Monday, July 31, 2006

Invasion of the Super UFO's

My craft room has been invaded by UFO's. They hide in boxes and LYS bags all over the room. I try to run and hide from them...but I can hear them from inside the closet. A little rustle of plastic bag....a little clink of knitting needles....and a voice like Golem...."Juliiiiiiiiiiiiii.....come finnnnnnish usssssss.''

I'm trying! I'm trying! lol. Since June I have been working on a long list of unfinished craft projects. Some are 8 years old...eeeeek!!

Today I bit the bullet, and pulled out the Mother-Of-All-My-UFO's: the dreaded cable vest project.

I started this sweater for my MIL last October and knitted on it for what seemed an eternity. I got the two front panels done, and started the back panel.....but then I just got tired of working on it. With a 2 year old it was hard to find the time to spend on it. It was the never ending project....and took copious knitting notes to stay on track with the pattern repeats. It's not a difficult pattern, just tedious with all the repeats and boring to work on. But I do enjoy cables and twists -- learning how to do those was the fun part of the project! :)

But, THANK GOD for my obsession with pattern notes. I picked up the bag today.....looked at the notes and I know right where I left off on the back cable repeats. So....I am going to FINISH this sweater!!

The pattern is from a Bernat sweater book from the 80's, and my MIL loved it when she saw the book. The first two panels came out perfectly gauge and hopefully, it is a good fit for her once I get it all knitted and assembled. **Crossing fingers...knock on bamboo knitting needles**

I'm also working on finishing the pal for a sock I knitted some time ago.

I'm using KnitPicks Sock Memories in Flower Power......and you can tell it's been sitting around as an orphan sock for a few months, as KnitPicks has discontinued this colorway. LOL. I was disappointed that they don't offer it anymore, as it's such a happy retro mix of red, orange, green and yellow...I just LOVE it! But at least I'll get a nice pair of socks out of it!

My self-imposed yarn and project diet while I finish up all my un-finished craft/knitting&crochet projects is proving to NOT be an easy endeavor. I have seen so many pairs of socks, cute pillows, purses and other projects that I'd rather be working on....but NO NEW PROJECTS until I get all the in-progress stuff done! At least ONE of my UFO projects is a sock so I won't go completely into withdrawal. :)

And thank God for swaps.....yarn I receive from swap pals is the only new yarn I'm allowing myself to have until my list is all done. I can't knit with any of it, but I do visit my new yarn frequently. "Oh Koigu, Trekking and Wildfoote, I do hope to be using you to make such nice pairs of socks very soon....'' LOL.

And maybe this will get me into the habit of working on only one or two projects at one time instead of starting so many and not finishing all of them.

My UFO project will be continuing on into August.....I hope I can scratch more off my list at the end of August!

When I get this sweater done, I'm going to be doing the happy dance most definitely!!!!


More Questions!

I didn't realize that last month I didn't post the Colorswap more questions.

I PROMISE that I will also make a regular blog entry today! :) lol.

Colorswap Survey:

Are you crafty? Definitely!

Would you enjoy things like: Buttons, ribbons andembellishments? I collect buttons! :)

Do you dye your own wool? I have dyed wool with Kool-aid, and had a blast with it!

Do you like to scrapbook or make homemade cards? I have a box of stuff for my youngest's baby scrapbook, and haven't done anything with it yet....and he's 2. Maybe by the time he's 30 I will have it done. LOL. I have a craft book on homemade cards, but I haven't tried any of them yet. They look so neat! :)

What are your favorite scents? Warm, Spicy scents -- patchouli, cinnamon, sandalwood. Please no floral scents -- they usually give me a headache and make me sneeze for some reason.

Do you like stationary and cards? I love knitting related cards! Or cute/funny notecards. No too into "flowery'' stationary/cards.

Do you like to sew or embroider items? I enjoy applique, and both sewing and embroidery. :)

Do you like beads? Yes! All kinds, especially glass beads. :)

What kind of candy do you like? Sour fruit candies like Jolly Rancher, Lemonheads, Mike & Ike, etc. Choc is ok....but I don't eat much of it.

Do you like hand lotions or soaps? Some, as long as they aren't floral scents. Again, headache and sneezing problem. :) I like fruity scented body sprays. :)

Do you like to wear costume jewelry? If it fits my style, sure!

Do you like to make/or use stitch markers? I use stitch markers all the time. And I have made beaded markers was fun!

Do you collect anything? Buttons, tea pots/cups, and teddy bears.

Do you have any allergies?: Smoke, food, fiber, pets,etc. Cigarette Smoke

Do you have any hobbies? Knitting and Crocheting. Painting pewter miniatures. Playing cards. Reading. :)

Do you like scented or unscented candles? Scented...I like spicy scents, or "autumn'' scents.

Are you a fiber snob? No. I use acrylic for certain projects, but I do use lots of natural fibers as well. There are lots of less expensive natural blends and choices. I have a wide mix of yarns in my stash -- everything from top end recycled sari silk to Red Heart. :) Every yarn has its good qualities! :)

Do you like to play cards or board games? We just built a new room onto the house just for playing games and cards! :) It's our main family hobby. We have hundreds of board games. :) I'm learning to play Bridge right now.....oh my is there a lot to learn!! I play with my in-laws every Friday. I desperately need to find a book for beginner's trying to learn all the ins and outs and conventions, bidding skill, etc.

Do you like neon colors, pastel, light or mediumranges in the color of the month? For August, the colors are "neutrals''. I like creme/ivory rather than pure white. I like browns and even black, but I don't really care for grey unless it's mixed with other colors. Autumn colors and jewel tones are my favorite colors.

Do you like kitchen magnets or key rings? Yes, I do. I have a lot of farm animal magnets in my kitchen. I go for the cute side of things. I usually buy bigger key rings with stuffed animals or something really large on them since I have a talent for losing my keys all the time! It's hard to lose a HUGE keyring. lol.

Do you like picture frames? Not really. Usually I have to buy them in a theme that fits the particular picture that's going in them.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Questions, Questions!

These ?s were sent to me by my SP8's my answers!

1. What is your favorite season of the year and why? Fall! Autumn leaves are so pretty here in the mountains, plus the weather is perfect -- not too hot, not too cold. :) And I love fall decor!

2. Summer is hot. What do you knit in the summer? Socks and summer weight scarves mainly.

3. If money was no object.....what would you buy at the LYS? Hmmmmm.....lots of yarn! Maybe a spinning wheel.

4. What are some activities that have become family traditions for your family? The dinners, Christmas together, etc.

5. What is the weather right now? Humid and hot! It's NC afterall. ha ha.

I also need to post my questionaire for the Favorite Color Swap. Blogger was down the other day when partners were sent out. Finally I can post my answers here! I emailed them to my partner the other day. :)

1. What are your top three favorite colors? Jewel tones of Blue, teal and purple.

2. What crafts do you really enjoy? Knitting and crochet

3. What products do you really covet? Sock yarn, knitting needles/dpns, knitting patterns. I'm trying to learn to knit by chart so that I can try lace knitting. And I enjoy knitting socks.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things? Reading, playing cards and boardgames (I'm learning to play Bridge right now.....just started. Lots to learn!), spending time with my family, outdoor activities.

5. Is there anything you collect? Teddy bears, unusual bottles/glass

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol? Cancer. I'm not sure what Chinese symbol I am. I was born in 1968...I guess I need to go by a Chinese restaurant and read a placemat. :)

7.What are your favorite…
…scents/smells? Patchouli, cinnamon
…types of music and/or bands? Classical rock; celtic
…authors? Agatha Christie, Jill Churchill
…animals? Cats!
…places to shop? LYS and tea/coffee importers :)
…season? Fall is my favorite time of the year! Halloween is my favorite holiday. :)
…yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies? Sock yarn; knitting needles, dpns
…candies or goodies? Any hard candy, especially carmel or coffee flavored. Licorice. Anything sour fruit flavored like skittles, lemon drops, Jolly Rancher, gummy candies, etc. :)

8. Do you have any wish lists? I have an Amazon list. There's a link on my blog. I put it up to give my husband gift ideas for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, etc., because he never knows what to get. Now I have a list he can log into anytime, which makes him happy. :)

9. Are you allergic to anything? Cigarette smoke.

10. Do you have any pets? What are they? Cats! We have 4 very spoiled fur faces. :) Grover is a jet black kitty with glowing gold eyes. He's a sweetie. :) Frenchie is a stripey cat that likes to lick everyone. Kato is a kitten and loves to pounce on us with no warning. He's named after the butler in the old Pink Panther movies that used to attack Clouseau with no warning all the time. :) And fooful....he's the only pure bred kitty in the bunch. He's a pixie bob, and his ego is wayyyyy too big. Along with his gut. He's a fat cat. :)

Whew!! All done! :)


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Toys evvvverywhere......

and my toddler plays in a packing box! Typical, isn't it! :)


Monday, July 17, 2006

FO Challenge Update

Well, I am slowly making some headway on my FO challenge. It is getting EXTREMELY hard for me to continue not buying any new yarn, or starting any new projects. But I am DETERMINED to finish everything!

Thank GOD for swaps.....I'd be in total yarn withdrawal if I had to go totally without that new yarn smell. :) God bless all the kind swap partners who have sent me yarn in the past 2 months. I don't know what I would have done without you. :)

Here's the updated list:

UFO List -- All Crafts

Knitted diagonal pillow from Family Circle Easy Knitting - all done!

Cable sweater vest - started months ago. Two fronts done. Back and finishing left to complete. Haven't worked on this yet.

Sequin applique/embroidered Christmas tree skirt -- about half done. Started in 1999 and packed up for a move. Never unpacked. lol. No work on this yet.

Kitten latchhook kit - started 1999. About 1/2 done. Packed up for a move -- never got unpacked. I've done about six rows on this since's hard to work on when the baby is awake. He wants to make off with my rug yarn. :)

Scraps of Beauty crocheted afghan -- started 3 years ago. Color change every two annoying. But very pretty pattern. About 1/3 finished. Will look great on the couch when it's done! No work on this yet. But I did find the pattern, and I located my big container of scrap yarn. It's ready to be worked on. It's the biggest PITA project on this most likely I will hold out until last for it. LOL.

Kitchen swap for C'ville - Sent and received.

Bookmark Swap - Need to make several cute bookmarks for c'ville swap, plus bookmark/book swap group. All bookmarks done. And mailed out.

Baby scrapbook - scrapbook stuff bought, and pictures/baby stuff in box marked "scrapbook''. That's as far as I got. LOL. Gotta get this done before joshua is 27. No work on this yet.

12" square swap - All squares, including several replacement squares, done and mailed.

Items for SP8 - 2 boxes sent so far. One to go.

C'ville SP and Knitting Pal swaps - Last items sent. All done.

Accessories swap - 3 items made and mailed out. All done!

Knitted scarf - in LB wool from Scarf Style pattern book. No work on this yet.

Branching Out scarf from Knitty -- Restarted this using different yarn. I tried using multicolor mohair I had on hand. But the yarn was too fuzzy. Now I'm using peach DK Soft as Silk.

Ankle Socks - pattern from Bernat site.One sock done, one to go. Pretty knitpicks variegated sock yarn. I am in sock withdrawal since this FO project is keeping me from starting any new pairs. So tonight, I am starting on this sock. Sock knitters will understand how hard it is to resist starting new socks.....and not only that, but I just got two hanks of lovely Koigu sock yarn. Resist, Resist, Resist. :) So I gotta get going on this sock to stave off withdrawal and also to solve the SSS problem. :)

So, I am making progress. But alas, I still have a long way to go. Several intricate projects on my UFO list.

The Neverending Land of UFO. Shall I ever escape??? Hopefully next week I can cross out the branching out scarf, and the SSS sock. And despite a desire not to, I shall pull out the dreaded cabled sweater vest and get to work on it.

I know exactly why I didn't finish each and every one of these projects. But....some of them have been sitting around since 1999. It's time to finish them one way or another and move on, rather than let them keep hanging around taking up space in my craftroom.

Anybody else have ancient UFO's hanging around??? Maybe we can motivate each other to get working on them. lol. Everytime I think of working on that scrap afghan I start wondering if I could possibly fake carpal But it's I should finish it.

Maybe I'll finish it, and pay my teenage son to sit and work all the millions of ends in for me. lol. That would be the best $20 I ever spent. :)


Big Thank yous!

Lots of thank-yous to send out for crafting swaps. :)

First of all, thank you to Detra my Knitting Pal. Look at what she sent me!

She sent 3 skeins of Regia sock yarn in a fun self-striping variegated, two cakes of yarn she dyed herself, and a set of pretty purple dpn's! She also sent me a wonderful knitting book on different pattern stitches! I love the book! I can see why it's your favorite! Thank you Detra!

Then I received a box from my SP8 Secret Pal! Look at what she sent!

The plastic egg has stitch markers in it!

and a birthday bear~

She also sent a dragon puzzle that my husband enjoyed putting together. :) He loves puzzles. She wrote a nice note on the back of the puzzle which I got to read when it was all finished. :)

Thank you!! And the fuschia in the sock yarn is awesome. I don't mind fuschia at all -- it's light pastel pink I don't care for. :)

I received my Colorswap package from Stephanie today!! I love everything she sent! Lookie!

She sent some handmade soap that smells soooooo awesome! Plus two hanks of koigu sock yarn, vanilla tea, japanese gummy candies, purple nail polish, purple sticky notes, a purple light up anemone (which the baby and my teenager are playing catch with right now), and a purple sachet scottie dog. :) Very Cool!!

And, Cristin sent me my July square for the c'ville square swap. She also included a tin of pomegranite tea and several other tea flavors. Thank you!!! I love tea, Crisin! Thanks for the extra goodies and I LOVE the square you sent!!!

Thank you to everyone for such nice swap packages!!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Happy Birthday to meeeeee! :)

Today is my birthday! I'm relaxing and doing some things I enjoy doing....played my favorite Harry Potter video game, finished up some knitting projects, watched a MST3K movie.....great day so far!

And yesterday we went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie -- totally excellent!! The special effects were great! My son didn't get to go, so on Thursday night I'm going to take him to see it. It's definitely worth seeing again. :)

Finished up the knitted necklace I was working on! :) Knitting the double knit tube went a bit slow. I used Omega baby yarn. I did have to be really careful not to split the yarn, but I like the shimmery effect of Omega so the slow-going was worth it.

Here's what it looked like when I popped the beads in:


And then I added the ribbon:

The pattern is from the new issue of KnitNet magazine. Check out the magazine here. Some of the patterns are available for free, but most require a subscription. They have great patterns, so it's worth paying for. :)

The necklace is for an exchange I'm in. But I'm definitely going to make another one for myself. :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Josh is 2!!

Today was baby Josh's 2nd I guess my youngest isn't a baby anymore. :) He had a great day! We didn't have a huge party since he is still too young to understand stuff like that. But we spent all day doing what he likes to do!

We went to the park at the community college and fed the ducks and geese.

Then after that Josh got to have a Happy Meal(which is a treat for him as we don't let him have fast food very often), and then we went to the park to play. :)

And of course, he had a cake for his birthday with his favorite TV personalities on it:

He was more interested in playing with The Big Red Car than he was in eating a cupcake though. :) Which, actually, is a good thing. :) The cupcakes were good....but we scraped the frosting off. Wayyyy too much sugar. :)

And, he got some presents!

Josh got a Bob the Builder dvd, the movie Toy Story on dvd, a semi that hauls 5 Hotwheels cars, a tractor that makes noise with farm animal toys, Superman pajamas, and a basketball hoop for in the bathtub; some wonderful books with finger puppets from his grandma Gerri and grandpa Bob; a cup with his name on it, a ball and a little dump truck from his uncle John and Aunt marlene. He looked shocked that everyone was giving him packages with toys in them. By next year, he'll understand better what his birthday is.

This year we didn't throw him a big blow-out birthday party. Next year, I think I'll invite our friends' kids to come over and we'll have a big picnic, music and a pinata, and outdoor games. :) This year, we just had a small family cook-out, and kept things low-key.

My birthday is on the 11th. We're planning to drive up into the mountains to spend the day outdoors! We're going to go see the Nature Park, and then drive to Pisgah National Forest to spend the afternoon. And I want to go see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie as part of my birthday. :) From what I've seen Davey Jones is pretty creepy looking!!


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Great Mail week!

This week, my poor mailman has been overworked. :) I've received 5 packages this week!

My Gimmie Your Stuff trade box from Alison arrived:


Kato kitty had to approve the items for my use, of course. Alison sent me several balls of Indigo thread, a knitting bag, a measuring tape, some yummy English tea, a hank of hand spun yarn, and a t-shirt for my son. Thank you Alison!!

I received an RAOK package from a c'ville fairy godmother. She sent me 4 exercise videos and some yarn. Thank you!!!

I received my c'ville accessories swap from Esta! Thank you Esta!

Esta sent me some yummy tea, a skein of really pretty novelty yarn, two necklaces and the cutest handbag! :)

I received my GYS swap from Eva. She bought me czech glass beads in Prague! Lookie!

I think glass beads are so pretty! Here's a closeup of a fish-shaped bead!

And I received my Great Bookmark Exchange package from Sue!

Thank you Sue!!! That's a Pern series book I didn't have yet!