Tuesday, February 27, 2007


1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I prefer natural fibers, but I do use a lot of acrylic baby yarn for my Preemie Project knitting. I'm not too big on novelty yarns, especially anything "furry".

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a wonderful tube needle case for my DPNs, and a binder/organizer for my circs. I usually store my straights in a large snowman mug on my dresser.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting for about 2 years. A co-worker made an amazing Fair Isle sweater, and she taught me. I also learn a lot of things by just trying them on my own. I would consider myself an adventurous intermediate knitter.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent?

I like vanilla and cinnamon scents, florals are nice but a lot of them make me sneeze.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Hand over the chocolate and no one will get hurt .... ;) The darker, the better :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I do lots of different needlecrafts - counted cross stitch, embroidery, sewing, crochet. I don't spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like lots of different music, but especially like blues and jazz. I listen to just about everything except heavy metal and rap/hip hop. Yes, I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

My favorite colors are watery colors - blues greens and greys in all shades from pastels to bright vibrant colors. There really aren't any colors that I dislike.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

My kids are grown, and I live with my boyfriend. We don't have any pets, and are allergic to cats.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

It it is really really cold, I will wear a winter scarf, as long as it is not furry. I like wraps, but haven't worn a poncho since I was a kid in the late 60's.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks, socks, socks!! I always have a couple of pair OTN, and belong to a British sock club from Natural Dye Studios. I also like to knit baby items for charity.

13. What are you knitting right now?

3 pair of socks (for me)
Nantucket Jacket (for me)
baby sweater (for The Preemie Project)
burial wrap (for The Preemie Project)
hats (for a homeless shelter for teens)
a tote bag (for the International Tote Exchange 3)
a purse (for the Knitted Purse Swap 2)
Central Park Hoodie (for someone else - late Christmas present)

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

They are the best!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

It depends on the project. I like DPNs for socks, straights for baby items, and circs for larger items. Definately bamboo for the DPNs, metal for the circs. My straights are a combination.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Nope, I have TRHM to hold yarn for me and help me wind it into balls. He loves to do that, and felt a little put out when he was busy one night and I used the back of a chair. So much so that he stopped what he was doing and sat on the couch to hold the yarn for me.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

4 months - an overdue Christmas present

18. What is your favorite holiday?

That is a tough question - I would say it is a tie between Halloween and 4th of July. I love Halloween because it is the start of the holiday party season for me. Since I grew up on an Army base, I love 4th of July because we are all very patriotic in our family.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Ladybugs, and frogs, but only if they are NOT eating ladybugs ...

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I subscribe to Interweave Knits. I would love to have Early Arrivals 2 from Sirdar. I am always on the lookout for cool sock patterns (I have Sensational Knitted Socks, but would really love the second book), and sweet baby patterns. I wear a large size, so most patterns have to be altered.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I would like to learn Fair Isle knitting. I knit Continental, so I need to get better at English knitting so I can go on to Fair Isle.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I wear a size 9 1/2 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?

July 6th. Same day as my sister, but she is not my twin :)

Lint for Lent

I joined another KAL - Lint for Lent. The idea is that you commit to 30 minutes of charity knitting every day during the Lenten season. I normally do some charity knitting every week, and I made the commitment to knit a little more for others. I have three projects I am currently working on. These projects are also Stash-Along projects, so I am getting double the knitty goodness from them :)

The first project is a mint green baby sweater. I got the back finished, and one side of the front. But I don't like how the pattern is working out at the shoulders, so I am going to frog a couple of inches and try again.

The second project is a blue burial wrap for The Preemie Project. I haven't tried this pattern before, but it is really easy. I think they also call this Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth. You start at the corner, and increase one stitch on each side every other row with a YO, creating an eyelet edge. With this pattern, the square is worked, then a triangle is joined to the square by running ribbon through the eyelet edge. This forms a pouch for the baby and the sides are wrapped around. This one is almost finished. I just have a couple of inches to go on the triangle, then I need to put it all together.

The third project is hats for homeless teenagers in a group home in Atlantic City called Covenant House. I have several balls of miscellaneous yarn that I have accummulated - you know, that yarn you see in the yarn shop and just have to have a couple of balls of it ... The green hat is made from Cascade 220 in lime green (remember when this color was called "acid" green??), navy blue, and a lime/navy/teal varigated. The light blue-teal varigated hat is made with 50:50 wool and soy silk. It feels very soft, and I think it would make a great hat for a girl.

Monday, February 26, 2007

A whole boxful of Ladybug Goodness!!!

Sat afternoon, TRHM came in with a big box, "Hey, you have a package. It's a pretty big box, must be a LOT of yarn!" I opened it up, and it was my tote from my International Tote Exchange 3 partner!! I was so thrilled! I had seen a photo of the ladybug bag on Cheryl's website, and was coveting it madly! When I saw it, I was so jealous, because I had no clue that Cheryl was my secret swap partner, and someone else was getting a ladybug bag! Cheryl was so sneaky - she sent me e-mails anonymously, AND then she commented on my blog as Cheryl. Competely threw me off.

So - back to the goodies ... I opened the box and clutched the bag to my chest shrieking "It's mine!! It's mine!! The ladybug bag was for ME!!!!" TRHM just laughed. I pet it and hugged it, then dug into all the other goodies in the box. Let me tell you - this was a very full box!

There were lots of ladybug goodies - a package of ladybug buttons, a very cute notepad with a glittery ladybug on the cover and each sheet of paper with a clip to keep it from getting lost, and the cutest ladybug chocolates that came all the way from Ireland! Very very cute!

There were all sorts of awesome sock knitting goodies, too! A big fat cake of red and black yarn, a pattern for Circle of Friendship socks, and this really cool needle case to hold my DPNs. There was a roll of hightlighter tape - I've never seen that before. You can use it to keep track of where you are in the pattern, and it is removable.

There was also a skein of red Cascade 220 (how did you know I needed a skein of red, Cheryl??). I'm going to use it to make a red/yellow/blue beach bag. And a package of my favorite chocolate of all time - Lindt truffles. TRHM was amazed because I like Lindt truffles better than Godiva.

An extra special bookmark was included, too! It is a handcrafted beaded book thong with red raspberry beads and a heart at one end and an Eiffel Tower at the other end. It is absolutely precious, and I really do *heart* Paris and the Eiffel Tower. "Paris is always a good idea" - do you know the reference??

Cheryl, thank you so much for such a lovely box, my beautiful bag, and most of all, your great sense of humor and friendship. As wonderful as all of the goodies are, the best thing is a new friend :)

The Weekend in Atlanta

We had a wonderful trip to Atlanta to start our comic show season. It was our first year attending Furry Weekend Atlanta, and we had a great time!

One of the best fursuits there was The Pink Panther. He was really great! The fursuit fit him perfectly, and he had all the Pink Panther moves down. He posed for a picture with me in the Dealer's Room.

For all of you who know I am stashing-along. I did not buy any yarn :) I am so proud of myself!! I didn't even go look. I spent the weekend hanging out, chatting with the furries, and working on my knitting projects. Progress pics to come ...

This weekend, we are off to Jacksonville for MegaPlex, followed by a week long vacation in Orlando with my Dad, my sister and her family. We are celebrating my nephew's 7th birthday at Disney - what fun!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

International Tote Swap

Could this be coming your way? I am working on my tote for my International Tote Swap III pal. She has no idea who I am, and I am enjoying teasing her! Could it be you? Do these colors interest you? I think you will like them. I have the perfect handles for it, and I am on a mission to find the perfect lining. I completely dig this pattern - it is a really cool modular pattern, made of blocks that build on each other. Stay tuned for additional progress pics, and then the final unveiling.

Quilting weekend

On Thursday, instead of going to Knit Chicks, I took a machine quilting class at The Village Quilter. It was a wonderful class! The instructor was very knowledgeable, and I loved her "ignore the rules, do what works for you" attitude. I learned that adjusting the tension on my machine is key to attractive quilting. When she first mentioned adjusting the tension, I thought, "Oh no! I'm not touching that. If I touch the tension, Mom will be cranky and I will lose my sewing machine privileges! Uh-uh. Not me!" but I did it anyway! And guess what? She was right! Adjusting the tension was a snap, and the stitch quality improved quite a bit! So this weekend, I washed and ironed a bunch of fabric and got ready to start my quilts. I have a couple of floral twin-sized quilts planned for The Children's Fresh Air Home. They are local charity that provides 2 week vacations at the Jersey Shore for disadvantaged children. They have 60 beds in their home, and each bed has a handmade quilt on it. Some of the quilts are sorely in need of replacing, so I am going to make a couple of quilts for them.

Are you a pirate? Do you need a new blankie? I'm making this special quilt for a special person ... Aarrrrgggh!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shhhhh!! It's a SECRET!!

I was tagged by Cheryl for a MEME. I am supposed to tell 5 secrets that I have not revealed on my blog, then tag 5 other people. This is not an easy thing. Why, you ask? Well, because I AM A BLABBER-MOUTH!! Yep, that's right. Secrets are not generally safe with me, and more than one person has held up their hand and said "TMI!!" I've already blabbed most of my secrets all over the internets. So now, I have to think of 5 things that I haven't blabbed. Well, here goes:

Secret #1:
I was almost eaten by a dog when I was 4 years old. It was a dog I knew, and played with. He was eating a piece of meat, and saw me outside and decided I would make a tasty snack. I lowered my head and covered my face with my hands, so he got a good chunk of my hair and scalp. I had over 100 stitches on the top of my head, and wore a lovely white gauze turban for a while. Fortunately, this did not interfere with my hair growth. But every once in a while, a new hairdresser will feel the scar and exclaim "Oh my gosh! You have a huge scar on your head!!" To which, I usually reply "I do???? What are you talking about? I don't have a scar!"

Secret #2:
When I was 16, I wanted to go to seminary. I was very active in my church, and felt strongly about it. Every once in a while, I still feel regret that I did not do that, and contemplate doing it now. I am an Episcopalian, and we ordain women.

Secret #3:
I have a Master of Science in Chemistry (Stereospecific Organic Synthesis), and finished all of my coursework, but did not do my dissertation for my PhD in Environmental Policy Analysis. I am a total Chemistry geek, and have loved Chemistry since I was a little kid.

Secret #4:
When I was in elementary school, I skipped a grade. I finished one marking period of 2nd grade, and they moved me up to 3rd grade. Gifted programs have come a long way since then, haven't they??

Secret #5:
When I was in 6th grade, I designed my own embroidery project. I used a piece of a pillowcase and my grandmother's colored sewing threads to detail, in teeny little stitches, the guts of an earthworm. She thought it was gross, but well executed. Grampa thought it was wonderful. He helped me dissect the earthworm. I think that was because the idea of cutting up earthworms in the garage totally grossed Grandma out.

Okay, so now you know 5 things about me that you didn't know before. So now I have to find 5 people to tag. Don't worry, Jenn. I'm not tagging you - you just started your blog, and so it will be too easy for you to find 5 things that you have not yet blogged about!

I tagged:

Monday, February 05, 2007

SKS* Question of the Week

SKS - Sensational Knitted Socks, a book of sock patterns.

I signed up for the SKS KAL, as this is my favorite source of sock patterns. This week's question is ....

How did you start making socks?

I started making socks because lots of The Knit Chicks make socks, and I didn't want to be one of those knitters who only wears "crappy store-bought socks", in the profound words of Jenn ... I used another sock book, "Knit Socks!" because I liked the can-do-ness of the title. And the book is shaped like a cute little sock. A picture of my first pair can be found here. After my first pair, I was hooked! I love hand-knitted socks, and my goal is to one day have a sock drawer filled with them! So far, I have 3 pair. One of these days, I'll get around to Kitchnering those red-white-blue ones, and I'll have 4 pair ...