Tuesday, December 27, 2005

After the Big Day!



Christmas is all over....can you believe it? We had a wonderful day filled with lots of presents, much love and laughter. About 18 family members were here and we all had a wonderful day. :) My son and his wife came up from the seashore and stayed with us for a few days and it was great having them here. They were such a big help with everything and we enjoy each other's company so much, that we fit like hand and glove.

We had tons of food, but you know the old adage, "better to overdo, than to run out of food with 18 hungry people. Since it was Christmas I even dove into the pastries and cookies, which I know I'll regret when I get on the scale, but Christmas only comes once a year, isn't that right?

Now, for the big news!! I GOT A DIGITAL CAMERA, YAY, and my secret santa was my DIL mentioned above..........does it get any better than that? I just finished getting everything up and running and took my first two pictures. By some miracle I managed to get them on here at long last. I know I haven't even scratched the surface of how to enhance my pics, and all the many options that are there that I don't even know how to use yet.

Anyway, here's pictures of a couple pair of socks I finished. The Fair Isle ones were knit with Regia and the blue and green stripes were Fortissima cotton. I used size 3 needles on each pair but when I knit my next pair I'm going down to a size 2 because I think they need to be a bit denser for longer wear. It's amazing how much more comfortable my feet feel when I put a pair of my hand knit socks on rather than store bought. Others don't realize the major comfort difference and maybe that's for the best or I'd be knitting socks for everyone, which would be okay if I didn't have somewhere around 8 or so UFO's floating about!


I hope that all of you had a great Christmas too! Now we can get ready for a brand new year, "with no mistakes in it", as the teacher tells Anne in Anne of Green Gables. May each of you have a healthy, happy 2006!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm Getting There!


I finised ALL of my Christmas knitting gifts and took pictures of each item that I still have to get developed before I can get them online for you to see.......alas, I don't own a digital camera, YET. :) So, I got 2 Christmas stockings finished and a lovely Chamonix scarf, and I'm closing in quickly on my Manos sampler afghan, which isn't a gift, but I'd still like to get it done before Saturday, which probably isn't in the cards, but I can dream, can't I? I promise to post pictures of the completed UFO's once I get them! My best to all of you for a wonderful holiday season and a great 2006!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday, Monday!

Today I'm off to the rheumatologist to see if I can get some relief from my shoulder and wrist pain that comes and goes. You know that a knitter cannot tolerate these things. I think it may be arthritis which I have in several fingers but I'm happy to say that they don't ache like toothaches anymore. :)

I can't believe how the time is flying by, can you? I am in awe of those bloggers who post just about everyday! I can only seem to manage about once a week or so, but I'm present and accounted for anyhow. I finished all embellishments to my DIL's stocking and I'm really closing in on the Manos afghan. Down to the last square which is a third of the way finished and then I block, sew, and voila!

I have to keep it short today as there's lots to do before I leave. If I don't get to post before Christmas, I wish all of you much joy, happiness, and peace for Christmas and in 2006.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's Getting Closer




I've been knitting up a storm the past week or so trying to finish up the last minute details, etc. I'm still working on the scarf for my brother but I'm not too worrried about finishing that up on time. Also duplicating names on the 2 Christmas stockings I knit and that's been time consuming mostly because I'm too picky about the letters being as perfect as they possibly can.
I'm still hoping to get a digital camera so that I can take some pics and put here because I know how much I enjoy seeing all of your finished items. I've seen some lovely things on a few blogs, namely a great Christmas stocking on Not Plain Jane and some adorable hats knit up by Miss Wooly Knits.




Just started wrapping our presents which I always enjoy. I thought we had lots of bows but who knows where they got to..........can't find them anywhere. Also started writing our our cards and found the most adorable picture of a kitty with a santa hat on which is so cute! Inside it says "wishing you a warm and cozy Christmas". We don't send out as many cards as we used to but I want to keep up this tradition as it's an important one for us.




Once I get my knitted gifts finished, I will get right back to the ever present Manos afghan. It's a "must get done" priority on my knit list. I tend to have some issues with finishing........it seems I get to the point where I'm just about ready to finish and voila! I put it down, sometimes never to be picked up again! I've been asking myself, "what's up with that", there must be a hidden insight with a message in it there, LOL.




Well, that's about it for now and I wish all of you a joyful week ahead and until next time.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Winter Weather

Finally, the colder weather is beginning here! I love the winter and the fall when I feel most energized and ready to tackle anything. Today we had the gas fireplace repaired since it wouldn't start when we first tried it. It took the repairman over an hour to fix the problem, a bad valve! So now, if we can afford to run the darn thing with the increased price of gas, we now have a working fireplace.

I started a pair of mittens last night with a lovely yarn, the name of which escapes me, but I'll report back later with it. I haven't had much luck with knitting the thumb in the one or two mittens I've tried so I hope that this pattern will make it a bit easier. I'm using a copied page of a pattern from when I first learned to knit. It was the first thing our teacher had us do....a mitten with a cable running down the top of the hand! Now that I'm more experienced I see that she picked a great project to begin with because it really got us started with quite a few things at once. Naturally, I don't remember too much from that lesson but perhaps when I get further along with the mitten it will all come back to me......or at least I hope it will!

Still plugging away on the Manos afghan which I should finish in the next 2 weeks. It will be one warm and toasty blankie to sit and knit with over a hot steaming cup of tea, ahhh, yes.

Well, that's about it for my part of the world right now, and I wish you all a great weekend with lots of good knitting.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Decorating Time


We had a wonderful time at our son's on Thanksgiving. The meal was sooo scrumptious and we enjoyed lots of laughs all around. The fact that my DIL had her tree up and decorated put us in the mood to come home and let the decorating begin!

Yesterday we put up garlands and some of the bigger items and today was unpacking boxes (and I do mean lots of them). We have way too many decorations and why I've kept them all is a mystery to me. I know many of them have sentimental value but I am going to part with as many as I can force myself to let go. We have a local mission and they could be used and enjoyed by those less fortunate.

I want to put out less decorations and enjoy them more, if that makes any sense. I look around me and find that I really want to pare down so much of what we have. I guess it's just one of those phases in life that as we get a little older, we want to simplify. I know I do!

On the knitting front, it's been a disaster of sorts. I made a lovely garter eyelet scarf using Chamonix and when looking it over after finishing it, I noticed an indentation of one side where I had joined in a new ball of yarn. Naturally, I couldn't just leave it alone, as that would have been way too easy. Instead I fooled around and picked it out and now for some unknown (to me, anyhow) reason, I have 2 separate pieces of scarf at about the mid section with "live" stitches on both sides?????? Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! This is going to take a knitter with alot more expertise than I have to sort out, and I just hope and pray I don't have to rip out an entire half.

Not much other news to report but I wanted to check in and hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Be well until next time,

Laura

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mid November Already!

It's so hard to believe we're only a little over a week away from Thanksgiving. The time keeps on speeding by and even though I swear that "this" will be the year I'm ready early, with no rushing around shopping for Christmas (which is only about 6 weeks away), somehow the year flies by and I'm still rushing about trying to figure out how to get it all done. I know some of you can sympathize with me. I know it always gets finished in the end and that's what I try and remind myself.......stay calm and focused.
I took the cute "animal test" from Miss Wooly Knits site and turns out I'm a young pony! I figured I'd be a kitty cat, since I love my 2 little sweeties, Bunny and Trixie so much, but I'm a young pony with much strength, grace, and beauty. I tried to copy and paste the result here, as Mary Ann so aptly did, but it wouldn't work for some reason.

I've been knitting alot the past couple of weeks and managed to finish my daughter in law's Christmas stocking which turned out quite nicely. Now I need to remember how to duplicate her name on it and stitch in a secure loop. I have trouble with those and wonder what others do to keep the darned thing in and secure when the stocking gets filled up and heavy. Can you share some of your secrets with me?

I also finished my brother's hat using Cleckheaton's merino supreme in a light grey with a dark grey touch of coloring patterning. I know he'll be nice and toasty in this.

I knit a scarf using a combo of Colinette's Isis and Zanzibar but after it was finished I decided it wasn't really long enough, so I actually ripped the whole thing out and am almost finished it for the second time. What a nightmare to rip out......I have this stuff all over our family room and myself in the process. I knew though, that I might as well do it or I'd never wear the darned thing.

If I get my digital camera for Christmas I hope to put lots of pictures up for you to see. I know that's half the fun I have reading and seeing pics on all of your knit blogs. :)

Well, that's it for now, as I'm about to turn in. I'm so tired, and I don't know why, but I might as well take advantage of being able to fall asleep right away rather than my norm of laying there with a million thoughts running through my mind. I don't think I'll have any trouble tonight, at least I hope not. So, a good evening to all and to all a good night.

Ho Ho Ho. Laura

Friday, November 04, 2005

Christmas Wish

We're having a "pollyanna" this year in our family and it's a good thing too, with the way our family just keeps on growing. It's the first time we've tried this so I guess we'll see how it works out. I know it will be a big help to everyone on the cash end, since things are getting way too expensive and it's not always easy to pick things for certain people. You want them to like and use what you give them, but sometimes there's just no way to avoid the pitfalls of wrong choices.

We pick our 3 top wishes and for my first one I picked a digital camera.....a bottom of the line type, that's hopefully easy to learn how to use. I have no experience with these but I would love to master one so that I can put my knitted FO's on my blog. I see some of your lovely pictures on the blogs I read and it's amazing how clear and precise they are.


As for my 2nd and 3rd choices, I know one of them will be a gift certificate to a favorite yarn shop. Not that I don't have way too much yarn stash already, but a tried and true knitting addict always wants more. Why, I don't know because I have more than enough already and probably won't live long enough to use it all, but does that stop me, NO. :)

As for knitted Christmas gifts, I'm working on a Christmas stocking for one of my daughters in law, and I've already finished one for my only grandchild. It has what looks like a brick fireplace in it and turned out so lovely. I will take a picture of it before I give it to her with my trusty old camera which then has to be developed, but I will be sure to get it online. I'm also knitting a hat for my brother who works outdoors and gets pretty chilly. I'm using Cleckheaton's merino supreme and I really like knitting with it. It has a good hand and great stitch definition. Also about half finished a lovely lacey type scarf using Rowan Chamonix, which is most definetly one of my favorite yarns of all, for another daughter in law.

Weather here is hardly putting anyone in the mood for Christmas though, since it's going up to 74 today and has been warm for a good week or better with no end in sight. Living in a climate where fall is here and winter isn't that far off, this is unacceptable to my love of the cool weather. Ah, well, you can't fight city hall, right, and/or Mother Nature, so I might as well get used to it. Until I write again, peace and good times to all.

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink".

Friday, October 28, 2005

Tagging

Even though I'm a bit late in doing this, I've been tagged by my pal, M, and so here goes:
5 Things I'd Do With $100 Million
1. I'd give my kids a few million each.
2. I'd give my mom a million.
3. I'd pay off our mortgage.
4. I'd donate a large sum to the ASPCA.
5. I'd donate a very large sum to our local Children's Hospital.

5 Places To Run Away To
1. Bermuda, my favorite place of all!
2. Oxford, England to tour, stroll, and take in all the sites.
3. Paris
4. Belgium
5. Germany

5 Songs I Know All The Words To
1. The Way He Makes Me Feel
2. Crystal Blue Persuasion
3. The Way We Were
4. At Last
5. Let It Be Me

5 Things I'll Never Wear
1. Thong Underwear
2. A Bikini Anymore, alas!
3. High Heels (anything over 3")
4. A Mini Skirt--once again, those days are over :(
5. Any furs

5 Snacks I Love
1. Cream Donuts
2. Fudge
3. Milkshakes (you can see where this is going, right)
4. Brach's Candy Corn
5. Tastycakes

5 Favorite TV Shows
1. 24 (can't wait for the new season)
2. Lost
3. Alias
4. Midsomer Murders (an English mystery show)
5. Monk

5 Favorite Toys
1. My Knitting Accessories
2. My Knitting Stash
3. The Computer
4. My Collection of CD's & DVD's
5. My Car

5 Biggest Joys
1. My Sweet Husband
2. Our great kids
3. Our Two Cats, Bunny & Trixie
4. My Faith
5. My Family's & My Health

And Finally, 5 People to Pass This Onto
1. Matt
2. Kay
3. Lee
4. G.
5. L.K.

So, there you have it, a bit of an insight to my personality, if you will. While doing it, I realized that some of the above isn't necessarily in order of importance......and when it came to naming 5 songs that I know all the words to, heck, I could name 100. I've been blessed with a great memory and for things like that, it comes in handy. I usually wind up telling my mother and my grandmother the words to the songs from their era as well as my own and my kids, LOL.

I wish you joy and great days until we meet again.

"The journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step."

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Computer Problems

My computer crashed utterly and completely! I did a google search for free "gifs" (for those of you who don't know what they are as I didn't till a friend told me, they're all kinds of cute little pictures which you can put on your blog). Apparently, one of the ones I saved had a major virus attached to it and voila, no more access for me! It's amazing how much info I had stored in my former computers memory and now to have to try and remember it all is no easy task. I'm sure many of you can sympathize with me on this, and maybe even have worse experiences.

The up side of it is that I did get lots more knitting done without the availability of logging in and surfing or emailing, etc. I worked on my Manos sampler afghan and I'm just finishing up the 2nd square (of 4) and then it will be completed. All I'll have to do is block, sew, and cuddle up under it. It's going to be very warm and toasty, which I'm sure my kitties will love.



"Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe".

"
P.S. What was I thinking? When I went to browse for the cat's picture, I realized that I don't have them stored anymore. You know what I'll be busy doing in the next couple of weeks, so by my next post I should have the picture up.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Autumn Is Here!

Today is a splendidly, cool, crisp day, just the kind we associate with autumn and it's been a long time coming to my part of the country! Summer just doesn't want to give up. Now, I know that makes many people very happy, but I'm one of the ones that can't wait for the cooler weather and the nippy nights to snuggle up and knit some more, as a sip a cup of hot tea! Does it get any better than that, I ask, tongue in cheek?



All morning I've been cleaning, UGH, but it must be done. Now I can settle down and do some knitting, but not till I get my butt out there and walk. I haven't walked much all summer because of the intense heat and how much it affects me, but I know I need to add walking to my "low sugar" lifestyle. So why do I dread it so much? I really have a hard time getting myself out the door, but once I finally do, I'm usually glad I did.....go figure!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mini Sweater


It's been a busy few days but I managed to get some knitting done. I had a doctor's appointment and took my knitting with me, all set to wait the usual "forever" time to get called in, but, as "Murphy's Law" would have it, I was called in about 1 minute after I pulled out all the necessary things to get started! :) Maybe there's a lesson here and I should always take my knitting with me wherever I know I'll have to wait. Perhaps once I take it out, this will work like a charm and, voila, no more long waits.........one can always hope.

I'm waiting for the results of my blood test to see if my glucose level has gone down. In August, it was creeping up there and my doctor wanted to discuss starting me on meds for adult onset diabetes. I didn't want any parts of that, and promised her that I would take some rather drastic measures (at least they're drastic for me) and significantly cut down my sugar intake. I bought the book she recommended (Sugar Busters) and really began watching, and buying different types of foods, etc. I even took a thorough inventory of everything in my cupboards and gave away a pretty darned good stash of candy.

Now, these candies were some of my favorites such as, a big, brand new tin of candy corn, 2 bags of SnoCaps, 2 bags of Raisinettes, and a box of assorted chocolates given to me by a dear friend. I know she wouldn't mind though since it's for a good cause in the end. My sons decided to bite the bullet, make their assorted sacrifices, and take the candy off my hands, LOL.

It's been about 8 weeks since I've had this "awakening" and I will find out next Monday, the 17th just what effect these broad and sweeping changes have had on my blood sugar. Please say a silent prayer that all goes well, because I dread the thought of having to be on medication for this, and I know it can make just about everything else much more involved.

Above is a picture of a little doll sweater I knit using Sweater Wizard. I was flying by the seat of my pants when I knit it (about 2 years ago), because I couldn't quite make complete sense out of the directions, which was the fault of my own and not SW. However, I plodded along and here it is. I used Kureyon and while I wasn't all that crazy about knitting with it, I do love the colors and how it looks. My son talked me out of it so he could use it as a sweater for his chihuahua........he looks adorable in it.

Well, I leave you with an inspiring verse and wish you well, until we meet again!

"Press on! If Fortune play thee false
Today, tomorrow, she'll be true;
Whom now she sinks she now exalts,
Taking old gifts and granting new,
The wisdom of the present hour
Makes up the follies past and gone;
To weakness strength succeeds, and power
From frailty springs! Press on, press on!"

Park Benjamin

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A Relaxing Sunday


Thanks to Mary Ann (she knows who she is :), I finally got my first picture on my blog . I used the Blueberry Waffle pattern available on the web at www.azhreia.net/socks/waffle.html and it's a free pattern. I really loved working with the yarn, which is Cascade's Quattro, a worsted weight. These babies will be very toasty and come in handy for winter, if it ever gets to this part of the country, that is. I'm a big cold, crisp weather type of person, so I look forward to it cooling off after the unbearably hot summer we had.

We had a nice day today, just doing our own things. Mine was reading, doing the Sunday crossword puzzle, and of course, knitting. I tried a new pattern for a mitten, but I wasn't all that happy with the outcome. It called for a chunky yarn on size 101/2 needles and I couldn't get the gauge quite right. When I went up to an 11, still too small, and a 13 just looked too open for a mitten to be warm enough. I knit it using 2 strands of Jaeger DK merino and it came out very tiny, which is kind of cute, but unusable even for my GD, who is only one. :) So, I'll save it for a Christmas tree ornament, but all the same it was fun to knit.

G read the paper from front to back all morning and then watched football for most of the day. He's an Eagles fan, so what can I say? I'm not all that fond of football, so I watched my English shows on our other tv. I absolutely love Inspector Morse, Midsomer Murders, Poirot, etc. .....you get the picture . On Sundays, they are on for a good part of the day, so it works out for each of us.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful week filled with much love, happiness, and inner peace.

Blessings, L.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Rainy Saturday

It's been raining heavily since yesterday, with some mighty gusty winds, which always scare me. I don't mind the rain at all, since we really need it, but the high winds have always made me nervous. Ah well, so far, so good!

I worked on my Manos sampler afghan last night and had to rip out 2 rows on a lacey type square....what a bummer! I'm knitting this afghan in 3 strips, 4 squares each strip, and each square with a different pattern. It's turning out nicely, and is lovely yarn to knit with but it's been in the works for quite awhile now, so I'm really glad that I'm nearing the end. Then, I'll wash and block it, and I think I'll try crocheting it together.

G & I went food shopping earlier today and can anyone tell me what happens when we swear we're just going for a few things we need and when we get there it's our list plus more?? G,
(my darling husband) said to me when we were checking out, " I thought we were only getting a few things"??? Oh well, I thank God that we live in a country where we have food available and sometimes I look around the store and feel guilty when I think of all the choices, let alone all the waste that must go on.
I think it's time for some knitting now, so I'll call it an evening. Perhaps I'll work on the afghan or maybe on the Aran baby blanket that's been calling my name for quite some time. I tend to have way too many projects in the wings and I'm trying to finish at least 2 or 3 before starting anything new. It takes some serious discipline , but I'm determined. I always feel so good when I finally do finish a long overdue project.

Friday, October 07, 2005

So, I'm An Official Blogger :)

I finally did it.....I'm a tried and true blogger! So many of my pals have their own place to put down all of their thoughts, fears, little and big aggravations, etc. that I thought it might be time for me to join in.

I've read some blogs and some of them are very interesting, some quite funny, and others just not my cup of tea. However, I don't always have all that much to say, so I won't be terribly prolific or funny, but I'll always be ME, and for each of us, that's more than enough.

I love to knit and crochet and find that the more I participate in this wonderful craft, the better I become at it and that always delights and amazes me to this day! My problem lies in the fact that I must think I have more than 2 hands with all of the yarn I have stashed away (easily enough to outlive me), and the projects I have going as we speak, let along swirling around in my mind. I can't imagine my life without my craft and it always gives me such peace and relaxation. I wish the same for all of you, no matter what your pastime may be.

I guess I've said enough for now, and since I feel vaguely "out of my depth" on this blog, I will say bye for now!