Saturday, April 25, 2009

You've got ...... comments

There's the opening scene from the Meg Ryan/ Tom Hanks movie that gets to me every time because its so true to life. Meg Ryan is sitting at her computer, "What will NY152 say today I wonder. I turn on my computer. I wait impatiently as it connects. I go online, and my breath catches in my chest until I hear three little words: You've got mail. I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you." Those magic words - You've Got Mail. Tom Hanks says a similar thing. What will Shopgirl say today. I love that movie. I think because it's me.

When I open up the computer and get things started up I check email if I have a little number listed by my Inbox I know someone out there is thinking of me. True, sometimes its junk email or someone letting me know my statement is available to view on line but still - I'm being thought about. I'm not alone.

After email I open up Ravelry. If its a good day when I log in the first thing I see is that little message sign wiggling at me. Someone in the knitting world wants to tell me something. I've got Mail! If that doesn't happen I open the forum tab and hopefully there will be the little envelope saying I have some replies to comments I've written.

I hurry over to the forum with the comments and now have to decide. Do I read the other topics first and catch up on those and save the topic with my reply for last - savor the moment or - do I hurry to the topic with the envelope to see who is leaving me a message and which of my messages was "important" enough for someone to reply. Such decisions!

The other side of this is when I write what I think is a cute, funny comment and I get no replies. Don't they like it? Was it really stupid and I shouldn't have added that message to the topic? What if no one likes me? Good thing I'm not paranoid or this could get ugly!

This blog is the same. When I get comments I get all excited and know people are reading and taking the time to let me know - they are connecting with me on some level.

The whole purpose of writing this isn't to get more comments (but they are ALWAYS welcome!) but its to say I need to listen to myself. I get terribly lazy at commenting on other people's blogs. I read them, enjoy them and click on to the next blog to read. BAD Jill. I need to take the time to let people know I read and enjoy their blog. I like comments and I know other people like comments on their blogs. So - here's the deal. Starting this weekend I'm going to be better about leaving comments on the blogs I read. They may not be exiting comments but I will let people know I read and enjoy what they take the time to write.

If you read my blog and don't get a comment on yours in the next few weeks - let me know about your blog cause I'd like to know who reads mine and get to know you through your blog.

See you around......

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Signs of.......

Signs of Spring

Everyone always sees pussy willow branches with the cute little buds that are so fun to "pet" and feel nice and soft like bunny feet or kitty feet. But as springs moves along the little buds grow up and well - explode into millions little feelers. I always thought this looked so cool.

Another sign of spring I look forward to is the Boys hanging out by the open window. They LOVE watching the activity in the back yard. Important stuff like the leaves I didn't rake last fall blowing around or the birds looking for the seed I haven't put out yet.
Guess all the signs of spring mean I have some work to do outside to get the yard ready for summer..... but.....instead......I have my own sign of spring.

MY Sign of Spring
For some reasons spring usually means I start a million new projects that are totally unrelated to getting the yard cleaned up. I think I'm in denial of all the work.
What do we have here?

Why, yes, that's a side table filled with knitting projects. We have a hot pink baby sweater on the top.
The green in the front is my Soft Shoulders cable sweater I started in 2003- it reappeared from time out about 6 weeks ago.
The baggie is sock yarn left over from all my socks. I've been miter knitting but I keep telling people its not going to be a sock blankie. When it ends up to be 5 feet by 6 feet maybe I'll admit its a blankie.
The light blue under the baggie is my Icelandic shawl. I'm up to the border which is a lot of stitches and really wide.
Between the shawl and the baby sweater is an off white Tree of Life Afghan.
In the front is my iPod TV controls and my laptop is sitting on the chair in front. Frequently the laptop sits on my lap while Chief sits between my legs on the recliner -sleeping and purring.
Not showing is a few socks and other projects.
But that's just one side of the chair - the other side....
That table holds knitting needles, knitting magazines and pop. Frequently on top of this whole pile sits Bert.
Hopefully by summer a few of these projects will be in the finished list and somehow the yard fairies will magically rake and clean up the garden.
Fairies? Where are you???

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Kitty

The Easter Kitty wishes you


Good food
Good Company
Good Chocolate

Can I get out of this now? -Chief

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lunch and a good read

One of my weekly treats is going to Panera Bread for lunch. I get the Pick Two lunch and sit back to enjoy great food and read a book or, when it’s the right time, a new knitting magazine. There’s a JoAnn next to the Panera so when the new magazines come out, I run over to JoAnn – grab the latest magazine and – enjoy my lunch break.

Today I got two of the latest UK magazines. Anyone reading this in the UK will not be too excited because we get the magazines a month late so you’ve already read these and enjoyed them. Those of us in the US – if you haven’t seen these 2 magazines yet, there’s some good knittin’!

Simply Knitting – Issue 52, April 2009. I get this magazine every month. It comes with a free gift and I LOVE getting free gifts. Several of the gifts have become part of my basic knitting tools. Most issues have a toy designed by Allan Dart. I should rephrase that – cute toys from Allan Dart. This issue has a special knit wedding cake from Allan. It’s not my thing but it is cute. What has me excited about the issue are a couple sweaters. The cover sweater is small squares of knit and purl, button up front with a scoop neck and a nice collar. It's comfortable looking but nice enough to use as a business sweater. It’s made from Rowan 4 ply Soft which is a 100% Merino fingering weight. There’s also a sweater made from Boucle called Country Style. It’s a jacket with a pleat in the back and on the sleeves. Another good business sweater.

The Knitter is a new magazine from the UK. (sample of issue 1) Issue 3 is filled with Felted Moebius baskets from Cat Bordhi, A cable Sampler Afghan from Melissa Leapman, Nora Gaughan’s Starfish Shawl, a child’s sweater from Sasha Kagan, an article by the Mason-Dixon ladies and so much more. This magazine is serious about knitting!

One thing I love about knitting magazines is their collectability. I have the first issue of Knitter's Magazine. It's still a keeper. These two new magazines will be keepers too.

Mom, I'm a keeper too, right? - Chief

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Amazing New Cat Toy

This week I gave Bert a new toy. He loves it. He played with it in the Cat Cottage.

He played with it in the Cat Cottage for a long time.

He played with it outside the Cat Cottage and returned it to the cottage.

It fascinated him for a very long time.

Bert played with this new toy for 3 days before he got tired of it.

What was this great and wonderful toy that can hold a little boy's attention for 3 days? You're wondering where you can get one?
Simple, go buy a bag of candy wrapped in foil. Eat the candy and make a foil ball out of 4 of the wrappers. Toss this ball to the kitty - sit back and enjoy the show.
Why do we keep buying cat toys when our throw away stuff makes them just as happy!?!?!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm 2 Years Old

Well - my blog is 2 years old. I just realized today is my blogiversary. What was I doing 2 years old?

"Back about a million years ago I had a shop. It was my passion. I sold knitting supplies for hand and machine knitting. I also sold sewing supplies - machines, quilting supplies, etc. We had fun. I also managed to travel the country teaching and wrote for a few magazines. People actually liked my patterns and bought them. So why did I quit. Simple. I didn't make enough to survive. No health insurance, no dinners out, no going to the movies, no money. I've been back in the "real world" for almost 10 years but I miss the creative life. It's time to return.

Now this isn't to say I haven't been sewing and knitting - I have. It's just that I haven't stretched the creative side of my brain too much lately. I buy patterns someone else wrote and the most creative thing has been to decide what yarn and what color. I'm in the middle several projects right now. I've knitting some socks - Opal Rodeo; a cable sweater from an old Knitter's magazine; I just finished knitting a gorgeous sweater out of Cascade 22o which needs putting together; and I made one clog that needs a partner and felting. I'll get some pictures up of these projects shortly. I'll let someone find this blog first."

I still work for corporate America, for health insurance and retirement funds. Not because its my passion.
I've posted a couple patterns on Ravelry for download.
The Opal socks are still being worn.
The cable sweater sadly, is still in progress. It's sitting about 2 feet away from me. The front and back are done and the sleeves are over half done. It was in time out for a while but lately I started making progress again.
The gorgeous sweater out of Cascade 220 was put together and I decided the sleeves were too long because I added width to the sides and this dropped the shoulder further down on the sleeve and well, you can figure the rest out. I took it apart and never got around to fixing. I really like this sweater so I must bring it out again to finish!
The clogs were finished but I never felted them because I planned on felting them once I decided who was going to get them to be sure the felting was the right size. But- I never gifted them so they've sat around done but not felted.

2 years later I'm still here. Some of my projects are done, some aren't. Things that have changed the past couple years are mostly because of Ravelry. I've met new friends and a new knitting group that was started thru Rav. All in all, I'm glad I blog and I'm glad knitting has been a vital part of my life the past couple years.

What's next? - guess we'll all have to wait and see. Maybe a few finished UFOs!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April FOolS on mE

There I was at work today thinking about what great April's Fool joke I play on you all. Then it hit me I'll tell everyone about the book deal I just got. I've been working on a mystery novel the past year and sent the first chapter to some publisher's and lo and behold - a publisher wants it. I was going to tell you abou the basic plot of this mystery which has a knitting base. But - somewhere during the day while I was pltting this great joke and devising the plot I was going to tell you about I realized. This is a really good plot idea. If I read a book jacket about this story I'd want to buy it and read it. I know a lot of knitters would want to read it too.

CRAP! Now I have another thing I want to do but will probably never get around to. So April Fool on me.

If I don't write this book by 2014 (give myself 5 years and time for you to forget this promise) I'll tell you the great plot so someone who would actually write it can use the plot and we all can enjoy a new knitting mystery. Don't hold your breath.

I'll just sit and stare at the wall until you write your book. - Chief