28 December 2005

Fun with the digital camera...

Thanks to Kimberly (The Giving Flower - some day, I'll start putting links in!) , I am now able to take close-up pictures of my knitting projects. So I played with the digital camera today.

In addition to the camera, I also got a knitter's bag for Christmas (Eagle "Good to Go" bag) . It has 6 pockets around the outside to hold skeins of yarn (which feed inside the bag, so you can work on your projects). Inside, it has ALOT of room, and also alot of pockets and pouches (for scissors, needles, stitch markers,etc.). It has a zipper top & a padded shoulder strap (so I can take it with me). This company also has smaller bags (that hold one or two skeins - for when you want to travel light).

I finished the felted bag I was working on. One last trip through the washer did it. It's nicely felted. I attached the handles. And then I decided that it needed something to close it. A button. I searched through some buttons my Mom has (I don't sew, so I don't have these things). I found the most awesome button for this bag! It is a leather covered (old) button from a coat my Dad used to have. The leather's a little worn looking - it looks so good on the bag. Then I discovered that this perfect button does not have a thing for me to attach it! The little metal thing on the underside of the button is missing...so I went button shopping (I'm going to start a button box or something - so that I have a "stash" of buttons to go through the next time I need one!). At the store, I discovered that you can buy bags of buttons. They're sorted somehow (bright colors, gold tone, neutral colors, novelty buttons). This is how I'm going to build up my button "stash". I found a nice wooden button. Take a look for yourself. (ok - I realize I should have rotated the picture before I uploaded it to the blog - just turn your head!). For the fastener part, I braided some yarn & sewed it to the inside of the bag to form the loop that goes around the button (you can't see the loop too well - but at least the picture is clearer this time!).

I love making these bags! I love bags! I have half a million store-bought bags. My daughter has alot of bags too (surprise! surprise!). So I love knitting and felting bags. Since I had some yarn left over from the bag I just finished...I cast on for another bag. This one is 2 stitches bigger (cast on) and will be taller. I started with the Nature Wool. When I ran out of that, I used the leftover Kureyon. I will continue to use both yarns throughout the bag (I'm thinking I'll use mostly the Nature Wool, with Kureyon stripes every now & again).

I already have "ideas" about the next bag (not this one - that I just started...but the one after that!). Not sure what I'm going to do with all these bags I want to make. They can always be gifts...or I can just keep them. After all, one can never have too many bags!

On to other things. I took another picture of the Irish Hiking Scarf I'm knitting for myself. I also took a picture of the Irish Hiking Scarf that is my Mom's Christmas present (I wrapped the partially knit scarf, since it wasn't finished in time for Christmas). Her scarf is knitted with Lion Brand Suede yarn (she saw this yarn in a store & liked the feel of it). This makes for a wider scarf & bigger cables than the yarn I'm using for my scarf. Ok - so you can't see the cables. I'll keep trying with the camera. Again - just turn your head to see the picture! You must admit, it is a much better picture than the other one!! :o)

Those are all of the updates I have for today. I haven't been getting alot of knitting done this week. My daughter is off school all week and requires things (breakfast, lunch, entertainment) during the day. But only 5 more days till she goes back to school!!! :o)

MAKE it a great day!

25 December 2005

Merry Christmas!

Santa's a great guy! I got a digital camera! Woo-hoo!! So....now I'm going to attempt to add some pictures to my blog. Please be kind - I'm new to the digital & knitting picture taking.

Here it goes. Here's the felted bag I was working on. It's a gift for my friend, Terry. She used to live in PA, but now lives in FL. She's here till after the new year. I need to put it in the wash another time, to felt it a little better. Take a look at what I have so far.

This bag was knitted on size 10 1/2 (US) circular needles. I used Noro Kureyon (color #138) for most of the bag, and all of the I-cord (which I do not have a picture of). The very top edge of the bag is knitted using Araucania Nature Wool (color #44). The Nature Wool felted VERY well - when I took the bag from the washer, all but a 1/2 inch of the top of the bag was felted shut! I very patiently, seperated the felted wool. Fun! I'm going to put it in the washer one more time because the Kureyon isn't felted as much as I'd like.

Here's the Irish Hiking Scarf I'm making for myself. I haven't done anything with this since November. It's knitted on size 8 (US) needles. I'm using Peru DK luxury yarn in color #08. It's 10% silk, 20% alpaca, and 70% moreno.

I know, blurry. Sorry! I'll add another picture of the Hiking Scarf. Hopefully, that one will show up better.

Still blurry. And the pictures are all over the place! One day I'll get the hang of this (keep in mind that I've had very little sleep in the past 24 hours...)

On to other things. I'll show you one more thing tonight. Then it's time for me to get my wild child to bed. This girl's had WAY too much candy & cookies today/tonight!!

Here's my Prayer Shawl. I'm knitting it on size 11(US) circular needles. I'm using Lion Brand's Homespun in "Covered Bridge Red". I've been working on this for a while. I haven't done much to it recently because of Christmas.

Ok. So do you like the "medium" size pictures, or the "small" ones?

I'm also adding a close up view of the Prayer Shawl. It's a very simple knit 3, purl 3 pattern. Then in the next row you knit into the purls and purl into the knits.

That's enough for tonight. Time to get my daughter to bed. Time for me to go to bed too!! For those celebrating a holiday today, hope it was a great one!

Remember...you can MAKE it a great day!

19 December 2005

An Update...

"The best way to raise positive children in a negative world is to have positive parents who love them unconditionally and serve as excellent role models." -Zig Zigler

I have to tell you a story about my daughter...and then I'll get onto the knitting. My daughter likes to watch TV and say, "I want that!" when she sees a commercial for something she likes. One day (several months ago), my Mother suggested that she start a Christmas list for the things she sees on TV. So I'm watching TV with my daughter one day and one of those commercials is on - you know the type - "Call now! Just $19.95...but wait! When you order this amazing product, you'll also get...". My daughter grabs the remote (why did I ever show her how to use it??), presses "Pause" (we have satellite and can pause, rewind, fast forward, record shows), grabs a piece of paper & pen, and starts writing down all the info about this product (it was Floam, by the way!). When she has the important info written (name of product, phone number to call, and website), she presses play to resume her television watching. As you may have guessed, this has not stopped. EVERY TIME she watches TV, she adds MORE THINGS to her list! I guess she'll keep doing that right up until Christmas day! Kids are too funny!!

Ok. Here's my knitting update. I'm knitting this bag (which will be felted). I'm taking this thing EVERYWHERE with me; knitting whenever I have a few minutes. It's an easy knit. Today I noticed that there is a HOLE in the knitting! A HOLE about 2 inches down from the row I'm currently knitting. I REFUSE to frog. I have NO TIME for that! This is Christmas knitting (and, I might add, not the only unfinished Christmas project). So I'm letting it go. The bag will be felted. The hole will disappear once the felting occurs...I KNOW this will happen. It HAS to happen! If I have to pour boiling water on that section and rub it for an hour, I will. There will be NO HOLE in this bag!! - if I'm delusional about this, you really don't have to tell me.

The rest of my Christmas knitting? Haven't worked on it...been working on that bag. The one with the hole in it. But I'm not worried! I have plenty of time til Christmas. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Friday. And Saturday. PLENTY of time!

I think I mentioned this before, but I really do intend to get pics on here!! It'll probably be after Christmas though...you see, I have Christmas knitting to finish...

MAKE it a great day!

18 December 2005

The Weekend...

"You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise." -Zig Zigler

I chose that quote today because I DO NOT like this time of year!! And I'm trying to remind myself that I choose how I react to things.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not a Scrooge. I'm not cheap. In fact, I believe that one should give to those who are in need (whether it's volunteering time, giving needed items or giving money). I've often said that if I won the lottery or something like that, I'd probably end up broke because I have alot of charities I'd donate to.

So I've been thinking about this dislike of this whole "Christmastime" thing. Maybe it started when I moved to the East coast from Southern California (you know, less sunshine in the winter here; the body not getting enough vitamin D or something). I don't know. Maybe it's just that the American Christmastime seems to be all talk and no action. For example:

1. One of the main news focuses is how RETAILERS are doing this year. I'll tell ya, if it's not: "There are fewer SHOPPING DAYS this year, so retailers aren't making as big a profit as they'd like." then it's: "Thursday's SNOWSTORM caused retailers to lose business." I'm sorry, but Christmas falls on the same date each year. Those who celebrate it know that date. How can they have less time to SHOP????
2. Shopping. People are nasty when they're out shopping around Christmas! Rude. Inconsiderate. Ready to fight for whatever the "hot" item is that year. Not to mention that most people spend ALOT of money on presents.
3. Christmas music. It's not that I don't like Christmas music. But I do not like having only Christmas music played on a radio station BEFORE Thanksgiving! That's more than a month of Christmas music! And, there are only a handful of Christmas songs that are played...they just play every single artist's version (and some of those versions are so "creative" that you wouldn't even recognize the damn song!).
4. All the RUSH. Everyone is soooo busy. The whole month of December. You have pagents, and parties and other events. Shopping to do. Cookies to bake. Trees and houses to decorate,etc.

So if Christmas is supposed to be about peace and goodwill, where is it???

Saturday, my Mom & I went to our local shopping mall (Kimberly, we went to Park City. There are also 2 "outlet" malls in Lancaster County now.). I do not like shopping. I HATE shopping at Christmastime. Don't ask why I agreed to go along, when I could have been home knitting! It took us a half-hour to get into the parking lot of the mall. Another 5-10 minutes to find an empty parking space. The stores were all crowded (and hot!). I mean, I couldn't stand anywhere without people being all around me (I really don't like crowds). One of the stores we went to had these coupons in their weekly newspaper ad. The coupon was for a certain percentage off an item. So we get to that store, find what it is we want to buy, and guess what? The coupon is not valid on toys, or electronics (and who knows what else it's not valid on!). Not valid on TOYS ...and ELECTRONICS...at Christmas! So I figure the coupon is not valid on anything people would be buying for presents. Maybe we could have used it on a Holiday Music cd or something! And then it took us another 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot. It's crazy! What's even worse, is that I lost precious knitting time!!!

On to other things...I feel MUCH better now (from the sinus thing). Thanks for the well-wishes!! It's so very nice to be able to breathe through my nose again.

Knitting. Saturday I decided that I need to knit (and felt) a bag for my friend, Terry, who will be here for Christmas (she lives in Florida - so she doesn't need a scarf). Oh! And last Wednesday, I decided to make a (FunFur) scarf for my cousin's daughter. I gave that to her Friday night.

So here's how my Christmas knitting looks:
1. Felted bag (similar to the Booga Bag, but bigger - and possibly with pockets on the inside). I have the bottom, and about 5" of the sides done.
2. Irish Hiking Scarf. This is not the 1st Irish Hiking Scarf I started (that one's for me, and is on hold til after Christmas). This one is for a present. I'm doing it in Lion Brand Suede yarn. I've done the cable 4 times on this, I have about 8" knitted.
3. Shawl. I'm hoping to finish this by Christmas for my daughter. It's (maybe) half-way done.
4. I may start a hat for my Dad. I've been trying to find hat patterns I like (and can do). I saw some hats when we were shopping Saturday, and I think I can re-create them. We'll see. The man doesn't wear scarves, and I'm not ready to try sweaters yet.

I'd also like to knit a felted bag for myself. And some of the 2-hour scarves the Yarn Harlot showed on her blog. And a hat for myself. And try some socks...you see! It never ends!

(one of these days I'll play around with this blog to figure out how to get pics and stuff on it!!)

Well, I have to get back to my knitting. Thank you for "listening" to my Christmastime rantings...and MAKE it a great day!!

13 December 2005

Poor Me!

"Nourish the mind like you would your body. The mind cannot survive on junk food." - Jim Rohn

Well, it's Tuesday. Only 12 (gasp!) days till Christmas (and Hanukkah)...and I have a nasty sinus infection - hence the title, Poor Me.

My head is full. I feel like that old Sudafed commercial where the people walk around with balloon heads. My nose is alternately runny and stuffy. I have a cough. I've gone through countless boxes of Kleenex...and my nose looks like Rudolph's!

Last night, I finally got to sleep (nose was really stuffed up). Around 3:30AM, my daughter (who's 6 years old) came in the room & got into bed with me. I don't know why. It was 3:30AM and I was asleep. I don't ask questions! I do not sleep well with her in bed with me (those of you who've attempted to sleep with children know what I'm talking about!). Somehow, this small child always manages to take up most of the bed (she leaves me with about 4 inches of bed). So I finally got back to sleep, was sleeping very well (comfortable, warm, could breathe through my nose)...and the damn alarm goes off! I hate those things! Of course, I couldn't sleep today - had all kinds of things to do. So after my daughter got home from school, I got in bed and tried to rest. I fell asleep - and my daughter comes in and starts patting me (like I pat her, when she's GOING to sleep) so, of course, I woke up. She left the room. I fell back asleep. She comes in AGAIN and starts talking to me! See! POOR ME!! :o( Tonight I'm going to bed early...no knitting (till 1AM) ...no reading...no surfing the 'net. Sleep!!

Ok. You can start reading again...my pity party is over. :o)

I have a home-based business (botanically-based personal care products), so I'm armed with my vitamins (including an antioxidant and a "cold" formula), an herbal vapor rub, an herbal vapor soak, awesome moisturizers for the red nose...and Sudafed. We'll see how it goes. It's worked before.

The down side is - I haven't done much knitting!! And there are only 12 more days till Christmas (and of course, business-wise, we're halfway through December). But I'm not worried. I have plenty of time to finish my Christmas knitting (positive affirmations! "I am finished with my Christmas knitting!").

Oh! And I started another scarf. And after reading Stephanie's (Yarn Harlot) blog, I now want to do a scarf like she did! It never ends! Why didn't anyone warn me that knitting was so addictive?? Am I a knitaholic?? Is there a support group I should be joining?? Am I just in denial since I don't think there's a problem??

To Anonymous who posted a comment, thanks for the book recommendations! I'm always looking for new books to read.

Thank you for reading my blog (you probably have some knitting to do, too!) ...and MAKE it a great day!

11 December 2005


"You are the only one who can use your ability. It is an awesome responsibility." Zig Zigler

Welcome to my blog. In it, I'll talk about knitting...and whatever else comes to mind.

I am a new knitter. I started knitting 2 months ago, after reading Debbie Macomber's book "The Shop on Blossom Street". I went to my local craft store and bought books and a cdROM to learn how to knit. Then I found a wonderful show on DIY Network called "Knitty Gritty". On that particular episode, Vicki Square was talking about knitting and showed some basic things (casting on, casting off, knitting & purling). What hooked me was that she showed the Continental method as well as the English method. The Continental method was for me! Everything I'd heard up till that point made being a left-handed knitter seem so difficult. If you are left-handed and want to knit, don't believe the hype (about using mirrors to see how to knit and all that crazy stuff! Try the Continental method!! I bought Vicki's book, "The Knitter's Companion", and I was off!

About a month later, a group was formed at my church: The Nutty Knitters. It was formed as a Prayer Shawl Ministry. Because there were so many new knitters, our first project was a cotton washcloth. This was the first "real" project (that is, one where I followed a pattern) that I did. I was so excited to actually finish something! I have countless counted cross stitch projects that are not finished...and the scrapbook that I start for my daughter 6 years ago only has about 10 pages finished and we won't even discuss the Christmas cards I was going to make and send out last year...so to actually finish something was so empowering. I felt like I was ready to knit ANYTHING!!

So I started knitting...and buying yarn. I was at my local arts & crafts store every week (with coupons in hand!), buying yarn...and needles. Straight needles, several sizes. Then I moved onto the circular needles. And of course, I had to get various sizes of those! I now even have (the very scary!) double-pointed needles...in fact, I now have so many knitting needles I have decided to make a felted needle case (free pattern from Paton's, using Paton's Classic Merino).

I've knitted alot of scarves. Fun Fur. Fancy Fur. Paton's Bohemian. Worsted weight yarn. Then I saw a link to the Irish Hiking Scarf Knit-A-Long on Nancy's blog (BronxGirlKnits). I LOVED that scarf. So I took it to the next Nutty Knitters meeting. I showed it to some of the "expert" knitters. They explained the whole "cable" thing...I was ready to get started! I'm still working on that scarf. I love the pattern. I love the yarn I bought for it (a Merino,Alpaca,Silk blend in a color that just matches my coat). But, it's Christmastime...and now I have Christmas knitting to do. So things that I'm knitting for myself will just have to wait. :o(

Another pattern I found in the knitting blogs, is the Booga Bag. I'd been wanting to do a felted bag (I LOVE bags!) since I learned about felting. I have made one. Sadly (for me), I'm giving it to my cousin, who's birthday is the day before Christmas. The good thing is: now I NEED to make another one (for me!).

Eventually, I'll learn how to work this blog thing...and how to add pictures and links and buttons and stuff like that! ((so if anyone knows that kind of stuff & can give me some pointers, I'd be eternally grateful!! )) Until then, you'll have to settle for text.

MAKE it a great day!