28 February 2006

Tuesday Meme

Nancy tagged me for a meme (thanks, Nancy, for an easy post).

Here's how it works: Open up your MP 3 player, set it to "shuffle/random play", and list the first 10 songs that come up. No matter what they are.

Cool, huh? Just one problem...I don't have an MP 3 player. I know! I know! I live in the technology dark ages! What can I say?? (my birthday's coming up in a few days...just saying) ;-) So I asked Nancy if I could use cd's, instead. She said ok. What I did was pull 30 cd's off the shelf, mix them up, close my eyes & pick out 10. Here they are...

1. Duran Duran - "Greatest"
2. Public Enemy - "Fear of a Black Planet"
3. Sacha instrumental - "Sunrise Tears Begins the Future"
4. Boys II Men - "Cooleyhighharmony"
5. Salt 'N' Pepa - "Very Necessary"
6. Fleetwood Mac - "The Dance"
7. LL Cool J - "10"
8. Rod Stewart - "If We Fall in Love Tonight"
9. Elton John - "Love Songs"
10. KRS-One - "I Got Next"

Nancy also tagged Maribel, so visit her blog to check out her listing. Because I find music interesting (hmmm...maybe that'll be my "M" post...), I will tag some people for this meme. I am tagging Kimberly, Fawn and Michele.

MAKE it a great day!!

26 February 2006

The wait is over...

I know! I promised an update earlier than this. This weekend just got out of control. Now it's Sunday. Yesterday, the Queen Princess' school had a spaghetti dinner (fundraiser) and then the middle school kids did a play - "Dr. Dolittle". I helped with the set-up for the dinner. My parents & the Queen Princess came to the dinner & we all ate & then watched the play. The kids did a great job! Think about it. A musical. And middle school kids. But they pulled it off. It was funny. The actors had great expression & reactions. I'm so impressed. They had to have worked very hard on the play.

If you look at the sidebar, you'll notice that there are some "Angelia's Knitting" buttons there. Kimberly made them for me (since I'm button-challenged). Thanks Kimberly!!

Good news! I finished Odessa! I finished it Friday night. I wore it around the house all night. You have to knit this hat! It is so awesome!! When you wear it, it looks like it's tight, but it's actually very comfortable. The pattern makes it fit a wide range of head sizes. It looks very complicated, but isn't.

Dammit! I did it again with the pictures! Ok - you know the drill - just turn your head to the side to view that one picture. One of these days, I'll remember to rotate the pictures!!

I haven't done too much knitting this weekend. I did take a shawl along yesterday (in case I had "wait" time) and I knitted a little bit. But my wrists & arms are still bothering me, so I haven't been knitting for long periods of time.

Seems like there was something else I wanted to tell you. Now what was it??? Hmmm. I told you about Odessa, about my new buttons, about my sore wrists and arms...

Oh! I know! The gift from my SP!! f.pea guessed that the packages were corndogs. But they weren't - good thing, too - 'cause I don't eat corndogs. The packages contain something much more useful. I'm told that these were made especially for me! :-) Wow. MADE FOR ME!!! I'd been to this website and saw these items and NEVER thought I'd have a whole set!! I keep unwrapping them and touching them and looking at them...what?? Oh! Sorry! I didn't tell you what they are!

A full set (US size 4-35!) of hand-carved, wooden knitting needles! They came from Gracie & Company. My SP's hubby made them! They are so awesome! When they clank together, they sound like wind chimes. So they feel and sound great! I now have EVERY needle size! I can knit ANYTHING!! :-) Of course, now I'm going to have to get an awesome needle case to store them in (the one I'm "making" - that's been on the needles since last year - just isn't good enough for these needles - these needles need a special case)...and I probably won't let anyone use these (they can use my bamboo needles). So, now I look for things I can make on straight needles. In fact, I started a prayer shawl on a pair of these needles ('cause I had to use them!) and moved it to circs when the needles got too full. Isn't that a wonderful gift?!? Thank you SP!!

MAKE it a great day!!

23 February 2006

D is for...

Done (I know, I know...but I couldn't think of another "D" thing)!! I am done with my mittens. I finished them Monday. I knit another left hand mitten & then knit the right hand. That first mitten I knit? I'm calling that my "test" mitten - see the picture below. I've been wearing the mittens all week. They keep my fingers nice & toasty. Now the Queen Princess wants a pair...just like mine. I think I have enough yarn to make her a pair (after all, her hands are smaller than mine!).

The top left picture is of the completed pair of mittens. The picture on the right shows a close up of one of the mittens. The bottom left picture is of my "test" left-hand mitten and the "real" left-hand mitten. Guess which is which. :-)

Tuesday night I cast on for Odessa. I knit. Had to stop for supper. Knit some more. Had to stop to get the Queen Princess to bed. Once she was in bed, I knit some more. Then, finally, I had to stop because, well, it was 1AM...and my alarm goes off at 6AM.

Yesterday I met with a new customer. The woman was pregnant with her 3rd child, due any time, and she wanted to meet with me to try on makeup & skin care products! She was having contractions during our consultation. She had her baby last night. :-) As luck would have it, by the time I was finished with her, it was time for the Queen Princess to get home from school (I meet her at her bus stop). Then she needed help with her homework. Then we went to eat (we eat out on Wednesdays & then go to Nutty Knitters). I did knit a little of Odessa while I was waiting for the food. After supper, Nutty Knitters. I made a deal with myself that at Nutty Knitters, I can only knit a Prayer Shawl...so that means no Odessa knitting. I didn't have a chance to knit any more of Odessa last night.

This morning I helped out in the Queen Princess' class and then came home and did some work (rather than read knitting blogs all morning!). Tonight's Brownies...so sometime this afternoon, I need to knit Odessa!!

If you haven't knit this hat, try it. It is such an awesome pattern (I was praising Grumperina and her wonderful pattern creating skills last night to all the Nutty Knitters - she's a genius; a knitting Goddess)! I love, love, LOVE knitting those beads on! I'm so amazed (with each and every bead) that it WORKS! After each row, I stop and look at the knitting. The pattern! It's amazing!! What's even more amazing is that while the hat looks very elaborate and complicated, it's a very simple pattern (even I can remember the pattern!). When I bought the beads, I wanted to make sure I had enough, I now realize that I have enough beads to make 3 or 4 Odessa's! :-) **see that stitch marker on Odessa? That's one of the ones my SP sent me. Isn't it beautiful? It makes knitting more fun! And see the beads?!? They make knitting more fun, too!

In other news...Blue Moon Fiber Arts (home of the Socks That Rock yarn) now have a Sock Club! Go here to learn more. I learned this from Cara's blog - you know she has connections at Blue Moon!

Also, go here to welcome Maribel to blogdom. She recently started her own blog (she claims it was peer-pressure from me & Nancy - whatever!).

Guess what??? I got mail today!!! Mail from my Secret Pal!!! I'm not going to tell you what I got (in this post). I'll show you some pictures & let you guess. I will tell you that my SP is so awesome! Do you know that she's (very) pregnant, having contractions and actually may have already had that baby?!? **I heard from my SP since I wrote this. The baby has not arrived yet.**And still, she makes sure that I get my gifts! Isn't she gonna be a great mom?!?!?

I was so excited about this package that I didn't even open the book package that came in the mail today too. It's a knitting book. I opened my SP gift and played with it until it was time to go to the bus stop to get the Queen Princess. On the way home, I realized that I completely forgot about the book!

The white box was inside the Priority Mail box. Inside the white box, I found a letter (ok - the letter was attached to the outside of the white box) & the 3 blue packages. Any guesses??

That's enough for today. MAKE it a great day!

19 February 2006

Secret Pal strikes again!

Friday, the Queen Princess had off school. She wasn't feeling well (sinus infection). So we were home all day, with me being her nurse.

Then the mail arrived. And guess what? I got a package from my Secret Pal!! She sent me a card, some stitch markers she made (I have a talented SP!), and some beads. I'm not sure what I'm going to use the beads for yet, but they are beautiful. The pictures, I'm sure, don't do them justice. As if that's not enough, she tells me that there's another package on its way to me! How awesome is my SP?!? Thanks SP (sorry for taking so long to let you know I got the package!)!!

Now on to knitting. Sit down...I actually FINISHED some items! Can you believe it?? I'll bet you all thought I just knit and started new projects and never finished anything!

Remember the Killer Shawl? It's done. Off the needles. Turned into church. Ready for the next needy person (and another triangle shawl has been started). It is such a quick knit! Less than a week (and there were 2 whole days I didn't work on it at all!). You can see it in the background of the 1st picture of the gifts my SP sent me. I didn't take a picture of the completed shawl - I was just too excited to have another shawl finished.

Speaking of the prayer shawls. Wednesday night I found out that the first shawl I finished had been given to someone! It was given to a woman who's husband recently died. It was presented to her at the funeral. She is an older woman who is not in great health. In fact, she got out of the hospital the day of her husband's funeral. She will have to live in a nursing home (her husband took care of her) now. I'm told that she likes the shawl, the softness of it, and the color.

I love to knit. Sometimes, I think I HAVE to knit. Knitting is something I'd do even if there was no need for the items I knit. It's an amazing feeling when something you've knit goes to someone else, and helps them.

I watched Knitty Gritty a few weeks ago. They were making Fluffy Cuff Mittens. I liked the mittens & thought they looked like something I could do. With all of my increasing of stash, I had some yarn that would work for the mittens. So yesterday I knit one. Yes, one. I'm not happy with the size of this mitten, so I'm calling this my "test" mitten (excuse the pictures - I'm left-handed, the mitten is for the left hand ...and it's not that easy to take a picture of your own hand!). Tonight I'll probably cast on for the left mitten (for real, this time) & then do the right as soon as I finish. I liked making it - it was a quick knit for me - and the first time I'd ever knit in the round using dpn's (I've only ever used circs before). Black & red do not match my coat (I had the yarn in my "stash", you see) but they are my high school's colors.

In other knitting news...

Sock: I'm at the heel part of the sock. I need to be in a room by myself, where I'm able to concentrate, to do that. I haven't had that time to myself yet.

Irish Hiking Scarf: I haven't worked on that for a long time. I just haven't felt like doing cables.

Odessa: I decided to use the same yarn that I'm using for my Irish Hiking Scarf. That way the two will "match". I know, I know. Cabled scarf and Odessa do not match, but I'm going to wear them as a pair. They both will match the color of my coat! Oh! I have the beads on the yarn...so it won't be long til I cast on for Odessa!

Felted Bag: I knitted a bag, using some Nature Wool and the Wool of the Andes (from my SP). I'm finished with the knitting of the bag. I'm working on the handles (I just haven't felt like knitting i-cord lately!). Some day, soon, that bag will be finished & felted.

That's all for now. Enjoy the weekend...and MAKE it a great day!

15 February 2006

Snow Knitting

Saturday afternoon, it started to snow here. I recently purchased the Prayer Shawl book. It has several shawl patterns. I found a pattern for a triangular shawl. I decided to try it. So I tried it on some yarn I had. I liked it. Alot. So I grabbed a skein of Lion Brand Homespun & cast on. I knit all that day and night.

Sunday I woke up and it was still snowing. I knit all that day (except for the hour or less that I spent out in the snow with the Queen Princess). I finished one skein and moved onto the next (the pattern calls for 3 skeins). I was up to over 100 stitches on the needles (you cast on 1 and then increase, after the 7th row, you increase 1 stitch every row). See how long it is? There are so many sittches now, that I can't straighten it out on the needles. I have to show one flat section at a time. See the edges? Isn't that so cool (for those of you who are experienced knitters, humor me!)?

Monday I woke up and my hands and wrists and forearms hurt. I didn't knit Monday...or Tuesday. Today I worked on my sock while waiting for my daughter's 1st grade assembly to start. I have not worked on that shawl since Sunday.

Learn from my mishap, people! Do NOT (no matter how fun and how quick a knit it is for you!) knit for 2 days without breaks! Pace yourself! Take breaks. Often! Or you may end up like me...unable to knit for 2 days!

In case you're wondering, no, I'm NOT in the Knitting Olympics. It's just that the shawl was such a quick knit for me. I really like the pattern. It has a yarn over each row, and makes these cute little holes up along both sides. It's all KNIT STITCH. I can do that FAST! The other pattern I'd been doing (k3,p3 and then knit into the purls and purl into the knits) was BORING to me. I don't love that pattern. But I do love this triangular pattern! Sadly, it doesn't love me (when I knit it for 2 days!).

Here are some pictures of the socks (ok - I like to say "socks" but it's really only ONE SOCK - although I may learn that knit 2 socks at the same time method) I'm working on. **Before you laugh at my sock, please remember it's my FIRST sock...and that I've been injured by the Killer Shawl.** I'm not happy with it. Here's the thing. The pattern calls for 8 inches of k1,p1 ribbing. I don't like doing that. And eight inches of it?!?!? No way! So I decided some of the sock leg (is that what it's called??) can be stockinette (in the round, that means ALL KNIT stitch!). So I look at my sock and there's a dimple kind of thing going on. It looks like it's where a knee had been. And the stockinette looks wider than the ribbing. But I keep knitting. I frogged this damn sock too many times in the beginning - I am NOT doing it again! Then the stockinette stitches get tighter. Nice, even, beautiful stitches. But not as wide as before. I'm getting close to that 8", so I switch back to the ribbing. Guess what? Now that's tighter, too! Beautiful, even ribbing stitches. But not AS WIDE as the top. And, to top it all off (haha! jokes! i still have jokes!), the cast on row feels too tight - not enough stretch. I cast on slingshot method. Is there a better method to use for socks?? Never fear, I will make that cast on row fit...but for the next pair (and maybe even the mate to this sock), I'm sure there's a better way.

Ok. The sock pictures: top left, The Yarn. Underneath that, the rows I finished (this was my 4th or 5th attempt at this sock). The pictures on the right show the sock as it looks today.

And I will leave you with a picture of the Queen Princess. This was taken today, at the "reception" following the 1st grade assembly. She's showing me the gap where her tooth used to be (it fell out the end of January, I think). The two 1st grade classes did skits, a Noah's Ark thing (the Queen Princess was one of the children who held up the Ark), read (1st graders! Reading in front of an audience! Amazing!), and recited some of the Bible verses they've learned so far, this year (in case you can't tell, she goes to a Christian school). They did a wonderful job...and really enjoyed the "reception" afterwards.

Tonight, Nutty Knitters! I'll get to "show off" the Killer Shawl. My Mom & I are the first ones to try a different shawl pattern (we're such trendsetters!). I should be able to knit tonight. Yay!

MAKE it a great day!

09 February 2006

C is for...

This was a hard one. There are so many things that are a part of my life that begin with the letter "C".

Counted cross stitch. I used to do counted cross stitch. I now knit. Since knitting is more of an addiction for me, I will probably always knit. Plus, it's more portable than cross stitch. But with both crafts, it's exciting to see an object emerge from (a blank piece of fabric, from yarn).

Crafts. I love all kinds of crafts. In addition to knitting & counted cross stitch, I also like to scrapbook, rubber stamp, make cards, draw, do things with beads, sometimes work with polymer clays. Craft stores are very dangerous places for me! You see, I get "new" ideas there and find yet another craft I want to try.

Cats. I have a cat. He's 15lb. He was a stray. I think he's part Maine Coon. His name is Smokey. He was too young to be away from his mother when we got him, but his mother hadn't returned to the kittens in a few days. So the people (who had the house where the kittens were born) found homes for the kittens, fearing that something had happened to the Mom. We fed him baby animal formula in a tiny bottle. I don't have any digital pictures of him to add to the blog. He's about 8 years old. Before him I had a blue point Himalayan. She was my cat for 13-14 years. Her name was Tabitha. She had to be put to sleep because her kidneys were failing.

Cookies. There aren't too many cookies that I don't like. I love when people bake cookies for Christmas. I don't love to bake cookies. I love to eat cookies other people bake.

Cheesecake. I love cheesecake. I make an awesome one. But I only make it if I'm going to a party or something. There aren't enough cheesecake lovers in my house to justify making one just for us - well, me.

But what I picked for "C" to stand for is....COLOR. I love colors. I like to color in coloring books. I like to paint and draw with color. The make-up line in my business is referred to as "Color". I like make-up, too (although my make-up routine has become much simpler as I've gotten older and also since I now use awesome skin care products & have less need to hide my skin).

One of the hardest questions for me to answer is, "What's your favorite color?". When I was a child, my favorite color was blue. I still love blue. I'm just hard-pressed to pick ONE favorite color. I pretty much like them all! My favorite colors are bold colors. Pastels, to me, seem washed out. Wimpy colors. Colors that don't want to stand out. Don't want to be noticed. And don't want to offend anyone. But pastel colors do have their place. They can be very soothing.

Oddly enough, I usually wear neutral colors. Some day, I want to buy a winter coat that is a bold color (like red or bright blue). Something that's not practical, that doesn't "go" with every outfit. Something that maybe only goes with one outfit.

I was born in Key West, Florida. My parents & I moved from there when I was a year old. My Dad was in the Navy, so we moved alot in my childhood. I didn't get to "see" Key West until I was 17 or 18. My Mom & I drove there (from PA). It is so beautiful to drive through the Keys. You never knew the ocean had so many shades of blue! And the sunsets! They are so beautiful. I took so many pictures of Key West sunsets, trying to capture the amazing colors. It didn't work out too well.

In Southern California (where I also lived) there were also wonderful colors. The ocean. And the ocean was different colors, depending on where you were. The mountains. The desert. The sunsets.

I now live in Pennsylvania. Flying over my section of PA looks like a quilt. You have the farmland that looks like fabric blocks. In the Spring, there are all kinds of colors...grass, trees, flowers. In the Fall and Winter the colors are different. The tree trunks start to look darker than in the Summer or Spring. In the Fall, you have the bold colors of the leaves. In the Winter, sometimes snow. I love the look of snow on trees.

And then there's yarn. It's so wonderful to be a part of knitting now. At this time in history. Right now, we have so many options...fiber options, color options, needle options. I'm a person who gets bored knitting the same color, same yarn, same pattern all the time. With knitting, I don't ever have to be bored. I can find a yarn in pretty much any color I want. Or, I can dye my own yarn! I can knit with wool, cotton, silk, bamboo, soy, cashmere, alpaca, angora, human-made fibers. "Fur", ribbon, and other novelty things I don't even know the name of. Yes, I know the whole "natural" vs. synthetic fiber debate. What I'm saying is that I'm a creative person and at this point in time, I never have to be bored with yarn!

I have to admit, though, it is hard for me to pick out yarn. Since there are so many choices. I followed a pattern for the first felted bag that I made. The pattern called for Noro Kureyon yarn. So I went to my LYS. They have a huge shelf full of Kureyon. All the colors! It took me a good hour to decide which colors I wanted to buy. Even then, I got 2 different colors (for 2 bags).

Oh yeah. I also like to use colors in e-mails, on the blog, and in printed items. I am not a person to have everything in my house the same color. The dining room is blue. Pretty close to that shade of blue. The living room is green (a little darker than this green) with a red paisley kind os border. The bathroom is pink and maroon (the tiles and tub & sink and toilet were already there). I compensate for all this pinkness with rugs that are a forest kind of green. And a shower curtain that has greens, maroon, pink, and tan. The bedroom walls are all white. But the bedspreads and curtains are different colors.

When I look at colors, I don't think "blue". I think "blue, with a little grey added" - or whatever. I like to think of what colors I'd put together to make that particular shade.

So that's it. "C" is for colors.

MAKE it a great day!

04 February 2006

Increasing my stash...

I know, I haven't been posting alot lately. That's because I've been working on Increasing my Stash (after all, I have Risa to try to keep up with! )

Thursday I went shopping at my LYS (sorry - their website's not working right now). I bought "The Magic Loop" booklet (Sarah Hauschka's method, written by Bev Galeskas) and "Socks on Two Circular Needles" by Cat Bordi, "Classic Socks" pattern by Yankee Knitter Designs, 40" circular needles size US2...and (10 skeins of) yarn! The yarn I bought was mostly sock yarn: Regia multi effekt color (2 skeins), Regia crazy color (3 skeins), Skacel Trampoline stretch (2 skeins). I also bought 3 skeins of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran in a green that's not really olive. Guess what I'm going to be making????

Yes! You guessed it!! Socks. I'm learning to make socks, using the Magic Loop method. I cast on Thursday night. I frogged that Friday (after I'd knit several inches). I cast on again. I frogged. I cast on again. The picture is of this cast on (I'm using the Regia crazy color). I refuse to make a mistake on this one. I will not have to frog again!

Thursday I also placed an order at KnitPicks for some yarn (increasing stash!). The order arrived today! Can you believe it? That was so quick! 36 skeins of yarn (that's alot of felted bags!). By the way, it was my Secret Pal who got me hooked on that Wool of the Andes. I don't have pictures of that yarn yet. Today was rainy all day - not a good day for pictures.

Grumperina has released her beautiful hat pattern. She has named it Odessa. There are several knit alongs for Odessa. I joined this one. Today I had to go back to my LYS to get some yarn for Odessa. Had to. It was love at first sight, when I saw that hat! Sadly, the 4 skeins of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran (no pix yet) I bought today, will not work for Odessa...too thick. Tomorrow, maybe, I will hunt down a suitable Odessa yarn.

Kimberly, at The Giving Flower, has opened her store. She hand-makes stitch markers. They are so awesome (if you already read her blog, then you know she's very talented!)! She doesn't have the shopping cart working yet, so e-mail her if you're interested in purchasing anything.

MAKE it a great day!