Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year's Eve

2004 has flown by. Due to Hurricane Ivan I've lost a month somewhere, it really should be about Thanksgiving time not the beginning of 2005.

How will 2005 start for me? Hmmm, how about ovenless! Got up yesterday morning to bake the kids a nutritious breakfast, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, and the oven would never get hot. It's a gas stove so the burners work just fine, the clock on the stove works and the oven light works. I'm hoping that maybe just the pilot went out but then the top of the stove wouldn't work would it? What a mess. I'm taking my turkey to work with me and throwing it on the BBQ pit. Hopefully it will completely cook while I'm there. Since my next non-holiday day off is Wednesday there's no hope of this problem being resolved before then.

Other than that no plans for the weekend, it's the first of the month so not a lot of extra money to play around with this weekend. Yesterday at the video store I picked up used DVDs of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Big Bounce.


I was so excited to discover that Motley Crue is going back on tour! I *heart* Nikki Sixx. I love that man, have since I was about 15. If their tour brings them anywhere near Florida I am there! The last time I saw them was about 10 or 12 years ago at the Midsouth Colliesium in Memphis. I know, GROW UP! But hey I'm a child of the 80s. I can't help myself. Speaking of the 80s. One of the kids I work with was talking about the 1980s like they were the 1950s or something. Then it dawned on me, when I was her age Happy Days was a hit show. I am so old!

I do miss the 80s. We had the best music. No Parking on the Dance Floor, You Dropped the Bomb on Me. Mine and DH's first date was to go see Purple Rain and then about the 5th date or so we went to see Prince at the Midsouth Collisieum. Second row seats! Ahhh, those were the days.

Sometimes I get so homesick. I would never want to move back to Memphis but I do miss my grandmother and my best friend and Exlines Pizza. I miss walking around the Peabody Hotel, seeing the sunset over the river, going to a concert at the amphitheater on Mud Island(saw Jackson Browne there over 10 yrs ago). Sometimes it would be nice to be with people that know your history. Know where you came from and what helped you become the person that you are today.

New Year's Goals

My only goal for the new year is to be a better person and a better friend. I have dreams and things I would like to accomplish but I've learned that setting those goals just doesn't work for me. Those kind of goals usually just leave me feeling like a major loser when the end of the year rolls around and I got absolutely nothing on my list finished. Of course in the coming days and weeks I'll have lists and lists of projects that I want to work on and hopefully finish but I'm not going to pressure myself. My crochet, cross stitching, knitting, quilting and scrapbooking are all for me and my enjoyment. If others are the beneficiaries of those finishes, that's great, but for me it's about the process. In the last couple of days I've been working on a long overdue RR and I realized how much I've missed cross stitching. It's always been my first love but I've gotten so bogged down in meeting goals and trying to finish a few important to me things that are gifts for people I dearly love that I began to resent the projects. It's been good to step back and realize that the earth would not swallow me up if these things weren't finished. Now I think I can pick up these projects with the right mindset and it's ok to work hard to get them finished but I can't let myself get so obsessed over them.

If you can please donate here: American Red Cross - Preparing Communities for Emergencies and Keeping People

Happy New Year! May Peace, Love and Joy Be With You All in 2005!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


For most of my life I've known the power of words, how poetry, stories, song lyrics, manage to reach out and touch places deep inside me. Today the first paragraph of PioneerWoman completely expressed how I feel about the holidays. I cried when I read those words because it's comforting to know that others struggle like you do during certain times of the year. Especially times that are supposed to be the "happiest" times of the year.

Off the Needles

My Black Sheep Bags-Booga Bag is finished and felted! Pics hopefully tomorrow. I don't think I felted it correctly. It probably could have run through another cycle or two of the hot water, until I get by the LYS to check out one of their felted items I won't be sure, but either way I love it. I was afraid of it shrinking a lot more than I wanted so I only let it agitate about 35 mins.

I'm getting ready to unravel my Sophie Bag. I'd like a larger bag so I think I'm going to restart it using two strands of the Cascade 220, and size 11, 29 inch circulars. It also helps that some of my stitches came off the needle and unraveled and I couldn't figure out how to fix it. Guess I'll be more careful next time.

New Stash Cabinet

Why is organizing so hard? I have this great new stash cabinet and I can't come up with a way to organize my stuff in it. So far I have the yarn for an in progress afghan and two scarves stored in the closet side of it along with a couple of plastic shoe boxes filled with knitting accessories and beading supplies, other than that I am clueless. I do know the large bottom drawer will hold my linen for cross stitch and I may put crochet thread in another drawer along with my steel crochet hooks, hmmm, that sounds like that start of a plan of some kind. I may put small kits and ornaments that I kit up throughout the year in another drawer. That still leaves me with 4 drawers to fill. Don't get me wrong I can do that, pretty darn easily, it's just I want to keep this organized, to actually know where things are. Trust me, before long I'll just be dumping the contents of this bucket and that box into drawers and be right back where I started, not knowing where anything is.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

On the 11th Day of Christmas(ok I'm a little late)

I finished these Christmas gifts:

On the 12th Day of Christmas:

A very good friend sent me this:

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas or a great weekend.

Here are a couple of pics of my new stash cabinet. It wasn't a Christmas present but might as well have been. It was free, can't beat that.

I'm overwhelmed and can't even begin to figure out what I want to store where. All I know it's going to be great to empty a few Rubbermaid buckets and get them out of the living room. Does this mean I'm on my way to some type of organization? Will actually be able to find things when I need them? Will I manage to get to my living room decluttered? 2005 could be a whole new beginning for me and my stash.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

On the Eighth Day of Christmas

As you can see I'm crocheting this using a Q hook and three strands of yarn, Red Heart's Gemstone and I'm using two strands of RH Black. Why has this been set aside to gather dust? I initially chained way too many at the start of this 'ghan. It's honkin' huge! To make it balance out I'll need at least four more skeins of black. It will be pretty when finished but right now it's just a bit overwhelming. When it gets a little bit colder I hope be motivated to get it finished. Especially since it works up fast.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas

What do I discover in the old started projects bucket but four Halloween designs all started but no where near completion. From left to right, Birds of a Feather's Remember Me on Halloween(this will get finished in 2005), L*K's Betty Broomstick and her squeeze Vinny Von Fang and Mosey 'N Me's Wendell the Warlock. As you can see I didn't bother pulling any of them out of their respective plastic baggies because for the most part they each only have the center stitches started. A few more on Betty and Wendell but not enough to be interesting.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas

Finally something positive! A finished pink scarf for a coworker for Christmas!

It's a little wider than I wanted because I used smaller needles and cast on 20 stitches. If I had only cast on 15 it might have been just a tad longer. It wraps around my neck but not as much length as I would have liked, it does fall a tad below my boob area, so I think it's ok. Not too bad for a very first knitted scarf. Lessons learned, make sure to remember to leave enough yarn at the end to bind off correctly. GRRRRR. The scarf was knitted using 2 strands of Red Heart's Foxy in Cherries on size 13 needles. I've already started my second scarf and hope to have it finished today. I'm using size 15 needles and cast on 15 stitches and I already like it better. It's being knitted using RH's Aquarium. The pink scarf is so soft!

In the Workbasket

As mentioned before I'm hoping to finish up this second scarf today after that I'm not sure what I'll work on. I have a BC Zippers Snowglobe pulled out to stitch on but I really need to focus on Fairy Grandmother. I haven't cross stitched in what seems like ages. Fairy Grandmother has got to be a priority at least enough of one that I devote a bit of stitching time to it everyday.

On the knitting front I'm working on a Sophie Bag and it's working up much smaller than I thought it would. I am completely clueless where knitting is concerned, part of the problem of teaching yourself, so a friend told me she was using two strands of wool and size 11 circulars at 19 inches. There's no such thing as 19 inch circulars and because I don't want to be a pain, I'm assuming she meant she was using 29 inch circulars and two strands. I stopped by the LYS on Wednesday to ask them if they thought that was what my friend meant and they copped an attitude with me. I'm very very courteous about the LYS and asking questions. I would never go in and ask a question about anything if I hadn't purchased the needles and the yarn there, never. (I mention this because a lady came in with a big old skein of Red Heart yarn asking for help one day while I was there). I stopped by one day to ask if I was doing my I-cord correctly, they informed me that for $30 they offer a "help" hour on Tuesday nights and Thursday afternoons. There was no other customer in the store, I was prepared to buy more yarn and it took them all of 2 minutes to tell me that my Icord looked fine. I bought one skein of wool because they did help me, I had planned to buy more but it hurt my feelings. Is this normal for LYS? Whenever I have gone in to ask a question I have been the only person in the shop when I arrived and they never spent more than a few minutes showing me what I was doing wrong or showing me the correct way to do a stitch and the day I stopped in to ask about making the Sophie Bag larger I was prepared to buy more needles and wool for another bag. I didn't because of the saleslady's attitude(really pushing the "help" class). The help class isn't an option for me. I can barely see to drive after dark unless it's close, this LYS is 20 miles away. The Thursday class isn't an option either because of my job. Should I offer them $6 every time I go in to ask a question? None of my friends knit so if I have a question the LYS is about my only option. I want to support them but I'm seriously thinking about just ordering my supplies from Patternworks and figuring it out on my own. Do they not have a clue how much money I'll eventually spend there? I honestly never meant to abuse the privledge of asking them a question and tried hard to go early on Wednesday my day off when they had no customers and be quick and always, always buy something. Have I committed some major faux pas? Am I over sensitive?

Monday, December 20, 2004

On the Seventh Day of Christmas

My family presented me with a completely decorated Christmas tree. My tree never looks this full. The trick? Buy a tree two feet shorter than usual. Then once lights are added, then ornaments, it appears to be overflowing with Christmas goodness.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

A partially finished Lady of the Flag by Mirabilia is stomping her feet because she has no head or no middle for that matter. I've been informed she'd like a head sometime before next summer and would love to be holding her flag to wave at July 4th parades.

On the Fifth Day of Christmas

What appears before my wondering eyes? A plastic baggie filled with floss and a cross stitch chart that has been marked up with various shades of highlighters. What is missing from this picture? The mermaid herself! There is a mermaid on the run somewhere along the Redneck Riviera. Here's hoping she shows up soon.

On the Sixth Day of Christmas

What do I find but Designworks' Cowboy Boots ready to have a needle walk right over them.

These have been tucked away in a plastic bucket for so long that I had forgotten how much I love this design and the colors in the piece.

Today's Plan

To finish knitting a scarf for a coworker while watching the first 7 episodes of Farscape on DVD. I picked this up at Best Buy yesterday while Christmas shopping. 7 Episodes for the bargain basement price of $12.99. Then again I might just borrow DS#1's Reno 911 first season DVD set, that should be for knitting.

Friday, December 17, 2004

On the Third Day of Christmas.....

What did I find? But a "so close to finished" Dragon Isle that it hurts to look at it. I started this piece, oh back in 1997, stitched all this in a month maybe two at the most, stalled at the fractional stitches in the castle because I am stitching this on 14ct black aida. Fractionals are a nightmare on aida! So it lanquishes on the scroll bars, taunting DS#2, this will be his when it's finished, making him come to me and ask on occaision, "Mom, when are you going to finish my dragon?" I respond with "Soon, real soon." This is a game we've been playing for years and for probably more years to come. Maybe it will be finished sometime in 2005 or 2006, 2007?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

On the Second Day of Christmas My True Love Sent to Me:

A shamefully neglected Ode to Yarngirl afghan. What is represented in the picture are two skeins of Red Heart's Ranch Red and about half a skein of Red Heart Gold single crocheted, and then on top of the afghan are the Red Heart Med. Thyme and Red Heart Farmland that I plan to incorporate into this afghan. The Farmland will be used as the edging on the afghan to pull together the Ranch Red, the Gold and Med. Thyme. Why is this afghan titled Ode to Yarngirl?
Because Julie was the inspiration. She used the Ranch Red and Farmland in a shawl and the colors were fabulous together. I always find inspiration in Julie's color choices and wish I had her confidence when selecting colors for projects. Checking out her blog, Yarngirl, always makes me want to pick up the hook and start working on a project. Thanks Julie for being a constant inspiration! Did I over use the word "inspiration" in this paragraph? Sorry but it's just the way I feel when reading Julie's blog, INSPIRED!


To Andrea for the url for the Cuisineart parts! Never dawned on me to see if I could replace the missing beater.

Question Du Jour

How many batches of cookies and cakes will this $8 mixer make before I must make a midnight run to the store who shall not be named to buy an industrial strength mixer to finish up my Christmas baking?

My hopes are high that this little mixer is up to the job, because I really, really, REALLY, can't spare whatever amount of dollars a better built mixer will set me back. The sad part, I have a pretty nice Cuisinart mixer, but it has lost one of it's beaters. That makes any kind of mixing a real contact sport. What makes mixing batter a contact sport you might ask? I tried using the whisk attachment along with the other beater, I ended up covered in flour, sugar, chocolate, of course this is my normal state when baking as I'm a power baker and no baking task is successful until there is as much flour and sugar on the floor and counter top as in the cake or cookies I'm attempting to mix.

May the Goddess of Baked Goods smile kindly on my home the next few days.

One the First Day of Christmas My True Love Sent to Me:

A barely started "And They Sinned" from the Examplar Dames. This piece was started sometime back in the spring and has been neglected for the rest of the year. Here's a toast to the biggest assed cross stitch piece of all time and hoping that I make some real progress on it in 2005.

I'd also like to give a shout out to my friend Siobhan for finishing this piece and getting it framed in a timely manner. I can only dream to kick this sampler's butt as beautifully as she did.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Every year about this time I go through the whole, "I'm such a loser because I can't meet deadlines for gifts" whine. Why do I do this? Why do I have to only give gifts at Christmas? Why do I insist on making things when the recipient would be just as happy if not happier with a gift certificate to Bath and BodyWorks? I do this every damn year. EVERY DAMN YEAR! I start the year with the Tasha Tudor frame of mind that I will work all year creating gifts for the people that matter in my life. That goes pretty well until March, then I hit a snag(this year it was starting a parttime job) and come Thanksgiving weekend I'm in panic mode. I don't wait until the first of December to panic or the week before Christmas to panic, I begin my stress induced panic attack about two days before Thanksgiving when I realize it's flippin' Thanksgiving and I haven't even bought the turkey much less thawed it out and so it all begins. the joyous holiday season. ARRRGGGHHHH! To add insult to injury, between DS#2's birthday and DS#1 Christmas list I spent about $500 over the weekend and it all managed to fit very comfortably into two shopping bags. OUCH! That really hurt.

While going through some stuff under the pretense of "organizing" I ran across my The Scarlet Letter - Samplers, Needlework, Reproduction Samplers, Historic Sam wish list from early this year. After browsing the site I'm still in love with all the items on the list and as soon as the Christmas shopping is complete I plan to treat myself to one item on the list every week until I have everything on it. First on the list and more for emotional reasons, my maiden name is Gibson, I have to have the Margaret Gibson 1839 Reproduction Sampler and the second item on the list because I love mermaids and anything related to the sea, Reproduction Sampler Coraggio this sampler is on my list. Other can't live without items, Books recommended for charts of antique needlework - Page 3, the top two titles on this page, Animals Embroideries and Patterns and Embroideries and Patterns of 19th Century Vienna both by Raffaella Serena. Then on Page 5 and my #1 choice, it's the 5th title down on page 5 is the book Here Be Wyverns by Nancy Spies. The second book from the top, Old Italian Patterns for Linen Embrodiery looks interesting too. The last book on the list and I can't remember what page it's on, is Patterns: Embrodiery of the Early16th Century by Claude Nourry.

Believe it or not I work really hard at trying not to be so materialistic, but from the looks of the above list and all my dreams of owning my own LYS size stash of Koigu and Kureyon, not to mention the list of things I want from Nordic Needle, The Stitchery catalog, Patternworks, etc., I reckon I'm not doing very well in my goal of not acquiring so much stuff and for it not to mean so much to me. The facts are when Hurricane Ivan hit my area a few months ago other than family pictures I was pretty much at peace if we had lost everything we owned it was just "stuff" but on the bathroom counter along with the family pictures I also stored several rubbermaid buckets of stash. That's pretty wrong to associate the value of my stash with the value of my family pictures. Hmmmm really need to rethink those priorities and my value system.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sunday Check In

Not too much to report from the Redneck Riviera this weekend. I am so full of delusions that I honestly believe in the few hours that I have to stitch or knit I can accomplish so much and it's all just a dream. Yesterday the DH and I woke up at 4 am and finally decided at 4:30am that Waffle House was calling so we headed over there, ate breakfast and tried to work out a game plan for the boys Christmas lists. It doesn't help that DS#2 has a December birthday. He always gets cheated around his birthday because it's 11 days before Christmas and this year we decided he'd get a big gift for his birthday and then for Christmas he can get all kinds of games and accessories to go with it or some clothes he's been wanting. We gave him a Game Cube, the starting price was $99. After a second game pad, a memory card, an extra game, and 1 yr service warranty it ended up costing $200. Oh well. We earn money, we spend money, we don't save money. It's the circle of our life.

Today DS#2 has a friend coming over to spend the afternoon and watch the WWE Armageddon Wrestling PPV tonight. We'll order pizza and I plan to hide in the bedroom and work on my Sophie Bag or the I-Cord for the Black Sheep Bags-Booga Bag I'm right at three feet so I might just be able to get it finished this weekend. If I can get it finished I'll felt it when I run my load of jeans waiting to be washed. Of course as I mentioned DS has a friend coming over and my kitchen is a disaster. Seriously. I ought to be cleaning and mopping the kitchen, removing the clothes from the dining room table, and vacuuming the living room, but I don't want to. I have other plans. It's times like these when I realize I how truly selfish I am. It's my kid's birthday and I'm whining about other things, technically it's not his birthday until tomorrow but that's not the point. I am selfish. Especially since I started working. My free time is so limited, I hate sacrificing one moment of it to anything other than what I want to do. I want to sit in my messy house and knit, crochet and cross stitch and watch the Ben Franklin story I taped off of the History Channel last night and I don't want a little stranger wandering around my house making me feel uncomfortable in my own home. So I know, this makes me selfish. It's one day out of my life, a big day for my DS, and it's all about me. Isn't the purchase of a $200 birthday present enough? Can't the $35 PPV event be enough? I hate this side of my personality. Kids should come first but since going back to work, I miss my quiet time, my me time. I can't believe I took those years for granted. I know, enough already with the whining.

Speaking of Christmas

All my plans are on the backburner. I was going to make a few people Boogabags and Sophie Bags. I obviously thought I could actually knit these quickly. What a joke. I do this crap every year. I get all inspired just before Thanksgiving, then I get overwhelmed right about now, then I shove everything in Rubbermaid buckets, ziplock baggies and feel like a horrible person because I couldn't meet these absolutely unreachable goals I set for myself.

Last year I started out trying to make each person in my stitching loop a stitched present for their birthday. I started working in March and that was the end of that. No one knew what I was hoping to do all year, but still, my heart was in the right place but I managed to screw it up. I did get a couple of mail arts stitched for friends that thought they were cool and I may be able to squeeze one more in before the end of the year. It may even be stitched and finished in time to reach her before Christmas. There I go dreaming again. I'm planning to go through the stash today see what I can find in the way of Christmas designs or New Years designs that I might be able to stitch up and send soon. I love making the mailarts. They are so much fun to plan and stitch. I'm even more comfortable adding the lining to them now. They aren't perfect by any means, and I'm definitely not a seamstress,but these mailarts bring me a special kind of joy. Not sure why they have caught my imagination so much but I like them.

Dreaming Big....

We've been scoping out new digital cameras. I have been checking into the Fuji 7000 and the guy at Sears said they had to stop carrying it because the three people that bought them couldn't figure out how to use them. At Walmart this morning we played around with the Fuji 3 something or other and DH was impressed with it, also the Nikon Cool Pix 3200 was pretty nifty. DH liked the Fuji better. I like my HP, it's small, user friendly,but I'd like a little bit better camera to play around with. I'm also dreaming of my own laptop and another desktop computer for our bedroom.

We're roaring into the 21st century by purchasing cell phones. I know,we are like the only people on the planet that hasn'tacquired these but I finally decided it was time. We need to be able to reach the kids anytime and the same for them being able to reach either me or DH. I'm hoping to keep these numbers away from the general population because I truly believe cell phones are for emergencies not sitting around chatting with friends(DS#1 disagrees).

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Plan

In the not to distant future I'm hoping to use these:

To turn this:

Into a reasonable facsimile of this(only better):

Do I dare to dream that this will be as simple as the instructions state? Is it too much to ask for this to work on the first try? And the most important question of all, how long is it going to take me to unravel the 8oz skein of wool? I think this could take longer than anything else involved in the Koolaid dyeing process. Another pressing question, is it possible for me to unravel the skein and keep it from becoming a tangled mess?

Once this process is finished I hope to turn the wool in all it's citrusy-limeiness into a Sophie Bag
before Christmas. I do dare to dream don't I?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Binding Off

Last night after work I started binding off my Black Sheep Bags-Booga Bag. What amazed me? As soon as I started binding off the stitches, my hands knew exactly what to do. Guess I learned more during my foray into knitting when I was 8 than I thought. I have ends to weave in and I'm finding my I-cord difficult to make. I think I'm over thinking it. The first attempt was probably perfect, but I thought I could do better, big mistake. Now I have no clue what the heck I'm doing. I decided to step back, take a break, and then attempt it again either today or head over the LYS tomorrow and ask for more guidance. I just want to know that I'm doing it correctly. I can't find any good pics of I-cords before felting to see if mine looks like it should.

Started to cast on for a Red Sophie Bag but when I purchased the Cascade 220 for it, I forgot to roll it into a ball at the LYS. So it's either find the instructions for making a center pull ball from a toilet paper roll or just do it tomorrow while at the LYS.

Cross Stitch News

I've been procrastinating on some projects and decided it was all due to Carriage House Samplings Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I'm still on House #1. I kept putting off working on other things until I finished this house and made the decision this morning to place HOHRH, the chart, the threads, all in a 2 gallon ziplock baggie and store it out of sight for a while. That will help me get a few other things out of the way and not obsess over finishing that block before I work on something else. Out of sight, out of mind. I need to get to work on Fairy Grandmother and get it finished so I can have it framed and ready to give to my grandmother the first of the year. I think this is going to be my focus for the next few weeks. I had planned to do some ornaments but it's just not going to happen this year. Fairy Grandmother is going to be my priority piece until she is finished. My grandmother had a health scare last week and I can't let this go any longer. She truly is my Fairy Grandmother and she deserves this gorgeous piece of needleart more than anyone.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Booga Bag Update

Managed to take some pics of my BoogaBag today:

Here's a pic of the bottom:

So far I've used about a skein and a half of the Kureyon. I am deeply in love with this wool.


Blog reading has become very annoying to me. I find inspiration in all the blogs I read. Why is that annoying? Because I want to learn all these new techniques. I want to work with thread and make doilies or tablecloths, I want to crochet faster so I can make tons of scarves and shawls. The generousity of these amazing hookers, (or hmmm, hook artisans?) makes me feel so selfish. They create all these beautiful items and give them away to family members and friends. It takes me so long to finish anything that by the time it's finished I'm attached to it. I can't let it go out into the world where I don't know how it will be treated. I want to keep it all for myself to look at and fondle occaisionally. I can't stop reading the blogs because while they fill me with angst over my lack of finishing, they also inspire me to pick up the hook or needle or knitting needles and create. Since I'm more about the process than the finishing(finishing is just a really cool perk), the small aggravation I get from my lack of finishing is minor compared to all the ideas I get from fellow bloggers. What a gift the blogging world is to the solitary needleartist. Yeah, I know that's lame, but it's true. How many people live near others who share their interest in crochet, cross stitch and knitting? From my experience not too many. The blogging world has connected so many of us and created friendships all around the world. We've made friends who completely understand our wild obsession with needles and hooks of all kinds. While those near us look at us like we're these aliens from another galaxy when we go on and on about the latest Birds of a Feather fabric, the newest wool from Japan, glorious Turn of the Century crochet hooks, the blogging world has shown us that there are others out there like us, whose fingers ache to hold a hook, a hoop, needle and thread, and knitting needles whenever they have a free moment and love collecting beautiful hooks and needles and yarns and wool. We are not alone. What a great feeling!

Koolaid Dyeing

Today I think I'm going to breakdown and give Koolaid dyeing a whirl. I have to run to the grocery any way, might as well stop by the Koolaid isle and see what I can find in the way of lime colored Koolaid. DH is out of the house watching football with his friends, the kids are off in their rooms fighting doing their thing, so I might as well feel the fear and see what happens. I figure the worst case scenario is I manage to felt an entire skein of wool before I ever get to use it. I can read directions so it ought to be easy. I just need to keep the rinse water the same temperature as the dyeing water. Should be easy to do. Famous last words.

I saw that Marlo's Crochet Corner has a new Country Market Felted Bag pattern up for sale. It's a very nice bag so I'm planning to order the pattern soon. I love that style. I think felting can get addictive. I haven't felted anything yet but I sure am accumulating lots of patterns for felted bags.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Woke up to rain this morning. Helped my neighbor who had planned to have a yard sale bring her stuff in out of the rain, only to have the sun come out an hour or so later. DH and I went out to breakfast after taking DS#1 to school today for his student goverment thing, still haven't quite figured out what he's doing but they were supposed to fill him in on all the details today. We made a grocery store run after breakfast and then I headed out to run some errands. I had two cross stitch pieces that have been sitting around here waiting on me to frame them but I like each of them so much that I thought they deserved more than a frame from Wally World. So I took them over to the LNS to be framed. The owner wasn't in and I am terrible choosing frames, and the ladies working there kept offering me up blue and red frames. I want frames that are stained to resemble wood. If I wanted a frame that was something other than wood I'd have bought cheapie frames from Wally World and painted them myself and then framed them myself. I'm sorry but when I stitch something I want the stitching to be enhanced by the framing not overwhelmed by the frame. These were both simple samplers and just needed a basic, very simple frame. I opted to leave them there at the shop so Sally could take a look at them and let me know what she thought would work best. I did find two back issues of CS&CC that I had been searching for in the garage sale bin. I think one is already in my stash but this one was only 10cents so I figured if it was a duplicate and someone along the way was looking for this issue I could pass it along. I then headed over to JoAnn's to check out their sale, didn't find anything I couldn't live without so I used my 40% off coupon on a skein of LionBrand Fisherman's Wool. I'm stocking up on this for some future Koolaid dyeing and then felting. I mean can we really have too much yarn or wool of any kind? I think not. I then stopped by the Garden of Beadin' to look for some crimps for a couple of gifts I want to make if I can find the time but they didn't have any that would work with 20 gauge wire but the lady working there told me that I could very easily do a wrap that would hold the beads on without crimps. I'm going to give it a go. I'm making this whole beading thing up as I go along. After that I ran by the LYS for info on how much wool it's going to take to make a 6 ft I cord and also to see if they had any Lime Cascade 220 in stock since I want to make the lady I work for a Sophie Bag for Christmas and she loves that bright lime. They didn't have the lime in stock so now I'm hoping that Patternworks has it in stock and I can mail an order off to them and have it back in time to start and finish a Sophie bag before Christmas. Then again I am toying with Koolaid dyeing a skein of this Lionbrand wool and using that for a Sophie bag, if it was for me I wouldn't mind doing it but I hate to waste a whole skein of wool if the dye job doesn't work. Koolaid does come in a lime green. It would definitely solve my problem for a fraction of the cost of the Cascade 220. I'm going to ponder this for a day or two and I may just jump in and give it a go. When I got home we took the boys to CiCi's for dinner and wandered around BooksAMillion for a while, then took them to the Festival of Lights. Of course this was a spontaneous decision and even though we're on the Redneck Riviera it was cold and no one had jackets or long sleeves on and I didn't have the digital camera with me. So we only stayed long enough to catch the lighting of the Christmas tree(was that good timing or what?) and for the boys to see the ice rink. The park was beautiful with snowflake lights hanging from these huge pine trees. A few boats floated by on the bay all lighted up for Christmas. I love those. DS#2 finally had all he could take of the chill so we headed home and told them to be prepared to come again next weekend, I'll have the camera with me and they are to have looks of awe and joy on their faces. Can't believe I have this stupid digital camera and then forget to carry it with me all the time.

I've been working away on my Black Sheep Bags-Booga Bag and it's coming along nicely. I might just take a pic tomorrow. This Kureyon is going to be my crack. I can tell now. I want to own it all. In the LYS today they had restocked the bins, when I was in on Wednesday they only had three skeins left, and I swear seeing those full bins of glorious colorful wool I started to drool. I wanted to buy everything they had in stock. It is all so flippin' beautiful. I know one can only have so many bags in the same style, I don't know what I would do with all that Kureyon but I do know that it would all be mine and that's all that's important. Maybe some leg warmers? Some socks? I haven't finished my first knitting project yet and I'm already stashing wool and planning projects above my skill level.


Speaking of projects and hoarding stashing, it's time I sat down and starting going through the buckets and buckets of stash I have accumulated and get it organized and listed so I know what I have on hand. I have cross stitch stash, crocheting stashing, quilting stash, and now I'm accumulating knitting and beading stash. The latter two are very small and I can count on one hand everything in both of those stashes but the others, hmmmmmm, I am clueless. One thing I do know, if they gave out grades for stashing and starting projects I'd have an A+. I'd have an A in the kitting up department too. I love to kit projects. I don't know why, but I enjoying kitting the project and tucking it away for sometime in the future as much as I love starting the project. Finishing is just a fabulous perk of the whole process. I love making my lists, gathering up supplies, storing them altogether, and then putting it away for a time when I want to start something new and have absolultely no money to go buy the stuff for a new project. There waiting patiently, fully paid for, is a brand spankin' new project, fully kitted and ready to go. That is just about the most perfect moment. It's a sickness isn't it?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Grasshopper, You Have Seen the Light

This morning I had to run out to the mall and pick up DS#1 a pair of khakis for his Student Government thing. Not exactly sure why but I was told last year's khakis are up to his knees and he needed new ones by Saturday. Snagged a pair of pleated khakis at Old Navy for $15 and then headed over to the LYS for some much needed knitting guidance. The ladies there were a huge help. I found out that 1) I am knitting correctly 2) I was on the right track with that whole picking up and knitting stitches, the word "twisted" threw me but once they explained it to me I had a huge "DUH" moment. My Black Sheep Bags-Booga Bag is right on track and with any luck I may just get it finished by the weekend. I am totally digging the striping in the Noro Kureyon. It is absolutely fabulous. I am so in love with this wool. I scooped up a skein of Cascade 220 in Red for a Sophie Bag and also a skein of Brown Sheep's Nature Spun in Pepper and a skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Kiwi for the Alien Illusion scarf in Stitch N Bitch. The LYS didn't have the Nature Spun in the recommended Spring color so I am taking a chance on the Kiwi. It's sorta alien green. I probably should have grabbed another skein of the Kiwi because I forgot to check the yardage on the skein and I'm going to be about 50 yds short of what the pattern calls for. I'm going to give the LYS a call tomorrow and see if they'll stick a skein back for me. Just as sure as I don't I'll never find this color again. If I can scrounge up the money I may go back and get three more skeins of the Noro Kureyon. They have it in a skein of beautiful fall colors. Greens, golds, yellows & brown. I think it's the same color as the wristwarmers in Stitch N Bitch Nation. I think it'd make a pretty Boogabag for my best friend. She called me today and has found a lump in her breast near her nipple. She's prone to those fiber- something- cysts(can't for the life of me remember what the hell they are called) that a lot of women get in their breasts but she said this one felt different, but now the swelling seems to have gone down and while she still has her drs appt for this afternoon she's feeling a little better about it being more stress/caffiene related than cancer related. I'm saying prayers for her that everything is ok. Her birthday is Dec. 9th and I think I could easily finish and felt another boogabag by then. If not I can send her the one I'm working on now.

After visiting the LYS for guidance, I stopped by the LNS to pick up a skein of Pebble WDWs and the owner looked at me and asked me why I was so sad? I know that I've been down but just didn't realize how much it was showing on my face. Especially to people who don't know me that well. As I write that I realize I've been a regular at this shop for almost 8 yrs so chances are they do know me pretty well. I whined about losing my ornament fabric that I purchased just a few weeks ago and the chart for the ornaments for friends, about how late it already is, and I'll never make any kind of Christmas deadline. Sally looked at me and said, "Is anything going to change? Is all this sadness going to make a difference?" The answer, "No." Move on, be happy and start focusing on next year. She's probably right. I know she's right. She shared with me a few things she's been making, something nice for fellow stitchers, which I will relate here another time. I may make a few of these for stitching friends. They will be quick, beautiful and useful. When I left, I cried walking to my truck. Why is it that when people are so kind, their kindness makes me cry? Sally took the time to show me how she made these things, even gave me some supplies to get started on a few of my own. Just her sharing this and her generousity made me cry. Does just the smallest kindest by your fellow human being bring tears to your eyes? Do I expect so little from the people that cross my path that when someone shows just the tiniest bit of kindness that it brings me to tears? Or do I think I'm so undeserving of that kindness myself that when someone shows they care it makes me sob? Whatever the reason, I got in my truck and cried all the way home.

I know, I'm crazy. I obviously need medication. But I must say I now feel better. I know that I'm not a total failure at knitting. I have solved a small Christmas problem and have let the others go. I still have not found my ornament chart or the fabric pieces, I'm just letting it be. I'm going to consider myself ahead of the game for next year. If they turn up in the next day or so, then maybe, just maybe, I'm still in the running this year.

Should have went to the grocery today, but hey I need to pace myself. Chinese sounds good for supper anyway. Much better than anything I could come up with to cook.