Monday, July 25, 2005

Socks and Elves

My first attempt at knitting a sock is shaping up nicely. I turned the heel this morning, and am now working on the foot part. Here's a picture of my progress so far:

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I did get a gap where the heel joins the instep -- not sure what caused it. I wonder if I did something wrong when I was starting to pick up stitches along that side of the heel. Not sure. Any ideas? It's a fixable problem. When the sock is finished, I'll turn it inside out and sew the gap closed.

It finally looks like a sock! :)

For any beginner sock knitter like me, there is a great video/tutorial/easy pattern on Knitty Gritty had a great sock episode!! There's a great clip listed under "heel and gusset'' that shows how to turn the heel. It was very helpful to me!

I traded a crochet book to someone for a copy of "Learn to Knit Socks.'' I'm trying to decide which pattern to try when I get this first pair finished. Not sure yet. I have time to make up my mind though -- still have another green ankle sock to make after I finish the first one.

I got 3 very nice Christmas in July packages today from Crochetville elves in OR, OH and India.

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From India, I got a very pretty green doily. I'm going to put it on my mantlepiece in the livingroom. THANK YOU!!

From OR, I got a great knit vest pattern book, a paperback book, a shower scrubbie, and some wonderful smelling soap!! The soap made the whole puffy smell great! THANK YOU!!

And from OH, I got a crochted purse pack with gum and Brush-Ups, a children's sweater pattern book, the cutest package of children's buttons, and a dinosaur shaped measuring tape!! I just love the measuring tape. It's already being put to use! THANK YOU!!

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Christmas in July

My knitting needles have been clickin' like crazy the last couple of days. :) I'm trying out my hand with dpn's for the first time -- making a pair of socks. And I made my first towel topper last night. I still need to sew the button on, but it's basically finished. For Christmas I think I'll make matching sets of towels, dishcloths and hotpads for a couple family members. If I start now, I won't have to rush around like a mad woman in a few months. :)

Here's a picture of the towel topper and the few rows I have done on my socks:

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I'm using a free pattern from for ankle socks. I've only done a few rows so far. Trying to get the hang of holding onto so many needles. I've wanted to learn to knit sock soooo bad though, so I'm determined. :) I'm going to finish this "practice'' pair in lime Bernat Sox. And then I'm going to make another pair out of the Magic Stripes sock yarn I have in my stash.

So far, I like working with the Bernat Sox yarn. I definitely like the colors! I ordered several different colors from Herrschner's on-line.

I have been trying to figure out how to knit socks on two circulars because the pattern in the Debbie Macomber book I have uses circulars. I've read through directions on the net several times, and found it really confusing. And I haven't bought the tiny circulars yet -- gotta find them in size 2 and 3. I will get the hang of double points first -- and then figure out the cirular method. I can tell it's something you just have to cast on and figure out as you go along.

Yesterday and today have been awesome days for mail. Yesterday, my Harry Potter book came!!! And I got a Christmas in July package from an Elf in Springville, IA. She sent me a Skein of a pretty fluffy yarn called Divine, a skein of Paton's Cha Cha, a candle (which is now on my mantlepiece), some pretty glass beads, and 3 great sci-fi paper back books. THANK YOU!!!

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I had to laugh when I finally started reading Harry Potter today. There was a scene where Dumbledore went to use the bathroom at a wizard's house. He was gone for a long time. When he came back they asked him why he had been gone for so long. And he said "I was reading your magazines. I love knitting patterns.'' LOL. Me, too!

Then today I had 3 more packages in the mail. Two were from Christmas in July elves -- and one from a secret pal.

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An Elf in Florida sent me a Crochetville card, two packages of lovely beads, some pins and earlobe hangers, and some flavored tea. Another Elf sent me a chocolate bar (which my teenager confiscated), some pretty buttons (including a beaded one she made herself), a pretty handmade card, and some flavored tea. My secret pal sent me a package clear from Canada. She sent alphabet stickers, sticky notes, a pretty purple shade of Fun Fur (which my digital camera turned blue for some reason??), a pretty card, some purple ribbon and a neat pattern book for animal pillows. :) THANK YOU ALL!!!!!

I'm packing up all my exchanges for the month today. Nice pile of knitted and crocheted items on the kitchen table. My husband said it looked like a mini craft-fair. lol. I really enjoy making things for my crafting friends every month, and I love seeing what they send to me in return. :)

I have a knitting ? -- if anyone has suggestions just leave them as comments. What is the best way to cast on stitches in the middle of a row?? In finishing the button hole for the towel topper I made, you did a bind off of 3 stitches in one row, and then in the next row you cast back on 3 stitches. I used the thumb method to cast on, but it's awfully tight and it was really awkward to hold onto the needle I wasn't using to cast on in the middle of things. Any suggestions for an easier method to use in that situation?? I'm still a relatively new knitter, so I'm learning as I go. :)

Almost done with a potholder pattern I've been working on. I'll be posting it to the blog soon. Gotta finish it up and take the picture to go with the pattern. :)

TTFN!!! I'm going back to doing the laundry and reading Harry Potter. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I'm so wild about Harry....

Ok, I have to admit it. I'm one of lots and lots of people who have pre-ordered the new Harry Potter book. At least I can say I wasn't one who waited in line at a bookstore, and I didn't go to a midnight pre-release party. I used, got the book a bit cheaper, and I have to wait for a week or so to get it. But that's ok -- I'm re-reading Order of the Phoenix so that I'll be refreshed to continue on with the new book.

What's the attraction?? I like reading something that isn't serious, but still an interesting imaginative story. It's relaxing. And who reads 5 books of a series and doesn't buy the 6th book? LOL. I gotta find out what happens -- along with several million other people it sounds like.

I think I will knit one of the scarves. Why not?? Gotta love the look! They remind me of Dr. Who's (Tom Baker's Dr anyway) scarf -- if you look under "Fun Stuff'' I have a link to a group "Fans of the Scarf.'' :) To be a really good English fringe fantasy character, I guess you have to have a very long striped scarf.

Here's rhe two patterns that I found:

Hogwart's Scarf patterns:

Atypically knit also has other Harry Potter patterns for sale, including one for Hermoine's cable and bobble hat and mittens from the movie Prisoner of Azkaban. Very cute!

Or if you prefer, here is Lion Brand's rendition of the scarves:


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

To knit, or to workout -- that is the question.......

If anyone invents a way to knit and walk on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike, then by all means share it with me please. lol.

I'm trying very hard to lose weight -- and I mean a LOT of weight -- so I spend a lot of time planning menus, walking, doing workout videos, and visiting Kathie, my wonderful friend and personal trainer. Then there's the baby, and the other kids, and hubby -- between all of that, my knitting, crocheting, and painting time is going down exponentially.

The workouts and weight loss are more important than my crafting obviously, but a couple days without needles in my hands and I go into withdrawal. So I have decided to get up a bit earlier in the mornings and go to bed a bit later so that I have time to knit. Otherwise, someone will find me laughing maniacally in a closet knitting on a pair of socks in the dark gone totally bonkers. LOL.

But there is a good side to being a crafter on an all around diet (foodwise AND knitting/crafting wise), looking at pretty patterns is a great motivator for me. I have a list I have started of all the sweaters, tanks, and other knitted things I'm going to make for myself when I'm smaller. :o)

And I have two -- well, nearly 3, to be honest -- closets full of very nice clothes that I can't wear anymore. My a** has just grown too big for my wardrobe. So, I visit my clothes when I don't feel like working out. Cashmere sweaters that are too small really are a great motivator to get up and brave Denise Austin at 6 a.m. Isn't she just too perky for 6 a.m.??

On the knitting side of things, I watched a Knitty Gritty episode today that showed angora goats. Boy, they really looked miserable with all that hair hanging everywhere.

I think we have an angora cat:

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Foo is a Pixie Bob, and has the most beautiful, thick fluffy fur. But I think I'd lose a couple pints of blood if I tried to shear him like a goat. ha ha. :) He's the gentlest, sweetest cat actually, with his little bob tail and his big bear paws.

Gotta jet to go workout, and then I'm hitting the needles tonight after the baby goes to bed.


Monday, July 11, 2005

Birthday presents!

What a surprise! Today is my birthday, and I was enjoying a nice relaxing day with my kids and knitting projects. An R&R day for Momma. Then the postman came with a surprise for me! A package came from my friend, Karla! And I also had been saving a box from my knitting pal, Debbie, from weluvknitting over at yahoogroups. :)

Look what they sent me!!

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Karla sent me two skeins of Bernat Frenzy in a color called Ultra Violet. Frenzy is a fuzzy sort of yarn. The main color is black, but there are threads of pretty bright colors entwined in it. Totally gorgeous!! She also sent me a wonderful card, and a whole bunch of patterns, including a booklet of fun fur patterns and very cute baby patterns. :)

Thank you so much, Karla. :) You're awesome, chickie! And thank you again for the beautiful handmade card you sent Joshua for his 1st birthday!! That was so thoughtful -- and amazing!! It's definitely going into his scrapbook! It's nice to have a friend who has a boy about the same age as Joshua. :)

Debbie sent me a felted bag -- perfect for toting my knitting to my knitting class on Tuesday mornings. :) And she sent me a copy of Debbie Macomber's pattern book "A Good Yarn'' that goes with her latest book. Kinda neat I got it today -- I just dropped by the library this morning to pick up that book. I'd been on the waiting list for it for a few days. :) So, I can read the book and knit some of the patterns at the same time! She also sent me two skeins of a Yarn Bee yarn called Playful in the color Ebony Solid. It's a pretty eyelash nubby sort of yarn with sparklies. :)

Thank you so much Debbie!! It's going to be so fun to be your knitting pal for the next year! :)

My WIM list is getting even longer! :)

Tonight after my training session with my friend Kathie, and dinner out with the family, I'm going to come home and work on that polka dot purse and the scarf that has been hogging my #15 needles for two months now. I want to get those cast off and start some new things!!

I did get the bottom swatch about done for the purse I'm making from green Lopi, but I'm holding off doing anymore until I get some UFO's FO'd. :) I'm still forcing myself to work on that red fun fur scarf. That project would make a great crafter's horror movie: The Eternal Project. And the sequel: Revenge of the Eternal Project in 3-D. I've had it nearly done twice, only to have to pull it out and start over. Once the baby pulled it off the needle, and then about a week ago the cat found it and ran all over the house with it. 3rd time's the charm for the cursed scarf I think. I have it 2/3 finished AGAIN, and this time I'm going to keep it hidden and locked up until it's all done. Sigh. lol.


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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Attack of the Cake Monster and Lucy

Joshua had a great birthday party yesterday!

Here he is enjoying his cake:

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Ewwww! Attack of the Cake Monster!

During the barbeque, we had a visitor who seems to have decided to stay.

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She's a sweet little kitty. We put out some food for her last night, and she really has my husband wrapped around her little paws. He came in last night and announced her name is Lucy. I added a 2nd name -- Lucy Lou. Southern gals have to have two names, right?? :)

She appears to have gotten lost, or dumped. Very clean, but verrrry skinny. She has a food and water dish outside now, and I've brought her in the house a couple of times to look around. As soon as I've had her to the vet and have put some flea treatment on her, we'll see if she wants to live in the house, or be an outside kitty.

On the crafting side of things, I'm working on a new felted purse out of Lopi wool in a pretty emerald green. And I'm going to finish up a polka dotted purse I've been working on.

My birthday is on Monday. I plan to organize my yarn stash and get in some quality knitting time! :)

If you like knitting for charities, I put two new links up on the left. Check them out!


Friday, July 08, 2005

Some Cute Online Patterns

Just having an R&R day today -- looking for some new online patterns to try. I found some really cute ones. I thought I'd share some links today. :) And definitely making my WIM list longgggggger. Sigh. Thank God I have multiple sets of knitting needles and crochet hooks. And lots of bags to store works-in-progress. I can never just do one project at a time -- gotta have lots all going at the same time. But it keeps me from getting bored! :)

OK....these sound weird, but I think they're really cute. Short-toed Socklets. It's knit socks that you can wear with sandals. This link has a picture:

I have no clue what language that page is in -- but the pdf of the pattern is in English.

I gotta make some of these! Then I can wear my sandals with the between-the-toes thingy and I won't get a blister. Not sure what the correct term for that thingy is -- but if you've got a pair that has them, you know what I mean. There's another picture of them on a blog called
Dogs Steal Yarn I read today. Check out her July 4th entry -- aren't those cute?? Makes me want to redo my pedicure, and get busy with my knitting needles. :)

Then I found a cute triangular dressy scarf. The pattern is knit, but it could be easily converted to a crochet pattern.

And how about a dammit doll -- you know, for those bad days. The basic premise (for those who don't know) is that you knit up (or crochet) an ugly doll from scraps. Then when you have a bad day, you punch, kick, jump on, or do whatever general rudeness to the doll to relieve stress. lol.

Here's one great for a trip to the beach, or the pool. A lip balm Necklace. The pattern is crocheted.

Isn't that cute??

How about a cat hat?? Crochet Me has one!

Meow meow!

How about a crocheted thong?

or this kind:

Just don't use wool. lol.

Or perhaps something for the man in your life:

And finally, a really pretty nightie:

Kinda neat what you can find on the 'net!!

I'm going to have to knit that thong for my husband in some bright awful color just to see the look on his face. lol. :)


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Wonderful Mail Day!

It's been raining all day here in western NC. We've been getting so much rain lately, I am tempted to build an Ark.

I had planned to take Little Joshua to the park to feed the ducks today, since it's his birthday. But the weather brought those plans to a halt. It's been raining so much here lately, that parts of town are flooding. My poor husband is working outside in the muck again today. Yesterday he really had a beastly day. Not only did a customer's dog bite him, but he got stung by a wasp while riding his bicycle home. Then, he asked me to go out and get him a burger and fries -- and the restaurant got his order wrong. Sigh. Hopefully, he has a better day today. I really felt sorry for him.

As for Joshua, he's had a great 1st birthday so far, despite not being able to play outside. :) We bought him some large size Lego blocks and he's been having a great time with them. He really doesn't build anything -- just strews them all over the place. :)

Then the postman came! My friend Karla and her daughters made Joshua the NICEST birthday cards!! I just love them. Here's a picture:

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The cards are just beautiful, Karla!! Tell your girls thank you. You all did a wonderful job on the cards you made!! They are definitely going in the keepsake box -- I need to start a scrap book SO bad! My friend Kathie used to own a stamping store....I need to recruit her to help me. :) She's also my personal trainer, so if she doesn't kill me with pushups before I get the scrapbook done, I will post photos. lol.

I was a good girl, Karla and did not read your blog. My husband did though. I had a good laugh earlier this week when I went to read Karla's blog. In a big headline at the top it said "Juli Wyant, do not read this blog.'' lolol. It made my husband curious, so he read it and had a good time reminding me for a couple days that I couldn't peek. She had photos of the card she made for Joshua on her blog, and she wanted to keep it a surprise. Thank you again Karla -- you are so sweet! :)

Then I also got several packages in the mail today.

Thank you to Terri from Crochetville for the great tea exchange. She sent me a huge coffee mug and some flavored green tea. I can't wait to try it! It sure smells good!

And a wonderful Crochetville Elf (MW) from Oregon sent me a Christmas in July package. I got a bookmark, some really neat post-it notes, and two beautiful beaded stitch markers. Thank you!! It's all beautiful and I appreciate it so much!

Here's a picture:

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I also got another Christmas in July package from another Crochetville Elf from AL, with some lovely vanilla scented lotion, soap and lip balm and a pretty white washcloth! I love it! Thank you! And an unmarked package came from WI, with a beautiful thread dress potholder/dishcloth. Not sure if it was meant to be an exchange, or if it's a Christmas in July package.

Here's a picture:

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We're having a barbeque for Joshua's and my birthday on Saturday. I turn 37 on Monday. So, Josh will get his chance to smash cake all over his face this weekend. lol. I will be sure to post a picture. :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Joshie Birthday Boy! You've Come a Long Way Baby!

My son Joshua will be 1 year old tomorrow!! It doesn't seem possible -- seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital. Now he can say a few words, and he just started walking. :) It's amazing how fast they grow up!!

Sorry for digressing from crafting, but this is going to be a "Mom'' post. :)

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~Here's Josh at the hospital, less than an hour old.~

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~Here's Josh sleeping at VBS -- he's four weeks old.~

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~Here's Josh when he first started crawling back in January.~

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~And here's the little birthday boy with his 10 month old
cousin, Bethany, at our recent Father's Day barbeque.~

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~And here he is hangin' out with his Daddy.~

Happy 1st Birthday, Joshie! :)