Thursday, August 17, 2006

A weekend in Rhode Island!

We drove to Rhode Island last weekend to spend some time with TRHM's family. We had a fantastic time - as always!

TRHM did the Yard Sale thing with Mom, Jane, and Jane's neighbor. Personally, I've had enough flea marketing to last a while, so while they were plying their wares, I went on a nice Saturday morning drive to visit the yarn shops. When I set out, I was determined not to break out the debit card, and the only yarn I was going to buy was something green for the Mystery Sock KAL, and if I found it, some of that cool Possum Yarn (can't wait to get my paws on that!)

First stop - Sakkonet Purls in Tiverton.

The drive to the shop from Warwick was very nice, and this is a very scenic area. I arrived a bit early, about 30 mins before the shop opened. So I was forced to sit in the car, enjoying the view, and knitting on the LBT. When the shop opened, I went exploring. They have a wonderful selection of yarns - lots and lots of everything! The had enough skeins of each color for each fiber they stock to complete a large project. There were bins and bins of yarn neatly arranged all along the walls of each room. This is a really cool shop because it is an old house that has been converted. Interspersed among the bins of yarn were patterns and lots of lovely samples. Most shops may have one or two items for each main knitting category (ladies sweaters, baby, shawls, etc) but rely mostly of little swatches to give the shopper an idea of the knitted fabric. Not Sakkonet Purls! They had lots of samples, and with the baby samples, a boy and girl version. There were lots of hats cleverly displayed near the register. I saw lots of sock yarn in addition to all of the other yarns they stock. The best treat was waiting for me in the back room, though. It is a very cozy working area with a comfy couch and tables. Hanging on the wall behind the couch were the most amazing needlepoint canvases I have ever seen! Some of them were very large - about the size of a 5x7 area rug. In addition to the most exquisitely detailed florals, there was a lovely canvas in an oriental rug design. It almost made me want to give needlepoint another go!! I was very good, and only purchased a couple of baby patterns for The Preemie Project and LucyBug, and some Snuggly.

From there, it was off to Warren, to Bella Yarns.

This is a very cute shop, but rather small. The yarn selection is very nice for a small shop, and I picked up a skein of Mountain Colors Barefoot for my Mystery Socks. Here is a close-up of the yarn, blurry, but at least a better idea of the colorway. One of the
things they had there was a basket of 70% off patterns. So, of course, I had to look there, and SCORE!! A Skacel sock pattern booklet for $1.50!! Woo-hoo!! I also scored the pattern for the Debby Gumdrop Hat. That is the cutest thing ever! I've been wanting to try some of those hats, but I don't want the kits. This was the first time I've seen the patterns sold seperately. They oughta put them together in a book - I bet they would sell a zillion copies!

After Warren, I drove into Providence to go to One Stitch at a time.

This is a cute shop, with a nice selection of yarn. The shop is split in half, with one half being for knitting, and the other being for clothing (pants, shirts, skirts - not knitted items). They are right next to Brown University, and near Johnson & Wales, so they cater to the collegiate community. They had a flood the night before, and some of the patterns were in a clothes basket. When I started digging through them, I found another Sirdar pattern booklet for babies. This one has a gorgeous pattern for boys - we always need more boy outfits for The Preemie Project. I just couldn't resist this pattern for the green and red stocking cap and booties. Perfect for Christmas!

Remember the shop whose website the company internet filter classified as "Criminal Skills"?? Well, that was the last stop - Yarn on Lace Wings in Warwick. The woman working there was so nice!! We got to talking, and I mentioned that I was using KP Shine Sport for my LBT. I went out to the car to retrieve it, and there was much swatch and yarn petting. I scored some really great baby hat patterns.

After all that yarn shopping, I went home to Mom and Dad's and the yard sale was over. TRHM was pretty happy, he sold a bunch of stuff, and made more $$ than I spent on patterns :)

That night, we went to WaterFire with TRHM's brother and SIL (Steven and Jane). It was very nice, and although it wasn't very exciting for the kids, we had a good time. It is very pretty - if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it! They have huge braziers in the river, and light bonfires in them. Volunteers tend the fires throughout the evening, and the smell of the wood burning, and the soft glow is really nice. They also have a theme for the evening, with music and other activities. If you have deep pockets, you can also book a gondola ride with wine and cheese. Personally, I don't see the attraction - riding in a gondola with about a zillion people gawking at you kinda takes the shine off that penny for me.

Sunday morning, we spent some time visiting with Mom and Dad before shoving off for NJ. Mom made sandwiches for everyone, and packed us a great picnic lunch. I got the big bonus - she knows I don't care much for coldcuts, so my sandwich was made with real ham. Aren't I the lucky girl??

Friday, August 11, 2006

Consider yourself Meme'd

Things about me, I have:

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped (Does Dare Devil Dive count?)
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (I do most of the time)
39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cd's
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently

95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach (with the toe of my shoe ...)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (in Latin, no less!)
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (every day)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Have you done these things? If so, consider yourself meme'd. Leave a comment on my blog, and put your list on your blog.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Aaawwww, MAN!!

Okay, I know I'm not supposed to be surfing for yarn at work, but we are going to Rhode Island on Friday, and I got some great tips from Claudia, and so I have some strategic planning to do. Well, I guess the network had a different idea:

Check it out - Criminal Skills - give me a break!! I wonder if TRHM had anything to do with that??

And just so you know, that message did not deter me ;) I did manage to get to that website, and I am planning to visit Yarn's at Lace Wings in Warwick this weekend. So TAKE THAT network filter!! PLPHT!! (makes raspberry sounds).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Knitted Purse Swap

Dontcha just LUV knitted purses?? I do! And I really like making them, too. That is why I am signed up for the Knitted Purse Swap. What a fun way to get a lovely knitted purse! Come and join us!

The rules are easy - knit a purse, then swap. The only requirement is that it must be knitted. It can be felted, or not. It can be lined, or not. Whatever other options you want to build into your purse are up to you! And there are lots of links to free purse patterns, in case you need one!

High Tech Knitting

When I am knitting along, I really hate it when my stitch count is way off. And I am really not very good at remembering to turn the dial on those row counter thingys on the ends of my needles. Well, a design student at Brunel University in London came up with this nifty device:

It automatically counts your stitches and rows for you! Check out the details.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Show me your knitting basket

At the end of July, Terri asked "What is in your knitting basket?". My basket has been sitting in the corner of the bedroom, on a rocking chair, since I moved to Hammonton last November. It was still in the plastic bag that protected the contents while it was moved. I pulled it out and found an assortment of UFOs that really only needed a little bit of work.

The first UFO is a red, white, and blue afghan that I started last year. I really like this pattern a lot. It is a free pattern from the Lion Yarn website, and the afghan is made up of squares that are sewn together. Each square is either red or blue on the bottom, with a white strip at the top. When they are sewn together, it makes a really cool zig-zag pattern. The yarn is Bernat Soft Boucle. I would like to finish this, but the yarn is very dusty, and my dog totally loved this afghan, so it is rather dog-hair laden. I'm not sure my allergies can take finishing it, lol!

These are some baby booties and hats that I knitted a year ago. Two sets are completely finished, and one set needs to have the booties sewn up, and the hat made. I am adding this to my list of UFOs for UFO August, and will finish, wash, and mail them by the end of the month.

This is a hat that I was making with the leftovers from my first skein of yarn. When I learned to knit, the very first thing I made was a hat and scarf with this yarn for my daughter. These are the DPNs that I used when I learned to knit. When Jenn taught me to knit, she knew that knowing how to use DPNs was a critical knitting skill.

This is the first pair of socks I ever made. Yes, I did say pair of socks. I know there is only one in the picture, and I am sure that the other one is around here somewhere ... These are "house" socks made with Red Heart worsted weight. I used a pattern from the "Knit Socks!" book. These will keep my toes toasty this winter, because TRHM is a New Englander, and will have the thermostat set low. I think I'll make a couple more pair.

This is the first baby sweater that I ever made. I was really proud of it, and I think it turned out pretty good. It still needs the buttons sewn on, and I have them in my stash. I'll add this to the UFO list to be finished this month. It has raglan sleeves, with a simple cable up each side. It is made from Jaime sport pompadour. I think I'll wash it, and send it to my girlfriend Adrienne's granddaughter that just arrived last month.

This is a Saxon braid swatch. I was practicing this braid for incorporation into a vest I was considering. I decided not to make the vest, so this swatch is destined for the frog pond. I have no idea what I will make with this yarn, so it will go back into the stash.

This is a black and gold hat and pair of booties that I made for the upcoming Preemie Project donation for the University of Iowa. I started making these from Red Heart worsted, but it doesn't pass the softeness test for preemies. The larger hat and bootie set would fit a smaller full-term baby, so I will finish the booties, wash and send this set. The smaller hat will go into the frog pond. I have a large bag of hats and booties in my desk at work that are made of Caron Simply Soft. All of these booties will be sewn up, all the ends will be woven in, and these sets will get washed and mailed by the end of the month.

So that's what's in my knitting basket. What is in yours?

Friday, August 04, 2006

A new project

I started a baby blanket last night. This morning, over our morning bowl of Wheaties, TRHM asked me why I started it when there were so many other things I was working on. So I 'fessed up. I had left my knitting bag with my LBT in the car, and it was too hot and humid, and I was too lazy to go out to the parking lot to get it. My crochet hook and the yarn were in reach. We were watching the second episode of North and South on DVD, and I wanted something to keep my hands busy.

I made a "to do" list, and one of the things I am planning to do this afternoon is gather up all my UFOs and make a list for my "UFO August" KAL. I think I have more UFOs than I realize ... fortunately, next weekend is a long car ride - we are going to Rhode Island to visit Mom and Dad - Woo-Hoo!!!!

This weekend, I will be putting up some tomatoes, braised beef, and more blueberry jam. Stay tuned for interesting photos!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Great idea!

I was reading knitting blogs this morning, and Melissa had a GREAT idea!! She decided that she would somehow make this awful steamy weather we have all been having work in her favor. She solar dyed yarn in her car! Way to go!!!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ready for Felting!!

I finished knitting my NORO Booga Bag this weekend. I had planned to finish this and have it felted and lined for the craft sale for The Preemie Project, but it didn't happen. I have a couple of other bags of my own design that I am working on, and when I get a couple of them finished, I will felt them all in one load. My front-loader doesn't felt very well, so I'll take them to the laundry mat.

When I was in Alabama, I went to Yarn Expressions, and they had lovely sherbety colors of Cascade 220 and Galway. I didn't mean to buy it, but it was begging to come home with me, and jumped off the shelves. They are destined to be felted bags. I also plan to make some felted coasters with the left-overs. Hopefully, there will be pre-felted pics next week!

I saw a GREAT tip for making felted bags with i-cord handles - make the i-cord first, then you don't have to worry about running out of yarn, and you can use all of the remaining yarn for the bag. If you are really caught short, you can always use a crochet cast-off!

Hats for babies

At the end of June, the Yarn Harlot put out the call for baby hats in a fruit theme. These are going to one of her readers for an event promoting good nutrition for babies. So, of course, I got right on it! And I spread the word to the Knit Chicks. Lisa and Janet made very cute tomato hats, and I made these:

I wonder if she has been completely inundated?