21 October 2006

Thanks SP8!

Here are the long overdue pictures of my final SP8 gifts. Everything was wrapped (it's so much fun to unwrap things!).

There was yarn. Some Bernat Soft Boucle (because blue is my favorite color), some Trekking XXL sock yarn (which I've never tried!), and some Knit Picks sock yarn (because I love KnitPicks!).

Some stitch markers in a cute little blue fabric bag (the picture I took that showed the bag didn't show the markers too well). I love unique stitch markers! They are so much fun to use!!

Lots of other goodies - a cute pumpkin container, a notepad, a calendar & some notecards. The postcard (the card with the rose on it) is what my SP used to write me a note, revealing her identity.

The QP even got some stuff! She just loves getting presents. She doesn't quite understand the whole Secret Pal thing, though. She keeps trying to guess who sent her stuff (out of the people she knows). I tell her it's nobody that she personally knows & then she just looks at me, confused.
Thanks Karla!!!!
And now Secret Pal 9 is in full swing. I've received my match (the person I'm to spoil), so I'll be reading her blog over the next week or so, to learn about her. And I've been contacted by my Pal (my spoiler). I'm so excited!
That's all for now, as typing is somewhat of a challenge with no middle finger. :-)
MAKE it a great day!

16 October 2006

A sad day at Angelia's Knitting...

I uploaded these pictures in reverse. You can kinda see the swelling of my middle finger - and the brusing on the underside of it.
Yes, it's a sad, sad day - well, actually, days - here at Angelia's Knitting. I broke my finger. I can't knit too easily (I may soon do some knitting even though it hurts my hand!). Some people are saying my finger is liable to take 6 weeks to heal! I don't wanna hear that! 6 weeks! I'm not going to not knit for six weeks!! And I don't want to talk about how I can't do my arm workout now - just when my arms were starting to get little muscles!
In addition to the knitting, there are a whole lot of things this complicates. I'm left handed - and I broke the middle finger of my right hand. I didn't think that would be a major problem. Well, I discovered that I use my right hand for alot of things: opening doors, cutting with scissors, pulling up the zipper on pants, washing my hair, blow drying hair, putting my hair in a ponytail, putting makeup on...you get the picture.
How did I break my finger, you ask? Well, I was shooting some baskets at the gym, went to catch the basketball, and it hit my finger dead on. As soon as it happened, I knew it was broken (the same thing happened to the ring finger on my left hand when I was in 9th grade - but with a football, not a basketball). I went to the doctor later that evening. This was last Wednesday (Nutty Knitter night). By then, the finger was black & blue & swollen - and, of course, painful.
So that's my sad story. It's a short story tonight because, well, typing without using your middle finger, is not that easy! :-)
MAKE it a great day!

10 October 2006

Sock History Questions

Here are my Sock History questions for the Socktoberfest that Lolly's having. I know they're late!

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I taught myself - with the help of the Magic Loop book. I knit my first pair of socks at the end of last year (I think - or else the beginning of this year - I know it was cold outside).

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

My first pair was made using Regia 6 ply sock yarn. They've held up well - considering I've only worn them a dozen times or so. :-)

What would you have done differently?

Nothing. My first sock was my "practice" sock (the tension was all over the place!), then I knit two more to make the actual pair.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

I've only knit that one pair. I did get a skein of Trekking from my Secret Pal, so I'm excited to try that.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPN's, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I knit my pair of socks using the Magic Loop method. I recently tried knitting a sock on DPN's and don't care for it. I currently have a sock started using 2 circulars. Crochet is a language I don't speak, so no, I don't crochet my socks.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I've only ever done flap. It works well for me.

How many pairs have you made?

1 1/2 - remember? I've knit three socks! :-)

09 October 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I'm not very fond of acrylic, although I do use it on occasion. I prefer natural fibers. I would love to try some Socks That Rock and Koigu yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Right now - a decorative oval Kleenex box. :-)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for a year. I consider myself intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, I do not.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
I only use bath products from the company I work for (Arbonne). I don't use candles - too many allergies.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
A sweet tooth??? Am I a woman?!?!? Chocolate!!!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I stamp, scrapbook, cross stitch. I don't spin, but would like to learn how.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like 70's and 80's pop (including disco), R&B, some Rap. I don't have any way to play MP3's.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Blue is my favorite. I love bold and jewel toned colors. I don't like pastels much - especially not pink!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have a 7-year old daughter, a cat and a goldfish.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear hats, scarves and mitten on occasion (like, when it's really cold & I have to wait for my daughter's school bus). I don't wear ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like to knit & felt bags.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A sock (2 circs), 2 Prayer Shawls, a baby blanket, and 2 scarves.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I probably prefer circs - it depends on the project. I like aluminum for socks and bamboo or wood for most anything else. No plastic.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I own both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Almost a year old.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
I don't have a favorite holiday.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn? lol!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Yarn Harlot's last two books (I have "At Knit's End"), Mason Dixon's book, Cat Bordhi's Magical Knitting book, anything by Ann Budd or Elizabeth Zimmerman or Meg Swanson. Needles: I've been lusting after KnitPicks needles! The interchangable circs, the regular circs, the dpns!!!! I have a subscription to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Needle felting! And spinning!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I do knit socks. I wear a size 10 shoe. My foot is 9 1/2 inches around, and 10 inches long.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd) March 7th.

08 October 2006

Sunday ramblings

First, let me thank my Secret Pal from the SP8 swap - Karla Cardell. She sent me my last package and it was so awesome! I did take pictures, I just don't have them uploaded yet. I don't have the link to her blog written down, either. I'll give you all that info in another post. Thank you Karla!!! And the QP thanks you, too, for everything you sent her!!!

I've been knitting. I'm knitting my first sock using the two circular method. To me, it's very similar to the Magic Loop, except that you're using 2 circs instead of one. I also bought some sock yarn to use with the Magic Loop method - so you may be seeing quite a few socks from me soon. I'm still working on 2 Prayer Shawls, and a scarf for the Red Scarf Project, a baby blanket, and the Shell Counterpanes I mentioned in a previous post.

Thank you to everyone for the good thoughts & wishes in regards to the Amish school shooting. The county is still reeling from the event.

I'm told that it was even front page news on the BBC. Wow. I think most of the reporters are gone now. The funerals are now over. There were some tense moments when there was talk of a church group protesting at the funerals of the Amish girls. The group was offered an hour slot on a Christian radio or TV show, so they took that instead of protesting at the funerals. This same group has been protesting at military funerals. I'm not linking to them. I think it's incredibly tacky and disrespectful to protest at a funeral - no matter what your belief - so I am not going to give them any extra publicity.

A woman tried to get into one of the Amish funerals (they were closed to the public), dressed in what she thought was "Amish" clothing. The first reports were that it was a reporter. We later found out that it was a tourist. When I first heard of the incident, I wondered where the woman got "Amish" clothing. You see, even though the Amish dress very plainly, it is hard to copy their clothing. There are so many details that most people don't know about (like the lack of buttons, or the color of the garments). Anyway. It was tacky of this woman to try to get into the funeral.

There are quite a few charity events under way in this county for those involved in the tragedy. There was an auction. There will be a chicken bar-b-que (I spoke, at some length, about chicken bar-b-que's in the county in a previous post). Originally, the people in charge of the bbq planned on selling 500 chicken dinners. They have sold over 3,000!! Incredible! Several of the hospitals and doctors (and people/groups involved in the medical aspects of this tragedy) have written off the medical bills for the Amish girls. There will still be bills, but at least some of it's being taken care of. Local banks, churches, convenience stores & other places are accepting monetary donations. As I mentioned before, there are funds for the Amish families and for the family of the shooter.

Amish people attended the funeral of the shooter - to show their support for his wife & kids.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all looked out for, and took care of one another?

Well, that's all for tonight. I'll get back to you with pictures, links and my SP9 questionnaire.

MAKE it a great day!

03 October 2006

A county turned upside down.

I wrote briefly yesterday about a shooting in one of the local Amish schools. I first saw the news on my computer's homepage. There was one paragraph to the article. I then went to the website of a local TV station. They had more information. Click here to read what they have now. The evening newspaper today had a HUGE headline - and most of one section of the paper was about the school shooting.

This is one of those events that I know I will always have a clear memory of where I was and what I was doing when I heard about it.

I'm told that national newspapers and TV channels picked up this story, too. Pennsylvania's Governor was here (in the county) today to give a speech or something.

Let me tell you a little about the Amish. (You can click here to read more about them.)

First, there are different sects of Amish. Some are more strict than others. The group of people who sent their kids to the school where the shooting took place are Old Order Amish. They are the strictest. They don't drive vehicles. They travel in horse drawn buggies. Sometimes they will pay a person to drive them in a vehicle (long distances, or in the winter) - like a taxi service. They have no electricity or telephones in their houses. They don't use buttons on their clothing. They attend one-room schoolhouses. They take turns hosting church - there is no specific church building that they attend - they just go to each other's houses. They speak a form of German, commonly called "Pennsylvania Dutch". They call non-Amish people "English". They are a very close-knit group and it's rare for an English person to be invited into an Amish house. They are pacifists. They don't fly or have their picture taken. They don't "join the church" until they're young adults. They do not hunt, or join the military, or own guns. They take care of themselves.

I'm not saying that they don't have some of the same problems the rest of the world has. There is rape and incest and spousal abuse and even drug use. And "Amish" kids - before they join the church - tend to be pretty wild. The boys, especially, are encouraged to "sow their wild oats", because once they join the church, it's all straight & narrow. But the Amish community takes care of itself.

Yesterday, a man (who has three children ages 7 and under), went into an Amish schoolhouse, told all of the boys to leave the schoolhouse, barracaded the door, tied the hands and feet of the girls and shot them in the back of their heads. Apparently, he had planned on molesting them, but the police showed up & he had to act faster than he had planned. So he just shot them - and himself.

Here are some facts:

*5 girls are hospitalized - in several hospitals in PA and Delaware
*5 girls are dead
*2 of them died in the early hours of this morning
*The two who died this morning were 7 years old and 8 years old
*The other girls who died were 12, 13 and 7
*There were 10 families who sent their kids to this school
*7 of those families have a wounded or dead child
*The girls who were sent to the hospitals went by helicopter - the Amish don't fly, so the parents had to find someone to drive them to the hospitals
*Hours went by before the parents knew if their child(ren) were alive or dead. The Amish don't have their picture taken, so the parents had no images to give for identification of their child(ren).

This happened 5-10 miles from where I live. I cannot imagine not being able to go to the hospital with my child, and not even knowing if she's dead or alive. I cannot imagine having to decide to take my 7 year old off of "life saving" equipment so that she could die.

I can only imagine the hell all of the families are going through. The Amish families and the family of the man who did this.

The Amish community has set up two funds. One for the families of the school children. And one for the family of the man who shot their children.

I have to wonder if I could be so forgiving, if my child were dead? Would I be able to forgive the shooter? I do believe that I would see that his wife and children are victims of this, too.

Because of the actions of this man, his wife and children will have to deal with the hatred and insensitive comments of others. The Amish community is now in the national spotlight (which they do not like) and pictures of Amish people are being published all over the place (pictures - against their religion). Children are dead or traumatized.

The whole county has been turned upside down, because this could have happened at the school of anybody's child(ren). It could happen at any school. How do you look your child in the eyes and tell her that she's safe in her school - when you know, deep in your heart, that she's not safe at all? We usually tell our children that monsters aren't real. They don't have to be afraid of monsters, when, in fact, the biggest monsters are people, just like us.

That's all for now. I'm so sad and so troubled by all of the school shootings - it seems like they are more frequent than ever. And this one. Well, it could have just as easily been my daughter's school that this man walked into yesterday.

So hug your loved ones extra tight and be sure to tell them that you love them. :-)

02 October 2006

Hi...my name is Angelia

Hi! My name is Angelia - and this is my knitting blog. I live in Pennsylvania and have a 7-year old daughter. I call her the Queen Princess - or QP, for short.

I thought I'd introduce myself, since it's been so long since I posted anything. Why haven't I posted? I don't know. Every time I thought about doing it, I realized I really didn't have anything to say - and didn't even have any pictures to post.

I've been doing a little knitting. Not much.

The Nutty Knitters are meeting again (we had a summer break), so at least once a week I'm knitting a prayer shawl. I currently have two on the needles.

One of the women in the Nutty Knitters does Civil War re-enactments. She's currently working on a knitted Shell Counterpane. You knit the individual shells & then sew them together to make the counterpane. I'm helping her with the knitting. This is a picture of the first shell I knit & blocked. I like the pattern. It looks very cool when put together, and the shell knit up fast. Luckily, I won't be the one sewing the things together!!

I have also been attending the weekly SnB meetings. It's a fun group. My Mom & I go to SnB while the Queen Princess is at her Brownie Girl Scout meeting. One of the SnB'ers, Heather, recently started her own blog.

((I had this post written & somehow it got lost. So now I have to try to remember what I wrote. Plus, I just saw on the news that a gunman held some Amish kids hostage at their school - TODAY. That's some crazy shit! The Amish are pacifists. And here a gunman comes in & holds school kids hostage! He shot himself before the rescue people could get into the school - damn coward!))

Almost three weeks ago (it'll be three weeks on Wednesday), I joined a fitness club. I had received a free week's pass & went there to check it out. I ended up joining. I've been there every day (Mon-Fri) & two Saturdays (when the QP had a playdate & I had "free" time). I've also signed up for a personal trainer. I call him Killer. I'm convinced he's trying to kill me! I meet with him once a week. He pushes me to work harder than I would if I were on my own (plus he knows ways to use the weight machines that are especially painful - and, I guess, effective - but painful).

To date, I've lost 5 pounds and about 8 1/2 inches. Not bad, huh? I have quite a few pounds to go. :-)

I'll leave you with a picture of a flower. I don't know the name of the flower, but this particular plant used to belong to my Great-great Grandmother. The flowers only bloom at night, and they only bloom once. The next morning, the flower is drooping & closed. I love how they look - and they smell nice, too.

That's all for today. Now I'm off to see if I can find out some more info on the Amish school shooting. I can't even express how crazy that (the shooting) is!

MAKE it a great day!