Sunday, November 30, 2008

I was Tagged

I was tagged by Guinifer of Halfway down the Stairs with the Six Things Meme.

These are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random, arbitrary things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here we go -
1. I was a dietitian for 10 years but decided to change careers after being a department head with 10 years of experience and 7 years of college and finding out a beginning LPN was making more than me.

2. I have no kids but love to watch Disney channel and other "kid/teen" shows.

3. I try pretty much any craft that comes my way - stained glass, woodwork, quilting, pretty much anything having to do with fiber - weaving, knitting, crochet, cross stitch, sewing, etc.

4. I was a youth delegate to the United Nations in high school.

5. I once towed a pontoon boat filled with people across a lake by swimming with a rope wrapped around my shoulders (dead motor - no paddles).

6. I really bad at measuring things before I buy them so we had to take the side windows out of my living room so the sofa would fit in when I bought it.

Now the people I tag.


Well - that's as creative as I can get cause I have to save up my energy to be ready to head back to the rat race tomorrow. Darn.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome the Cardinal Bag - almost....

Back this summer when Mom passed away I decided I needed to design a bag that would be her. Something I could see and say - Mom would like that. So, naturally it had to be a bag with red on it. But more then just red it had to have a cardinal. I designed it, wrote it up, had it test knitted, and waited for the sun to come out. It would occasionally come out but always when I was at work or somewhere else. Today the sun has tried to come out and I gave it a try to get good pictures.

I had help.

A little too much help.

The pictures did not come out as well as I had hoped. Maybe tomorrow we'll have better sun. In the meantime, here's the bag in Summer cardinal and Winter cardinal. Both are felted and a very easy knit.

Summer is light blue with green button leaves on the branches and was knit in a way to create a 3-D effect with the cardinal while Winter is dark green with a lighter branch with snow on it and the cardinal was knit to stay flat with the bag. The summer one is felted tight and the winter one felted loosely. This way everyone can see what amount of felting they want before they throw their own bag in the washer.

The pattern will be up on Ravelry for sale by the end of the weekend - if the sun cooperates!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I need this kind of help

I had to put this YouTube up and share with everyone. Part of my job is dealing with big huge copier/printers. The kind that are about the size of an RV. I set up digital files to create documents, booklets, books, etc. Well, part of my job is doing this. There are times the monster copier/printer just won't do what I need it to do. I have a 1,000 page book to print with 45 tabs, some 2 side, some 1 sided printing, some inserts in different color paper, and more. We need to print 500 of these books in about 30 seconds (that's what it feels like) and I can't get the set up to work. The tabs won't line up proper. I re-program everything about a million times and well - I get a bit upset with the file and the printer.

That's where this YouTube comes in. I'd be so happy if I had this technician to assist me!

Okay - back to getting ready for company tomorrow........

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's all about the numbers

This week has been all about numbers.

How many days till Thanksgiving (i.e. - how many days to get the house cleaned)
How long till I get out of work each day - so get working on the house cleaning.
How many pounds should the turkey be to feed everyone and have some leftovers.
How many pages can I get read during lunchtime to get the book I'm reading done before it's due back at the library.
How much yarn will the current project take.

One set of numbers I miss because I haven't been machine knitting for the past couple years is the numbering system for yarn. I really wish hand knitting would embrace this system. There's a couple systems - cotton vs. "worsted" type yarn. I'll explain the basics behind the "regular" yarn system. See if you don't agree that this would be great to have with hand knit yarns. All yarn is given a 2 digit number, a fraction. The most common I'd use was 3/15 weight yarn. Other frequently seen numbers were 2/15, 2/24, 2/8.

The way this system works is - the first number is the number of plys. The second number is the weight number of 1 ply. The bigger the number the thinner the ply and the more the yardage. I won't go into exactly what the numbers mean but the way most machine knitters used these numbers was to figure yarn size.

The number you get when you divide the numbers of ply and the yarn size tell you the "size" of the yarn. The closer to zero the fatter the yarn and the less the yardage.

For example: a 3/15 yarn is 3 plys of a 15 weight yarn. It's "number" is 5.
A 2/15 is 2 plys of the 15 weight yarn and its number is 7.5
So the 3/15 yarn would be bigger and have less yardage than the 2/15 yarn because its number (5) is closer to zero than the 7.5.

Not only does this give you the yarn size but it lets you substitute yarns with confidence.
Say your pattern calls for a 3/15 yarn but you have one that you absolutely love but it's a 2/24 yarn.
OK - the 3/15 yarn is a 5. The 2/24 yarn is a 12- too thin. If you take 2 strands of the 2/24 yarn you now have 4 plys and when you do the math you get 6. That's pretty close to 5 so if you double up your really pretty 2/24 yarn you can very probably make your pattern and get gauge.

Wouldn't it be nice to have our hand knit yarns have a system that gives us the most accurate sizing as possible. Right now a DK may really be an aran weight because the person who decided it's weight decided it looked thicker or thinner. I don't know how many times I seen a yarn that's marked dk weight but was really sport weight once I figured out gauge.

That's enough about numbers for now. The last number I'll mention is 1. Have a number 1 great day Thanksgiving with whoever you get to spend it with.

Thank you for taking time to read my blog the past few years. Thank you for your comments and friendship you've provided through the comments. Thank you for helping me get through the family problems this past year. Finally - Chief & Bert want to thank all of you for putting up with the billions of pictures I force upon you of them.

The boys first meal together - 4 years ago.

Bert joined the family 11-14-04

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cat in the Box

When I got home tonight I didn't get my usual happy little kitties at the door to say "Hi Mom". Chief was camped out on the sofa staring at the dark-dark night. I called. He didn't even bother to turn around to look. I took off my coat. No movement. I went over to the front door to retrieve the package that had been left. Not even a whisker moved. I brought the package in the den and grabbed the camera. Still nothing. That cat was camped out for good.
You may notice the kitty afghan FULL of cat hair. I made that several years ago to protect the top of the sofa. I learned early there's no way to keep cats off such a wonderful spot so you might as well protect it. The kitty afghan is about 18" wide and the length of the sofa. It's folded in half in the pic. Guess I was planning on grabbing it to clean and didn't quite make it. Maybe this weekend.

Meanwhile - Bert was camped out in front of the kitty tunnel and looked like he was ready for a quick get away if I tried anything.

So - what was in the package and what would actually make a Chief move? The Chief answer is - he found an empty box too tempting to stay on the sofa and had to check out the box. See the side of the box - it says "Knit P" in that purple script that can only mean I got something from Knit Picks.

I finally decided to give myself a birthday present and ordered the Options set. I have a couple needles and a couple cable sizes and decided I definitely wanted the whole deal. I also got some Swish to make a pair of gloves for a Christmas present.

While the camera was out and while I was thinking about Knit Picks - here's a picture of my latest Quick Beret. It's KnitPicks Suri - a bulky alpaca mix. The hat knits up super fast and this one looks best purl side out. Another present off the list.....

Still while the camera was out - Bert noticed the camera strap and decided it's time to play.

Guess I'll go find supper and play with the little boy.
Have a great weekend. I'll be cleaning the house for Thanksgiving company.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Play with the KNIT Mouse

I've been knitting the past few weeks

I finally decided the sun and my camera will not be seeing each other for a long time during the week (Minnesota doesn't see the sun when you're not working during much of Nov., Dec, Jan.) So - here's some pics of the last few projects I've finished. Pics taken inside with a flash and colors are a bit off.

The Quick Suri Scarf - I had a couple skeins of Knit Picks Suri Hand dyed hanging around the house since last year so I decided to knit a simple scarf. It started out being garter st but I decided to add a lace section for a little interest.

The garter st section is 10 rows then the lace section is 3 repeats of a 2 row pattern - row 1: k2tog, yo. row 2: purl. Very simple. Very quick.

My Ravelry knitting group (NW Twin Cities Burbs) decided to do some charity knitting in November. We decided on preemie hats to donate to the local hospital. My hats so far are below. The pink/purple ones are all one skein of a dk weight yarn I picked up on sale for $2.25. Not bad! Five babies will have warm heads for $.45 each.

I bought some Talinay a few months ago thinking I would make a hat and mittens. When I came across Crazy Aunt Purls Quick Beret pattern I knew I found the hat. The color is fairly close in the picture but the blue/green is a bit more teal than the pic. This is a bulky yarn so I knit it on a size 13 and the hat was done in less than one night. I've already started the next hat in Knit Picks Suri. I see Christmas presents getting done rather quick this year with these hats!

About a month ago my fingers needed to knit something quick and I ended up making one of Mason/Dixon's baby bibs. I have no current need for it but the way babies pop out at work I'll probably need it before I hunt up a button.

Finally - Dad gets Elizabeth Zimmermann's Woodman's socks every year to warm his cold diabetic feet. This years socks are Woolease because they need to be machine washable at the memory facility. Last year's pair head up well and were in green. The white band at the top is so I can write his name on the inside while he still looks stylish.

Bert & Chief play Mousie-Mousie
When I came home from work tonight I could tell the boys were playing their favorite game. The fish on a string was in the middle of the living room, their knit mice were all over, the broom was knocked down. It looked like they had a great time. Then I went to the hall. The hall where I just finished pulling up the carpet to reveal the hardwood floor. The beautiful "new" hall. They were playing in there too but they upped the ante. There in the middle of the hall was a little body. A dead mouse. Ick! Well, at least they didn't try to eat it. At least they caught it and I don't have a mouse running around the house. I should be proud of my hunter kitties but - ick!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanks Dad and Grandpa and....

My family is filled with veterans. Mom’s side of the family is ALL Navy. Grandpa was the oldest non-. Commissioned officer when he retired. He lied about his age to get into the Navy early. He was in San Francisco right after the big earthquake in 1906. The Navy was stationed just off the coast and called in to control the crowds until the Coast Guard and “regulars” could take over. He was down in Panama while the canal was being dug. He was over in China before the doors were closed to the west. During WWII he fell down the stairway in the ship and broke his back. Because they were in radio silence he couldn’t get help. Grandpa stayed in a hammock for a long time and the swaying of the hammock ended up setting his back and he never had problems that he talked about.

While Grandpa was busy being a Chief Petty Officer, his son (my uncle) was also serving in the Navy. Meanwhile – Dad was on board the USS Sands with my Uncle. Mom was about 22-23 years old at the time and Grandpa was worried that she was going to be an old maid. His answer was to bring home Navy guys. Dad was one of them and well – that story is for another day. Dad’s brother-in-law was also on the ship with them all.

Yup it’s a Navy family. But not to be out done, Mom’s sister married an Army guy. His son became an Army guy. My cousin married a Navy guy. I could go on.

This day is to remember all these family members and all the others who have serviced to keep our country safe. We take serving the country seriously in our family and those of us that did not serve but benefited from these Navy guys and Army guys are so grateful and proud to call these veteran’s our own.

Thanks Grandpa, Uncle B, Uncle B2, Dad, Uncle W, cousin P, cousin-in-law R. You’ve all made our lives so much better.

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's my party and I'll knit if I want to

Yesterday was my birthday. I started out at work with crazy workload. We've got a huge project going on so I have people working on it 2 shifts for 5 days. Won't bother to explain the project cause - quite frankly it's boring but - I just glad a schedule could be worked out with enough associates so I don't have to be there. Hopefully I won't get any phone calls cause things went wrong!

The best part of yesterday was all the well wishes. I got many emails at work from people I've worked with in Minnesota and Iowa wishing my happy birthday. I also had people stopping by all day - a cake appeared midday and flowers were on my desk. All these really make crazy workload things easier to survive.

On Ravelry the group I hang out with the most is the She-Knits gang. I had so many posts. Then I headed out to my monthly knitting group started on Ravelry. I got a beautiful handmade card - sock yarn - cupcakes that were HUGE and delicious. Great way to spend a birthday.

Last night we spend the evening working on preemie hats to donate to a local hospital. Some of the ladies got hooked on making them and we'll be working on them through the next month and I'll gather them all to bring to the hospital next month. They're so small and so cute! If anyone is interested in making some and sending them to me, I'll add them to ours when I bring them to the hospital. I'm not making a contest or anything but all donations are welcome so for the sake of the preemie babies. Email me ( and I'll give you the address to send them to.

Hats finished at group last night

Have a great weekend and I'll try to get the camera out and get a few pics of all the knitting I've done lately.

OH- before I hit Publish Post I have to say how amazing it is that our senate race is so close. The votes between Norm Coleman and Al Franken are barely 200. That's 200 votes between them with over 2.8 million votes. Can you say recount?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I need some Mental Floss

I have a secret shame that I haven;t admitted to anyone until now. I have no kids but love to watch kid shows. I know who Hannah Montana is. I know all about Phineous and Ferb. I just don't dare talk about this too much to friends. They'd think I was a bit touched in the head.

What does all this have to do with you and my blog? Well - there's an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (yeah- I know- stupid show- I watch it too) In this episode, one of her aunts uses some mental floss. You just run it through the ears and your brain gets cleaned out so you can think better. I could use some of that mental floss these days. I have so many things running through my brain I end up getting very little done.

We have multiple projects going on at work that require coming up with many ways to doing them because other people don't get their part done on time and you have to totally change the game plan in a seconds notice. So I have all these possible scenarios running through my head all day clogging things up.

At home I have so much that needs to get done I end up ignoring it all and watch stupid kids shows and knit instead. This isn't helping me make progress on some things I absolutely have to do. I need to get the basement cleared out enough to make it company usable by Thanksgiving when the extended family comes - the guys need a place to watch the games and sleep after the meal! I need to get some of the furniture in the garage moved downstairs - same reason. I have what feels like miles of paper (receipts, records, etc) to go through to be sure I have parent stuff taken care of properly. I have knit items that need to be finished - buttons sewn on, etc. and photographed for here and ravelry. I have many more things you don't want to read about. So what do I do - like I said- watch dumb TV and ignore everything else.

Today's game plan is to pretend I only have one of the huge list of things to do and get it done. Then I'll pretend I have one other thing to do and so on. I may not have the real mental floss but I can create my own version by getting my focus on one small goal at a time. Wish me luck - but first I think I'll watch some kiddie TV and knit!