest fad for him, he's gone through interests in watches, clothing, and various infomercial products.

In return for my not asking about the pricing details of his "toys" he doesn't ask me about the cost of my goodies:

This basket is the result of some recent online shopping done at Eb@y (Berroco yarn), Yarn Market ( GOA yarn), and Loopy Ewe ( Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, Soak , and some DPNs). I was very impressed with the service of Loopy Ewe. I placed the order over a weekend and it arrived 3 days later with some extra little goodies and a personal note. I would definitely buy from them again!

Here's what's on the needles these days:

I'm continuing to work on fish here and there even though I've met my quota for the month. I also started a warshcloth yesterday with the Ecoknit yarn I bought this past weekend. I'm really digging the "natural colors" of the yarn. It's a nice change from the "brightness" of the Sugar 'n Cream yarn.

Sock update:

Ugh....It's embarrasing how slow I am at this, but am bound and determined to figure it out. Besides, it's not like I'm trying to meet a sock knitting deadline. I tend to not get too much done during the week since by the time I pull it out in the evening I'm tired and don't have much patience. I worked through the cuff and heel flap ok, but when it came to turning the heel, it took me at least 4 times to do it until I got what I think is the correct way. At least it doesn't phase me to have to rip back and pick up stitches anymore. Don't tell me if you see something wrong...let me live in the bliss of thinking I finally got it right for the time being.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Hill Country for 100

R@chael Ray has her $40 a D@y show, and if I had a show today, its title would have been "Hill Country for $100."

My friend Diane and I started the day at the Country Peddler Show at the Gillespie Fairgrounds. Spent about an hour there buying some goodies and then decided to head into Fredericksburg, Texas to scope out the shops.

I was able to check out their yarn shop, Stonehill Spinning, Ltd .

It was a neat store and had a comfy, cozy small town feel to it. I fell in love with the Manos del Uruguay's Wool yarn but ended up buying some Regia and some DPNs. The best part of the visit was that the sales clerk gave me my space to browse and look around without "hovering."

I also scored a good deal on some yarn at a store called "Things in a Room." It's a store with an ecclectic mix of merchandise, including 50% wasn't the best selection (most of it was Knit Picks yarn which I kind of found odd to see there) but I did buy some Ecoknit cotton yarn for $2.50 a skein.

Here are my yarn/needle purchases for today:

Sophie wanted to make sure there wasn't anything in there for her.

I loved walking the streets, before it gets ungodly hot, checking out the different shops and taking in the sites and smell of the Texas Mountain Laurel. The grape kool-aid like scent was heavenly.

We enjoyed a nice lunch at Wheeler's Restaurant and couldn't leave without getting some smoked meat to take home from Opa's . So there it is, my day in the Hill Country for $100. It's amazing how fast the money went!!

Funny story: All day I kept looking for this store called Knitter's Cottage I found online when I had quickly Googled: Fredericksburg + yarn shops. No one seemed to have heard of it when I asked at the different shops. When I came home and looked it up again, I found out it was actually located in Frederickburg, VA! I'm such a dork!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Foxy Boxes

Thank you for all the supportive comments about my fish blanket!!!

I FINALLY finished and felted my Mason*Dixon boxes.

Here's the before felting photo:

After felting :

I feel kind of "eh" about the final result. I'm glad they are finally finished (they'd been sitting around waiting to be seamed and felted for months). They will definitely be used and I guess I'd try it again. Maybe not 3 at a time though.

Project Notes:
1. I followed the directions in the book to a "T" including using the same yarn suggested (Lamb's Pride Bulky). I even crocheted the seams although later read many people just stitched them up.

2. These boxes took FOREVER to felt (I may try to re-felt them). Fellow SnB'er Wendy graciously offered up her top loading washer and expertise since I had never felted before and have a front loading washer. This was the result after nearly 3 hours of trying to felt. The yellow was being a stubborn monkey and didn't want to felt. One suggestion online was to pour boiling water into the boxes to help speed things along-I probably would try that next time. My being a "tight" knitter more than likely didn't help things either.

In other news:

Tis the season for my favorite candies: jelly beans and C@dbury mini-eggs (I even found some dark chocolate ones).

Check out my latest idea for yarn storage:
Yarn Jars!

I bought the jars at a store whose name is similar to "Malfart" and "balled" up some left over yarn I had (wool in one jar, cotton in the other).

OH! Great news!! Here's a sneak peek at my first sock!!! More news on sock knitting coming soon!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I didn't do much knitting over Spring Break. But I did get my 10 fish done for March!

(Note to new readers: I am knitting 10 fish a month til May (after having been on a fish knitting hiatus), I'm planning on knitting a fish a day in May, and will finish the blanket in the summer).

Which brings me to a total of 80 fish knit!!!


I decided to see how they looked laid out to get an idea of how big the blanket was going to be. I've had in my head to knit 160 fish for 10 months now and I don't think I can bear to have to knit more than that.

So..without further ado....

Here are my 80 fish:

The photos aren't the best. I had placed a blanket out on my deck to use as a background and was trying to get the fish laid out and the photo taken before the birds chirping in the trees decided to poo on my fish. You can click on the photos to enlarge and see the fish in more detail.

Fish Info:
1. I had a "I MUST Knit This" moment when I saw this blanket (scroll down) last May. I am using a different pattern (after some trial and lots of errors with the original pattern).
2. Each fish takes me about an hour to knit. I'm a knitting tortoise..I know. Slow and steady wins the race...yea right...
3. The "Halfway Blanket" ended up being 25" X 60"-if I double it, it will be a nice sized lap/snuggle blanket.
4. The blanket is making a come back! Knitter's Review recently had a 4 page folder dedicated to this blanket in their "Current Projects" section.
5. Although I do have the original Summer 1998 Knitter's magazine (thanks to EBAY) where the pattern was first published. It can also be found in this recently published book.
6. Knitting universe has a color palette (click on Festive Fish) to help you with placement of colors in your blanket.
7. Check out this Intarsia fish wall hanging.
8. Because I'm usually a day late and a dollar short, of course people are now creating patterns where they are knitting the fish already connected. That would require some planning in order for me to do that and this has become a "fly by the seat of my pants" type of project for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mellow Yellow

Have you ever noticed a color standing out in your life? Lately, mine's been yellow. It's not even my favorite color although I do like it. When I see yellow I think cheery, fun, energy! I've just been noticing it alot lately. it study in yellow....

The yellow flowers just starting to blooming near my front door.

The yellows in my yarn stash.
(Taken in my egg yolk-colored kitchen)

Yellow knitting/seaming done in the past day or so.

"Two-Minute" Yellow
(All the yellow things I could find in 2 minutes).

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”
Jack Kerouac

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Day in my Life

I saw Elisa's blog entry by way of Chris awhile back and had really wanted to get my post in for the contest but just didn't make it in time. So today I decided I'd write about my day..a fairly typical day....

5:20 a.m. Alarm goes off.

5:30 a.m. Decide to get up rather than hit snooze a few more times. Usual morning routine: Shower, iron clothes for the day, pack school bag, get the paper, pack lunch, check email real quick.

6:30 a.m. Leave for work.

6:40 a.m. This is what the I35 southbound traffic looks like @ 6:40 a.m. Sorry my windows are so dirty. The frightening thing was that I was driving, talking on my cell phone and taking a picture at the same time. Be glad you were not in the lane next to me.

6:50 a.m. Stop at my favorite breakfast taco place to get a taco. Today it was free!! I guess things were backed up on the cash register and when I drove up to pay (I'm a regular) the cashier told me to "not worry about it" and didn't charge me.

7:10 a.m. Breakfast! I like getting to work and ease into the day with my coffee (another stop was made at Mickey D's for the coffee) and taco. I usually check my email, look over my lessons for the day, make copies, correct papers, enter grades, meet with other teachers, etc., and sometimes even have time to knit.

9:15 a.m. My first class begins and I teach teach teach til 11:43 a.m.

11:43-12:13 is lunch. Today's lunch consists of cake (from the cafeteria) and watermelon. I tend to take a working lunch. I have so many stops to make (restroom, copy machine, mailbox, nurse's office) I usually down lunch in about 10 minutes which today left about 5 minutes for knitting. You can tell my desk has accumulated quite a few papers from my morning classes.

Lunchtime knitting.

12:13-3:30 Teach Teach Teach

4:30 p.m. Meet a friend for some margaritas at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants-Paloma Blanca. They have neat events such as a monthly Tequila Tasting Party and this ArtSoup fund raiser. Today I was drinking the "Sangria Swirl" Margarita. Even the salt on the glass was tasty!!!

6:15 p.m. Traffic heading home (I35 northbound).

6:30 p.m. Look who's waiting for me!

Rest of evening: Hang out with DH, watch a little TV, surf the net, knit, read a little, fall asleep.

How do you spend your day???!!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Yarn Hangover

Is there such a thing as a Yarn Hangover??!!

If there is, I think I have one. I'm not feeling buyers remorse...but just a little woozy as I look at the online yarn receipts in my email.

My debit card was smokin' last night as I ordered yarn from not one...or two..but THREE different sources. I was in a yarn ordering frenzy and in deep need of a yarn intervention. I ordered two balls of Berroco Pleasure yarn from EB@Y , some Goa yarn from Yarn Market, and two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn (I wanted to order the whole collection!!) from The Loopy Ewe(along with some DPNs). You'll have to wait 7-10 days before seeing the pics though. All this because I didn't make it to Yarn Barn yesterday and wanted the yarn before my Spring Break-March 12-16th.

In my defense..all of the yarn ordered is for specific projects (socks and a baby blanket) which will be cast-on soon after I receive the yarn. I know those of you who know me personally are thinking: "But she doesn't know how to knit socks!" That would be correct..for now...but I've officially declared March to be the "Month of Socks!" February was for Finishing (which I did a fairly good job with) and March is for Makin' Socks. Stayed tuned for April which I'm thinking will be for Entrelac.

Speaking of "February is for Finishing." I finally finished the Neverending Green Scarf this morning. Which to me looks so much better in person than in photos.

If February had 32 days it would have been done in February, but oh well. With the help of a pot of coffee and the movie Bridget Jones Diary showing on A & E this morning, I was finally able to get it done..for the most part. I just need in to weave in those pesky ends.

It ended up being a "long" scarf-72 inches!!! But I just wanted to finished the second ball of yarn and figured the receipient could adjust the length if she so desired.

It's made with Feza's Dazzle Yarn (Color 512). The pattern being: Knit it in the stockinette stitch...40 stitches per row. Knit first 5 and last 5 stitches in each row. Knit til you run out of yarn.

On the knitting menu for this week: fish, some seaming of boxes, some weaving in of ends, and a certain gray hat that didn't get finished in February.