Thursday, May 31, 2007

Blogoversary Contest

Today is my Blogoversary! I am having a how-well-do-you-know-me contest. Listed below are 12 trivia questions. Email me at shieldlm AT hotmail DOT com with your answers. Whoever has the most correct answers will received an extra special goody bag that I assembled on my recent shopping expeditions. There will also be runner-up prizes. All of the answers can be found on my blog. Some questions could have more than one answer, only one answer is required. If you cannot find the answer, but can write a convincing work of fiction, based on how well you know me, give it a try - convince me and I'll go for it :)

1. What sports car am I?
2. What is my favorite holiday?
3. We often travel to Rhode Island. Why?
4. Name two other needle crafts I enjoy besides knitting.
5. Who is TRHM, and what does TRHM stand for?
6. Where did I go to college?
7. How many kids do I have?
8. What is my favorite thing to knit?
9. The town I live in has a special nickname based on local agriculture. What is it?
10. Who taught me to knit?
11. What is my favorite color?
12. What kind of music do I like?

For a special PowerBall question, answer this one for bonus goodies ...

We often play cards after dinner. What is the game that we play?

Edit: Please e-mail your answers to me by June 15, and I'll announce a winner on June 16th!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Huntsville, AL AKA Rocket City

On Wednesday, we went to the US Space & Rocket Center here in Huntsville. Did you know that the Saturn V rocket was designed and built here? They have a wonderful museum, with lots of cool displays and interactive space stuff! Here TRHM gives landing the space shuttle a try. He was doing a GREAT job, until I pushed the button for "expert" ... let's just say that he should not be landing the space shuttle in high winds ...

They had a really cool display of a motorcycle made by Ocean County Choppers with a Statue of Liberty theme - it was plated with the copper recovered when the Statue of Liberty was re-furbished. It was awesome! The spokes of the wheels were carved to look like her face, and there was a torch attached to the side of the bike.
And we saw Spiderman 3 in the IMAX theater - sweet!! I *heart* Spidey! The coolest thing of all - you could see into the projection room and see the IMAX projector - I have never seen anything like it! The movie was on a huge horizontal platter, and the film is taken up from the center, threaded through a series of pins, through the projector, and taken up on a second platter that is below the first one. It was really neat to see it.

Tuesday: More yarn shopping!

While we were in Louisville, we went to a shop called Carma Needlework. The ladies at this cozy little shop were so sweet! They have a large collection of basic yarns, luxury fibers, cotton yarn and sock yarn. The pattern collection is very large - with a long shelf filled with binders of patterns. They also have binders of color cards for every brand of yarn you can imagine! This shop is dedicated to knitting/crochet and needlepoint. They had gorgeous hand-painted canvases in all sizes and guages, from small petit-point to the largest needlepoint. TRHM got a lesson on needlepoint canvas and the ladies showed him the difference between a hand-painted canvas and a mass-produced screened canvas. I found a book that is on the list for one of my swap pals, and an adorable mini-sewing machine for my dollhouse.

We hit the road and headed for Nashville. The first stop was Haus of Yarn. It was my first encounter of a Koigu kind on this road trip. They had several cubbies filled with different colorways. One of the most interesting things was a display for socks - it was a wooden peacock, and the "tail feathers" were shaped like sock blockers. I bought some sock yarn and a few other goodies. I was looking for "Amaizing", the new corn fiber yarn from South West Trading Co, but they don't carry it. They said that they felt it, and didn't find it to be "Amaizing", so they passed on it. Bummer.

The next stop was Angel Hair Yarn Company. The parking lot was jammed, so TRHM dropped me off and went in search of parking. It was really funny because there was a large group of women at the work table, knitting away, and when he came in, everyone stopped chatting and looked - I guess men don't often frequent knitting shops in TN, lol! And guess what? They think "Amaizing" is!! They had lots of colors to choose from, and had a swatch knit with it. It felt very soft!
When I explained that I was shopping for my swap partners on this trip, and I have a partner that wanted to try some non-wool natural fibers, the sales lady pointed out some pineapple yarn - can you imagine, yarn made from pineapple?? Well, I bought some. It is the beige fiber next to the two balls of Amaizing. It feels kind of stiff and scratchy, but it is one of those fibers that softens with use and washing. I'm not sure if my pal will actually use it, but I thought that the novelty of pineapple was worth the purchase. I hope she finds it as cool as I do!
I also bought some Wendy Peter Pan yarn in lavender varigated for my baby knitting. I love this yarn - it is so soft and pretty! Perfect for delicate little preemies!

We made it to Huntsville, and I didn't even blow up my debit card, yet :)


Monday night, we stayed at The Rocking Horse Manor, an historic B&B in Louisville, KY. TRHM did not know where we were staying - there are advantages to being the one who coordinates all of the hotels, you know! We stayed in the Victorian Suite - a luxurious room with a jacuzzi tub and two-head walk in shower. The food was wonderful - we had a served breakfast - the first course was a yogurt parfait with blackberries, raspberries and blueberries with granola topping and danish; the second course was a cheese souffle, ham and breakfast potatoes. The hosts, John and Ricardo were very helpful and provided a lovely tour of this magnificent house.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

San Francisco - a well deserved vacation!

Cassie and her boyfriend, Joe, went to San Francisco this week. They took a short vacation back to the city where Cassie was born. Joe has a friend from school who lives in SF, so he was totally on board with a little vacation. As usual, Cassie has been working very hard lately. She is a supervisor at Border's Books, and she is attending college full-time. I treated them to a suite at a bed and breakfast. They called to let me know that it was a great vacation. I can't wait to see all of her vacation pictures.

Sunday: Shopping our way to Louisville!

The first stop was The Yarn Basket. I was so disappointed to see that they were closed! I was really looking forward to meeting a knitter whose hubby converted their garage into a yarn shop for her! Oh, well, maybe next year.

We forged ahead to Dayton, and arrived at our first destination, a comic shop, a little bit earlier than planned, and they weren't quite open. We sat at an outside cafe and enjoyed a cappucino and some gelato while we waited. This shop was a bookstore with the most interesting stuff! They had lots of little toys all over the place, and rows and rows of bookshelves filled with all sorts of interesting titles. TRHM looked through the limited comic collection, but did not find anything of interest. So we went to the next stop - a comic shop. There we found a couple of books, but that was it.

The next stop was a lovely yarn shop called Fiberge'. They have FIVE rooms of knitty goodness! The shop is so cute - it looks like a little cottage in the woods. Upon entering the shop, I found myself in a large spacious room with cubbies full of colorful yarn. There was a wall of Cascade, and a wall of Noro. The sales counter was opposite the wall of Cascade, and there were all sorts of beautiful handcrafted knitting notions on the counter. One of the things that I really liked about this shop was that they carry lots of goodies to include in my swap packages!

Passing through the main room, the first thing that caught my eye was this gorgeous lavender display. This room held all sorts of goodies - tea, candles, bubble bath, beautiful handcrafted buttons - all sorts of little luxuries. On the other side of the room are shelves of luxury fibers.

Through this room, to the left, is a room full of knitting needles, notions, sock yarn, Euroflax, baby yarn and patterns. There was a small room behind this, as well, with sale bins! My favorite! Gotta love a good sale :) I picked up some Regia Silk in Gryffindor colors for the second round of Hogwarts swaps - you never know when you are going to get a Gryffindor swap pal, and girl has to be prepared for all possibilities, you know! They also had lovely handpainted pillows with wonderful sayings on them.

I bought goodies for my swap packages and sock yarn.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saturday - Yarn shopping in Columbus, OH

Saturday afternoon, I left TRHM in charge of the comic books, and headed off to Temptations. This is an amazing shop - FIVE rooms of knitting goodness! And a Sale ROOM! That's right, an entire ROOM filled with sale goodies! This charming shop is located in an older home converted to a shop in the Village of Dublin, OH, just outside of Columbus. I entered and the first thing that I saw was the wall-o-Noro. Yes, Jenn, an entire WALL of Noro goodness! There were white cubbys from the ceiling to the floor. Each column of cubbys contained a different type of Noro yarn. It was amazing. There was a work table with baskets filled with notions - just in case you were working on a project at the table and forgot something at home. The other wall held various other wools and luxury fibers. Through that room was a small hallway; going straight through the hallway there was another room filled with felting yarns of every imaginable color, two comfy wing chairs, a table, and the sales desk. When I went back to the hallway and went to the left, there was a room filled will luxury fibers, novelty yarn, non-wool natural fibers, and beautiful handcrafted jewelry. There was another work table, again with baskets of notions.

Off this room was a room dedicated to needles, notions and patterns. There were shelves of books, binders of patterns, and all sorts of interesting notions. Adjacent to this room was the sale room. There were all sorts of interesting balls of yarn at 35% off.

There was a separate room dedicated to sock yarns and baby yarn. I bought two skeins of new sock yarn from Trekking - 75% superwash and 25% bamboo! Very cool! The colorways are really pretty, too. I also bought a set of size 1.5US rosewood DPNs. I've been wanting a set of 1.5's and I've admired the beauty of the rosewood, so I splurged and bought a set. I also picked up two beautiful sock patterns.

I have to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed yarn shopping in Columbus - the shops are amazing and the people are very friendly. I had a wonderful time, and will definately be back to these shops when were in Columbus next year.

Friday: Shopping in Columbus, OH

The first stop was Knitter's Merchantile. I think that is a great name for a yarn shop! And let me tell you, this shop was FULL of temptations! I know I promised shop photos, but I didn't bring the digi-cam ... sorry! This shop was in a new shopping center, and had two large windows. Entering the shop, the first thing encountered was the sales counter. There were all sorts of interesting goodies on the counter. The walls were lined with white bookshelves overflowing with yarn. Down the center of the shop, were two aisles formed by rows of white bookshelves back-to-back. To the right was a cozy seating area with a very comfy chocolate brown couch. Several racks of knit design booklets, two bookcases of knitting books and stacks of binders of pattern were available for perusal. As I walked along the right hand side of the shop, the shelves to the right were filled with all sorts of sock weight yarn. There were lots of handpainted skeins and balls of sock yarn of all kinds. One of the things I really liked about this shop is that all of the shelves of yarn had little signs indicating machine washable yarn. There were so many different kinds of superwash yarn - lots of colors and lots of different fibers. At the very back of the shop was a large display of knitting needles and notions. There were all sorts of needles - Addi Turbo, Inox, Lantern Moon, Colonial, Clover, etc. There was also a work table in the back of the room. There were two other aisles - each brimming with wonderful yarns. There were luxury fibers like cashmere and mohair, as well as novelty yarn and acrylics. The selection was amazing. I had a hard time deciding what to get. I decided that most of the shopping would be for my various swap projects, but I had left my list at the hotel! I picked up some notions, a hank of gorgeous handpainted merino and a ball of Lana Grossa superwash sock yarn.

Ravenclaw Yarn

I decided to give dyeing yarn another try. I dyed some KnitPicks 100% merino superwash yarn with Wilton food coloring paste. It was very easy, but very messy! I am going to use this for my Ravenclaw socks for the Hogwarts Sock Swap.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stitch Marker Exchange

Do you like to make stitch markers? Do you like to get handmade stitch markers from pals? Then the Stitch Marker Exchange is for you! Sign-ups are until May 31st, with a due date of June 15th. You can sign up for up to 5 pals, international or US. It is a lot of fun to get a puffy in the mail :) This is a really easy exchange - nothing is required but the stitch markers, and you can mail them in a little bubble envelope. I *heart* this swap! Come and join the fun!

Vacation and Blogoversary

I am leaving on vacation tomorrow. (Note to any would be burglars - all the yarn has been secured off-site) This is an ultra-fun vacation - we are driving out to Columbus, OH for a comic convention. While TRHM sells comics, I will be shop-hopping in the Columbus area. After the show, we are heading south through Dayton and Cincinnati to Louisville, KY. There are lots of cool yarn shops between Columbus and Louisville, and a few comic shops, too. After spending the night in Louisville, we will continue south, through Nashville to Huntsville AL. We'll have a couple of days to see the sights in Huntsville (you'd be amazed at how many things there are to see and do in Huntsville!) before the show over Memorial Day weekend. On Memorial Day, while you are all barbequeing and watching parades, TRHM and I will be driving through the night to get home in time for work on Tuesday. Eat an extra burger for me, okay?

While I am on this journey, I will be blogging about the various sights we've seen, and of course the yarn shops, so stay tuned to shop vicariously! I promise to post picture of the shops.

I am also counting down to my blogoversary. It has been almost an entire year! I will have a contest - trivia questions about me. You will send your answers to me in an e-mail, and the person with the most correct answers will win a groovy prize obtained on my road trip. There will be more details to follow ...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Life is Good!

On Sunday, my daughter, Cassie, came over and we spent the day together. We watched The Break Up with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn - that is a funny movie. Then we went down to Atlantic City and walked on the boardwalk. We had lunch at The Mediterranean Cafe. It was so nice to sit outside and sip martinis and chat. We also saw the fountain show at The Pier at Ceasar's. It was a great time, and we couldn't have asked for better weather!

Monday, May 14, 2007

HSKS Trivia!

It is Trivia Time for the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap. Here are my answers:

#1What's the name of this potion?This potion has the colour of molten gold, and while exposed to the air, large drops will leap like goldfish above the surface without spilling.

The is Felix Felicis potion.

#2Which book is this line from?"Harry and Cho were now too embarrassed to look at each other, let alone talk to each other; what if Ron and Hermione started going out together, then split up? Could their friendship survive it? Harry remembered the few weeks when they had not been talking to each other in third year; he had not enjoyed trying to bridge the distance between them. And then, what if they didn't split up? What if they became like Bill and Fleur, and it became excrutiatingly embarrassing to be in their presence, so that he was shut out for good?"

This Quote appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

#3Who utters these words?"Oh I am glad I'm not on duty. I wouldn't fancy having to go and tell the Irish they've got to stop celebrating."

This quote also appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Go Hufflepuff!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fashionable (??) Knitting

Okay, the hat is bad enough, but what is up with these legwarmers?? Why would anyone want to make their legs look three times their normal size?? And if she is so cold that she needs the hat and legwarmers in the first place, why not try a SWEATER??? Just sayin' ...

This pattern is available here, in case your legs are super skinny and need a little "fluffing" up.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Breaking News!!!

Dee-deet ... dee ... dee ... and now we interrupt your knitting for breaking news just in from Japan ....

"My poodle refuses to bark and won't eat dog food!"

Well, why not, you ask???? Because it is a LAMB, you idiot!!!!

We now return you to your regulary scheduled knitting .... dee-deet ... dee ... dee

Spring is in the air!!

I've been driving to work past acres and acres of blueberry bushes, inhaling the heady scent of the white blooms (and sneezing out the pollen, lol) and I've been thinking "I've GOT to remember my digicam tomorrow so I can blog about this!" and, of course, forgetting the digicam every single day! So it was really serendipity that I went to the Spring Felted Bag Swap blog and found this question:

Where you live, what signifies the beginning of Spring? A favorite flower blooming? Snowmelt? Pollen (Cough cough, gak, here in ATL, thanks) Post something up describing how you knew 'Spring had Sprung' for you!

There are so many things that remind me it is spring!
  1. Kids playing baseball at the middle school across the street from our condo.
  2. Baseball season! Go Phils!
  3. Sleeping with the bedroom window open.
  4. Flowering trees looking like cotton candy as they bloom.
  5. Free water ice day at Rita's!
  6. The Stewart's drive in is open.
  7. Eating outside on the patio.
  8. The smell of fresh mulch.
  9. The smell of the first lawn mowing.
  10. The sound of the first lawn mowing :)
  11. My white car turns yellowish-green.
  12. Bugs on the windshield - ewwwww!

Remember when you were a kid, and it was the day the pool opened? The water was crystal clear, and you felt hot, but the water was ICY???!!! If you had a backyard pool, remember the day you drained out all the icky winter water, and refilled it?

Spring is just a reminder that summer is coming, and soon, there will be fireflies and lemonade, and chicken on the grill!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Attention all Hogwart's Sock Knitters!!!

If you have been looking for sock yarn in house colors, I have the place for you!! Amanda Perkins, owner of Natural Dye Studios, has custom dyed sock yarn just for us! It is available in her eBay store. don't be put off by the fact that the price in in British Pounds Sterling - she takes PayPal, and they will handle all the currency exchange stuff. Her yarn is GORGEOUS, of the highest quality, and is dyed with all natural plant dyes - no chemicals. Service is outstanding, and shipping is very fast. This yarn is sure to sell quickly, so get some while the getting is good! I have knit socks with her yarn and it is a joy to work with, and oh-so-comfy on your feet.

Natural Dye Studios Hogwarts Sock Yarn!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

International Tote Exchange IV has begun!

You’re invited to join International Tote Exchange IV. We hope you will decide to participate. So how does it work? You will make a tote/purse/handbag for your Secret Pal and a different Secret Pal will make a tote for you. The "totes" can be big or small, knit or crochet, felted or not - whatever you want to make. If you are interested please go to the blog and read the rules. If still interested, send an e-mail as described below. Hurry! Sign-ups close 05/15/2007.

The Sign-up Process:
Send an email to ToteExchangeHostesses gmail com Please include:
Your full name
Email address
Blog address (if applicable)
Blog Signature (e.g. lia is how my blog posts appear)
Street address
Phone number

This information will only be available to the Hostesses and your Secret Pal.

We will send you an invitation to join the blog.
Join the blog.
Complete the questionnaire and post your responses to the blog no later than 05/15/2007Sit back and wait for partner assignment!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Help with the healing

I've been thinking a lot about the Virginia Tech tragedy - having a daughter in college will do that to you. I've read lots of posts on various blogs expressing sympathy for the families of the victims, the shooter's family, and the survivors who are left to pick up the pieces and finish out the school year. This is an opportunity to help. There is a yarn shop in Blacksburg, Virginia named Mosaic Yarns. They are collecting 8x8 squares, knitted or crocheted, that will be put together in afghans for the victim's families. If you are able to help, click here to go to their blog and send in a square or two. They are asking for squares in the school colors of maroon, orange, black and white.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

HSKS Trivia

For the Hogwarts Sock Kit Sock Swap, there is a weekly trivia question. This week's question is:

"You will have your reward, Wormtail. I will allow you to perform an essential task for me, one that many of my followers would give their right hands to perform..."

Who is speaking?

The answer, of course, is Voldemort!