Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dry Basement & a lot of dust!

It's been a busy few days. I worked from home while I had many men running around making my basement all better. I had loud jack hammering going on much of yesterday while they worked their way down past the basement floor to the ground. They then created a drain field in a ditch around the basement wall and put in a sump pump. While that was going on some other men were running around outside the house putting in 4 new basement windows. The old wood ones are gone and pretty block windows with air vents are now in place. Best of all these won't let waterfalls come in during heavy rains. The ditch in the basement was finished up today and once it's dry I can put in new tile. Nice dry basement. I can get serious about finishing up so I can finally move the rest of my stuff down here and dump the old house!

Sad Small Person
My blog is small. If I get over 30 people reading it a day it's a good day but - somehow between last night and today someone found one of my posts from August and decided they had to add a stupid comment. No swearing or anything but it was an anonymous attempt to make them feel clever and powerful over someone else. It didn't work. It made me feel sorry for them. It made me feel sad they don't know how to type properly. It made me delete the comment so other people wouldn't be bothered with it. Life is too short to worry about sad small people. Enough said.

Bert Returns
Bert has a bubbly personality. You've seen the pictures. He's a cutie pie. But only when we're alone. Let a car pull into the driveway and he's outta here! Imagine his trauma at 2 days of people coming in and out of the house all day long making terribly loud noises. Poor thing. He spend his day under the couch in the far corner and didn't come out until 1 hour after everyone was gone. But he's sitting next to me right now begging for chin "skritches" so I think he survived.

The best thing about the guys working on the basement (other than the obvious dry basement) I got rid of 2 typewriters and a bowling ball! Now - do you know anyone that wants any other bowling balls (I've still got 3), or maybe a 15 year old computer, or some fishing gear or........

Sunday, October 28, 2007

100th Post & Knitting Gnome

Well here it is - the 100th post. I figured this would never happen. I tend to start out with gusto - full steam ahead and half way through something kind of poop out. One thing that has happened by posting on a blog - I've met new friends. It's odd to have friends that you've never met but someday I hope to change that. I've also been better at finishing projects. It's embarrassing to post about something for a long time with no progress. Having other people know about the project does help keep me focused. I've also gotten more pictures of Chief and Bert than I ever would have taken without the blog Sorry - it's picture time........

Get your foot out of my face! - Chief

This morning Chief and I settled in to knit.

I'm half way through the foot of the second Smooshy sock and really plan to get it done today but I also have to get the house ready for the water proofers - we'll see who wins.

Meanwhile, Bert was not in his usual den nap place so we went hunting for him. Does he just look really lonely or what!

UPDATE 12-21: I had a sudden increase in the number of people viewing my blog - this page. After doing a bit of hunting I found out there is a knit gnome swap that just started. Well, welcome all you gnome knitters. My little guy is quick and easy and would love to have a few new homes. Hope you enjoy this pattern and finding out about my boys - Chief and Bert. If you have any questions about the pattern -leave a comment (with email address) and I'll get back to you as quick as I can).

Now to what I promised for the 100th post - the Knitting Gnome pattern. A couple notes. If you want it in a bit better format, email me and I'll send you a pdf version. He originally was from a magazine from the 70s that no longer exists and we ( at the shop I used to help at) played around and made changes.

Knitting Gnome
Jill Chatelain

Finished size: 7-8 inches
Yarn: Scraps of worsted weight yarns. Colors of sample: White (boots); Brown (pants and hat); Green (shirt); Pink (face and ears); Gold (belt and buttons); Fuzzy tan (hair and beard); Red (nose and mouth).
Not showing is a small red heart appliqué on his chest under his beard.
Needles: size 6 or 7. The stitches should be firm but not tight. Gauge is not important as long as you get a firm fabric.
Other tools: Small crochet hook, scissors, darning needle

Notes: You will knit the gnome flat and sew the back and bottom. Work stockinette stitch unless told otherwise.

Directions: Legs & Body: Starting at bottom with white. CO 32 sts. K 6 rows. Work St st for 6 more rows. Change to brown, work 6 rows. Change to green work 14 rows.
Head & Hat: Change to pink, dec 1 st every 6th st. (27 sts). Work 7 more rows. Change to brown, work 2 rows. Next row: k6, place marker, dec 1 st, k6, place marker, dec 1 st, k6. Continue in St st and dec 1 st at each maker on the knit row until 1 st remains. Break yarn leaving enough tail to sew up back. Draw through last st.
Sew back seam and stuff firmly. Sew bottom seam.
Finishing: Using same color as knitting, stitch all the way through the middle of the boots and legs creating divide between legs. Do the same for the arms on the sides of the shirt. Run pink yarn around neck and pull it in.
Using blanket st and brown stitch around top of boots. Using gold and sew belt creating a little buckle. Sew buttons by making French knots.
Face: Using brown sew eyes of French knots. Using red sew mouth and nose. Using hair color sew eye brows and a moustache.
Ears: Using small crochet hook and pink yarn, ch 6. Dc into 5th ch from hook and 4th ch. Sc in 3rd and 2nd ch. Fasten off. Make 2. Sew to side of head.
Hair and beard: Using fuzzy yarn cut a piece about 3 inches long. Fold it in half and create knot in a stitch. If this piece is long enough for you to comfortably create knots, cut many more pieces and work into the stitches around the beard and hair area. Once you’ve got “enough” hair and beard to work with, fluff it up and give your gnome a haircut.

Now set him near your yarn stash to protect it and help you keep your knitting mojo.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A big barn with a water tower with an arrow

The last couple days I was out of town for business. The bosses decided we should have the management team meeting off site so we would be away from distractions. The Iowa people drove north a couple hours - we drove south a couple hours and met in the middle. You may be wondering what is half way between Des Moines and Minneapolis. - A casino with a big barn with a water tower with a big arrow on it. That's where we were. Lots of flat land - a gas station and the above...

To be fair the hotel attached was very nice. I'm not a gambling person so after the evening buffet we all went to see the comedy show and I headed to my room to watch TV and knit after that. Smokey casinos and gambling can't hold a candle to some quiet knitting time. I didn't get any pics of Andy enjoying himself because - well - there wasn't anything to see. He stayed in the knitting bag the whole trip.

Other than that, no knitting to write about. I'm heading over to the new site today to get it ready to have the 4th floor people start working Monday. Then I have to finish getting the basement ready for the water proofers on Monday. Yeah - this will be a fun weekend!?!?

The next post will be my 100th and I'll post the instructions for the knitting gnome. Bet you can hardly wait!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Family Knitting History

Well, this is the 98th post. I'm getting the knitting gnome ready so I can post instructions on the 100th post this weekend. I have an out of town business meeting Thursday and Friday so I'm guessing I'll be lucky if I have time to post anything. Andy Lumper will be coming with, just in case I can find some fun for him to have. If he finds anything good I'll be sure to get a photo record of it for you.

Monday was our sock group at Amazing Threads and we got a pattern from one of the staff. She wrote a toe up pattern. It was fun to watch the other ladies trying to figure it out. I was the only toe up person there. The yarn is on the other side of the room and Chief is happily sleeping between my legs so I can't get up - it's against the kitty mom rules - Don't wake up a sleeping kitty! So - I can't tell you the name of the yarn. I'll catch ya next time or when there's enough on the needles to show...

If you get up I'll report you to the kitty union" - Chief

In the meantime we're going to have a bit of family knitting history. It's amazing what I've been finding cleaning out my parents basement stash!
The first item will be 55 years old the middle of November. It's something my Grandma (the one that taught me to knit) made for my brother when he was born. Actually - it's probably 55 in Feb. because bro was adopted at 3 months.

Side story - Bro was born on Nov 14 & adopted on Feb 13, 1953 at 3 months. I was born Nov 6 and adopted on Feb 13, 1956 at 3 months. Strange family coincidence! We are definitely from different families - he's barely 5'5" and I'm 5'9'. He's strawberry blonde thin hair, I'm thick wavy dark hair.
Back to the onsie. It has cute little cable on the yoke and a sewn in ribbon/snap thing on the bottom. I'm sure he looked quite dapper!
Three years later this little sweater and bonnet was made in my honor. It feels like cotton.

Wow! was I ever that little!

If you go back in family history to the early part of the 20th century - maybe about 1900-1910 or so you would see my other Grandma in this garment.

Yup! It's her knit swimsuit. This one feels like wool and has a label so it was purchased at a store. The "brand" says Reinforced???? SO what do you think we wear now that people will be laughing about in 100 years?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Knitting Gnome is coming

This is my 97th post. I've been thinking about doing something special for the 100th post and decided I'll post the pattern for my knitting gnome. He's been with me since the early 80s. He's quick and easy and helps protect your knitting. He's about 7" tall so uses VERY little yarn.

I finished a couple baby items. The two hats are basic hats with add ons. The ears are pretty much just short toes of socks knit and sewn on. The eyes and nose of the teddy bear were just knitting some shapes and sewing on. The foster Mom of the preemie requested a hat in Winnie the pooh color - Hope she'll like the little hat.

Winnie the Hat & Teddy Hat

I also got the hooded sweater done but need to sew in the zipper. I get a picture up once get the zip put in. I also finished the first smoochy sock and started the second.

OH- one last thing. Saturday on our local talk show they had Kiki and the suthor of a new book, Kiki's Hats. Kiki is an older lady who knits hats and gives them away but, she'll give someone a hat and then give them a second one with the task of giving it away to someone else. It's a children's book and look very well done.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Secret Pal Strikes Again

I heard from my Secret Pal yesterday that my package had taken an extra journey but was on it's way. I got it today - YEAH!

Last package Chief was all over it from the second I set it down. This package - Bert was the chief inspector.

After I got all the packages out of the box Bert wanted to check out each one. He doesn't care as much for paper as the actual goodies so he left.

In comes Chief - let's see what's in the packages. I got goodies. My Secret Pal has obviously read all the little bizarre comments I've made lately. I got Lindt candy - truffle candy bar and Lindor truffles. YUM! There's only one thing I like better than these and there it is - 3 Aero Candy bars. These little goodies are only available from England or speciality import stores here in the states. I've only found one source so far. My Secret Pal found one too! YEAH! The boys also got treats. Hand picked by her "boy".

Of course there's yarn goodies too. I got Regia - the Kaffee Fassett line color 4251. I almost bought some of this on the Shop Hop last week but decided to hold off till next time the shopping bug hits. Now I don't have to. Then there's the last skein. I've been petting it since I opened it. The light lavender skein is Cashmere Silk from Jade Sapphire. Color - Lupine. It's very pettable (Chief likes petting it too). I've been gathering silk and "nice" yearns to make a sampler sweater. This may be saved for that project or I may just have to find a scarf that takes 400 yds. Such decisions!

Well, once again my Secret Pal has made perfect choices. My only problem will be how long can I hold out before I snarf down all the chocolate. THANKS!


The Sun. It's Here. I SAW IT!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Baby Knitting

After taking the hat pic of Chief this weekend I decided to try and get a shot of Bert with the hat on. There's a very definite difference on what the two boys will let me do. This is the best picture I got of Bert.

I mentioned the socks didn't get done this weekend because after the shop hop I started knitting the Blue Jeans Purse immediately. This little purse is made from left over cotton and linen yarns. The color on the picture is a bit off - The light blue is a bit brighter but otherwise the color is pretty close. The yarn was about dk weight. On the top and bottom is has a braided stitch which I had never done before. The bottom shows it off pretty well in the picture. It's done by doing a set up row of k1 color a - k1 color b all the way around then you work two rows of purl every other color but the unused color is at the front . One round you bring the new color around the old one from the bottom each st and one round you bring it over the top. I'll leave more specific directions to the pattern itself - Blue Jeans Purse #701 by Megan Lacey.

Right after finishing the purse I got word about the new preemie baby my friend got so - back into baby knitting mode which is why the hat was made. Last night Chief and I started knitting a little hooded sweater for the baby.

"Let's see - that's knit 2 purl 2." - Chief

The sweater is a hooded sweater with a bit of a difference, it zips up the back. A million years ago when I was young and friends were having babies (not Grandbabies) we came up with this pattern at the shop I helped out at. It was very popular back then and I hope my friend will think it's a clever idea. It's made from Woolease so it has a bit of warmth from the wool but can be thrown in the washing machine a lot.

If you look at the picture you will see a bit of history. The pink needle is from the pair I learned how to knit with back in the 1960s. How lucky are you - and I won't even charge you for seeing this bit of the "museum"!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Seasons of Knitting

I’ve been reading a lot of comments from other blogs about people having knitting problems. They’ve lost their knitting mojo. I’ve been thinking about this the past week. I think crafts are like the rest of our lives. They need to have seasons. How boring would it be if it was always the same sunny day, never a cloud, never snow, never the beauty of fall with the changing leaves. Or what if we always had to eat chocolate. You may like chocolate but what if that was all you could ever eat was chocolate. Never taste a nice juicy apple again. No more fresh baked bread. No more ice cream. Just chocolate.

I think losing mojo for something is a brain’s way of taking a break to regroup and get ready for the next burst of creativity. Kind of like winter when the earth gets a chance to rest and get ready for spring. So – don’t lose heart, take the time to look around at other things and get ready for your next spring. If you live in the Twin Cities you may want to head over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and check out the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit or the American Swedish Institute Sunday for a special Swedish Smörgåsbord. Maybe a walk around the lakes checking out the fall leaves (if they don't all fall this week from the rain).

If you really want to do something that will make you long to get back to knitting, you can come over here and help me move a boatload of junk from the basement so the contractors can get at the basement to water proof it next week. Trust me, the thought of having to move 3 piles of firewood, move a full wall of books and removing the paneling on 2 wall is just what it takes to get me desiring the knitting needles! My knitting muse is found in hating to doing this chore - I wish for all of you to find your knitting muse in a much more pleasant way!

Monday, October 15, 2007

There's a new baby

I didn't get the sock finished yesterday because I was sidetracked. I ended up knitting the little purse pattern I got on the shop hop. It's blocking so tomorrow I'll get up pics & details. Then today I found out a friend became a foster Mom to a preemie. So - Chief and I have been knitting little hats to help keep his head warm.

Ok - you can take one picture but that's it! - Chief

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shop Hop + Podcasts = Fun Weekend

Small stash but - good stuff!
Twin Cities Treasure Hunt - Shop Hop
This weekend is the Shop Hop for 7 of the Twin Cities Yarn Shops. If you haven’t begun, there is still time. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s going on at each shop. To start with you get your card stamped at each shop and at the last shop turn in your card to be entered in the grand prize drawing. Each shop has drawings for prizes every hour and if you win they will contact you so you don’t have to be present at the drawing. Also each shop is giving away a knitting tool and some are giving patterns.

Here’s what I got: Friday I ended work on the west side of town so I could visit a few of the shops. Trust me , this wasn’t an accident as to where my work day ended! I headed over to Coldwater Collaborative in Excelsior after work to start the event. I’ve always liked this shop but it is a bit far to travel for me. At the shop I got my first stamp. Being the first stop I got a plastic bag (with zipper) to hold all the treasures I’d be getting and their tool – a stitch holder (about 4” long). They also gave a packet of pattern leaflets. I found a great sock yarn from Chile I haven’t seen before.

The label says Araucania. It also says Ranco Multy, color 302. I don’t have many sock yarns that are hand-dyed with subtle enough color changes to be good for wearing to work. I like this one. I should also mention the yarn I got from my Secret Pal last month is also this type yarn – has color “movement” so it’s not boring but subtle enough to be visually comfortable to wear to work and business meetings. Back to the shop hop- I also found a copy of the new Interweave Knitting Holiday Gifts. I saw pictures of the projects on someone else’s blog and decided I HAD to have it. Lots of quick but not “cheesy” present possibility. My friends should be pleased with their Christmas presents this year if I get busy!

Next I went over to Needlework Unlimited. Their treasure was some safety pins. Big deal I thought, I drove all the way for a few lousy safety pins. I should have known better. Once I looked at them I realized they were coiless pins and will be great for marking rows (1 pin every 10 row makes it much easier to keep track of where you are in your knitting. They also gave some patterns from the shop.

There was still some time before 6pm so I got on the road, headed south and ended up at Zandy’s. They provided me with a new tape measure and of course another stamp for my card. I looked around a bit and headed for home with 3 of the 7 shops checked off my list.

Last night gave me time to watch Numb3rs and a few other TV shows and get a bit of knitting done on the Smooshy socks. I should get sock #1 done tonight. I should mention I’ve discovered (a bit later than most people) podcasts. I spent the last few days with Kelley Petkun of Knit Picks and her dog Xena. They have amused and informed me during my travels to the many shops. I started listening a couple days ago and just between work travel and shop hop travel I’m up to episode 17, Kelley has a similar knitting style to mine. I don’t mean she’s picker cause – I’m a thrower. But, both of us are multiple project people. You have to have project to fit your current mood and circumstance. I’m not going to take a big bulky project with multiple skeins when traveling, but a home – it’s perfect. She also got her start by learning to create your own projects. I learned the basics of knitting on Grandma’s knee with no patterns. We made Barbie doll scarves and other small items. After I took a bit of time off from knitting (4 grade thru sr high) I returned to knitting in college and made an afghan that I saw at my cousin’s house. It didn’t even occur to me to ask about a pattern. It was squares of knit blocks and squares of purl blocks. I went to the store bought a ton of blue and gold yarn, large needle and a small book on knitting. You see, Grandma never taught me to purl. She lived far away and we never got to that lesson. But I still have my first pair of knitting needles, metal pink size 8, and undying gratitude to Grandma for getting my started.

I’m starting to ramble – I’d better get back to the Shop Hop. This morning Bert woke me up early and demanded some quality butt in face time. Don’t you love how cats show their love for you by allowing you to see their back side close up! Fortunately Chief is more into petting my face to show affection so I only have to deal with one backside!

Sheepy Yarn Shoppe was my first 10am stop. They gave Chibi needles. One regular size and one small for socks. I didn’t know they came in small. This will be used very often! I bought a small purse pattern (which I forgot to get a picture of). The purse is multicolored cotton about fairly small but so cute I had to get it. Perhaps another Christmas present?

Heading south to Three Kittens. I haven’t been there since the new owners were having a huge “get rid of the old stuff” sale. They have done a great deal to the shop since then! They gave a gauge card as their tool. Lots of yarn. Lots of little nooks and crannies to search.

Journey onward to The Yarnery. Meanwhile, I found out Kelley at KnitPicks finished her baby kimonos. It was strange to have her as my travel buddy but fun. I actually found on street parking at The Yarnery – YEAH! I got stitch holders and decided I had to buy Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Knitted Socks. This is Kelley’s fault. One of the podcasts she went on about this book and, oh well, she convinced me. I also met another NW suburb person there. She was looking at sock yarn and I mentioned I was working on Smooshy. One thing lead to another and we figured out we both use Amazing Threads as our LYS. I was very stupid and didn’t write down her blog name. I remember Elijah is in the name but can’t remember the rest. If you happen to read this – leave a comment.

I left Amazing Threads for last. It seemed like the right thing to do, finish at home. I got my card stamped with the final stamp and turned it in. Then I headed up to the sale loft and found a few ladies having a ball digging through the baskets of ½ price yarn. I found some Mexican Wave by Elle – color 004 Pink Roller. If you look at the picture it looks like I got 2 different colors. Nope. It is that “slow” to make color changes. One of the ladies I was with bought yarn that was green/brown and pink. Here skeins looked totally different but we checked colors and dye lots multiple times to be sure. I’d love to see her sweater when she’s finished. It’s going to look “way cool”. I bought 5 figuring the baby mill at work will be able to use up this yarn. I’ve done 3 surprise jackets so far for work and I think there’s another baby on the way I haven’t heard about. I’m pretty good at knowing when people are expecting. I guessed my cousin was having her first about 2 weeks before she even knew. Just a side bar, I’m also good at guessing boy or girl. I’ve been wrong 2 times in my life. And no I don’t look at if she’s carrying high or any of the usual methods I just “know”.

Back to the Shop Hop. I got done and enjoyed it. My SUV is tired but it will survive. Bert and Chief are very happy to have new plastic bags to chew on. If you’re not doing anything Sunday, live in the Twin Cities and it’s between 10am – 6pm, think about going out and checking out the shop hop. You’ll enjoy yourself.

Quick Update - Renee knew the name of the periwinkle cable weater from my last post. Check out the comments from that post for the details. THANKS! Renee

Monday, October 8, 2007

Finally some knitting pictures!

I finally got a few picture taken to prove I've been doing some knitting. When I can't get in the knitting mood I frequently knit washrags. It's a good way to knit without having to think. Plus - you end up with some presents at the same time. These rags are made from Sugar 'n Cream. I made the round one, decided it wasn't quite big enough so picked up stitches around the edge and added a few rows garter stitch.
The mitered one is started with 4 stitched then every other row I added 2 stitched in the middle. By doing the miter from the small end out you get to use all your yarn. I just knit until I almost ran out of yarn and cast off.

Next, the Tofutsie socks. The pattern we got for sock of the month had 4 mini cable and blank areas in between. I thought that would make my ankles look even bigger so I decided on my own design. k2p2 rib sort of. every other row is all knit to create a garter st/rib. Then to change it up a little more every 10th and 14th row I did a- knit both knit stitches then knit into the back of the first st to give it a little broken look. It didn't give me as much of a difference as I hoped for but it's ok.

Finally there's the thing that has made the house smell like wet sheep all weekend. It's finally dry and just need some buttons. I'm really bad about buttons!

This is from one of the Knitter's magazines books. Being the organized person I am I misplaced the book so can't give you the pattern name right now. I photocopied the pattern so I would write notes on it and put the book somewhere. But - here's the details I do remember. It's one of Elsebeth Lavold's patterns and I'm 90% sure it came from the Knitter's magazine Jacket book. (maybe the Arans & Celtics book). I'll hunt it up and let you know.

Other details - It's Cascade 220 yarn. I actually knit it last year and finally finished it before I moved last winter. It got put away unblocked. Then summer came and it was too warm to think about this sweater. But, with fall approaching I decided I had to get this puppy out and finish it.
Pretty cables, huh!

I like the simple lines with texture. It's longer and flairs out to hang nice around my ample hips. It's going to be one of my "business" garments. Comfy but professional looking.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fish on a Rope

I had a comment today about the "fish on a rope" I got from my Secret Pal. Kat was wondering what it was and since she doesn't have any email listed I thought I'd better answer quick before I forget.

Here's a picture of the fish getting ready for action.

It's a small felt stuffed fish on an elastic "rope" with a ring at the end for owners or in the case of ours - for Bert to grab and haul all over the house.

Hope this answers your question.

I'm on Ravelry

It’s October. It’s Minnesota. It’s 81 degrees today. What’s wrong with this picture? I’m sitting here typing away in shorts with the A/C on because I foolishly decided to block a wool sweater and the whole house reeks of wet sheep. It’s been raining and it’s too humid outside to be of any help in the dry the sweater department.

Who cares about the sweater as long as I'm comfortable - Bert

Before I start I just have to say how wonderful my new computer is. I’ve had it for 1-2 months and I still marvel at some of the new features. Right now I’m very much enjoying the picture card slot it has. No more hunting up the cable to connect things together to get my pictures onto the computer. Just – “plop” and it’s in the ‘puter ready to do it’s picturely things. I like it! I also like that when I got the new ‘puter, I broke down and finally got cable broadband. I’m flying through life so fast I can watch streaming TV shows on it. Oops I missed the first episode of Heroes so just go to the website and watch it whenever I’m ready. Cool.
Now back to our regularly schedule post….

Today is Mom’s birthday on the calendar. It’s also my Aunt’s birthday (the one I spend a lot of time talking about my parents to) and a co-worker’s. Being a Sunday and restaurant’s being busier, I’ll take her and Dad out later this week when things are a little quieter. I briefly thought about going out today but then it started raining and getting the two of them into the car – into the restaurant, etc. without rain is hard enough so, I’ll wait. I can’t bring them over to my place yet because I still have too much of their stuff hanging around the house. Mom gets all sad and confused and Dad just gets confused. It’s better not to have them here, unfortunately. Bringing them here for the afternoon would be SO much easier. With luck I’ll have everything settled by Thanksgiving.

So – what’s holding up getting done other than my basically being lazy? I’m getting the basement waterproofed – FINALLY! I got estimates the past few weeks and finally got it set up to have new window wells and floor drainage tiling put in. It quite the big deal. There will be jack hammers and all sorts of strange things going on in the basement the last week of the month. Once that’s done I have an electrician coming in to get the house out of the 1950s and into this decade. I still have fuses and not a lot of them. I have WAY too much electrically powered goodies to keep the old system any more.

After that, I’ll be able to bring the rest of my stuff here from the old house and finally dump that sucker! Then guinifer will get to see pictures of stash north and south as a combined unit and faint from the amount o’ crud I have. I have dreams of the 4 heddle loom, cutting table, knitting machine, sewing machine and serger and all the assorted things that go with them living happily in a “new” well lit studio of fiber goodness. For those of you who need a bit more, there’s also a build in fireplace and bar down there ready for use.
The view from the den window is changing. The maple tree is busy being all pretty and colorful while the apple tree is full of fruit waiting to be picked.

Meanwhile - Bert and Chief are still enjoying the little Secret Pal box. I don't think I'll ever be allowed to throw it away!

Hey Chief - It's your turn to sit in the box and protect it. Tonight's garbage night! - Bert

FYI - I've been busy this weekend because I was invited to Ravelry last night - I'm Jillsknit (there is also a jillknits - not me)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sure sign of Fall

You can tell it's fall when the caramel corn appears "magically".
I have a great easy way to make wonderful caramel corn. It takes just the time to pop microwave to get the caramel ready. Here's the basics -microwave popcorn - a sauce pan - butter or margarine - brown sugar - vanilla - a big bowl & sirring spoon. Everybody has this stuff in their kitchen. Go ahead try this - you know you want to.....

Throw the popcorn in the microwave according to it's instructions. In the meantime, throw a hunk of butter in the sauce pan on high. The amount depends on how coated you want the popcorn to be. I use 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Let it melt. Throw in the same amount of brown sugar - 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Stir constantly until it hits a rolling bubbly boil. Squirt in some vanilla - about 1 tsp. The vanilla is going to get all excited about the heat and get the boil faster. It will calm down in about 30 seconds. This is ready. Take it off the heat - Throw the now popped corn in the bowl and drizzle the caramel over the corn and toss together. YUM!!

The main thing that can go wrong is not letting it hit the rolling bubbly boil. This "melts" the sugar grains to make it smoother.

My socks are getting there. I took a pic but it's ugly.

Ravelry is about 200 people from me. Is this what waiting to give birth is like!?!?

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ravelry is getting close

We're getting close at Ravelry -

Found you!
You signed up on August 8, 2007
You are #24134 on the list.
648 people are ahead of you in line.
15331 people are behind you in line.
59% of the list has been invited so far

They are flying through the names right now! I may have an interesting weekend.

Next weekend will be spent driving around to some of the Yarn Shops in town. October 12-13-14 is the "Tools of the Trade" Treasure Hunt. For details check out my LYS - Amazing Threads.
Just make sure you don't go until after Saturday afternoon so I get a chance to get the free tools at all the shops! :-)

We just got another site for implementation this week so I've been in hyper-busy mode this week. The first couple weeks of a new site set up is me going nuts creating signs, procedure guides, setting up meetings, hunting up MSDS (material safety info) info for copiers, sending about a bazillion emails and phone call messages, etc. If all this gets done before we walk in the door of the new site things go much smoother. Tomorrow is 4 meetings about this site so I'm guessing no lunch. I found McDonald's #2 meal is easy to eat in the car. It's the 2 small cheese burgers and fries and (in my case) Iced Tea. The burgers are small enough so you don't spill it all over yourself on the way to a meeting. I'm guessing this wonderful meal is why I have problems losing weight!

I've gotten some knitting done but much of the week was no-brainer knitting (washrags). I've gotten some sock knitting done. The 2nd Tofutsie should be done this weekend and I'll get pics. I started my Smooshy sock because I just couldn't wait any more. It's great yarn. Again- pics this weekend.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Chief's been busy

Yesterday I said how Chief likes to sit in the secret pal box that's too small - here's a picture.

He was not only busy sitting in the box but Chief helped me knit a few wash rags.
They're part of the Christmas present stash. I'm making random presents - wash rags, scarves, clog slippers and such that will end up with friends but I won't bother to figure out who gets what until closer to Christmas.

Chief also is learning how to read so he can help me read the patterns and not just hold the yarn down. What a guy!