Wednesday, June 25, 2008

People Amaze Me!

I had been planning a weekend out of town for a couple of months now and thought I wasn't going to be able to go because I didn't have anyone to watch Spike for me. Then someone amazed me. Nana Pam offered to have her parents watch Spike, but I didn't want him driving her father crazy. Spike is kind of needy and that would have driven Bill nuts. Then Pam Bishop, who is going to run the retreat, asked her hubby, Dennis, if he would mind watching Spike at their house while we were gone. He said no problem at all. They have a basset hound named Winnie and I think Spike will get along with her just fine. She's got the run of their sun room and I think Spike will do just fine with her there.

I have really needed this retreat. I haven't been out of town for fun in over three years. The last trip out of town that was supposed to be fun was ruined by the rat and his "pet". The last two trips out of town were definitely not fun. One was when Gran was dying and the other was to go back to help clean out her house so it could be sold. Definitely not fun.

So now I need to get my knitting stuff together to take with me. I also need to wash some undies and pj's. I think I'll wash my hair in the sink Friday morning. That will be easier than trying to do it while I'm away. I am sooooo excited about this trip! I know that it's to McPherson, but still, it might as well be to New York! It's not Wichita and it's not a trip that is an obligation, so it's allllllllll good!

People amaze me with their acts of kindness. As much as I hate to admit it, I've come to expect the worst from people in general. That's not like me at all, but when you look at the last couple of years, I think you can understand why I feel like that most of the time. The friends that I have made up at Twist have just been incredible. Last year, when I was in the hospital so much, many of them came up to the hospital to knit with me. When I don't show up to just hang out and knit, someone will call me to make sure that I'm okay and see if I need anything. I couldn't ask for a better bunch of ladies to hang out with...even if I tried to find them, I probably couldn't. Good things find you when you aren't looking for them.

Tomorrow, Mom, Vanessa and I are going to clear out the crap in the dining room and on the stairs. It's step two in clearing what's left of Henry Nelson out of my life. If I can get the living room and the dining room cleaned up, the rest of the house should be a snap. I went through part of the bedroom the other day and threw away two bags of crap. I know that I'm going to come up with much more than that from the dining room and the rest of the bedroom. I would like to have it all done before my birthday. Hopefully, we'll have it done and be ready to move on to the upstairs. Now there's some scariness that I really don't want to face. I'm not sure which is going to be worse: the upstairs or the basement. The basement was his domain and you wouldn't believe all the garbage that is down there. Anything that is mine down there can be put in storage tubs or space bags and moved to the garage.

I'm going to go and try to decide which project to take with me on the retreat. I'm thinking socks, socks and maybe more socks. *grins*

I send you all love, light and peace-

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Holy Crap!

It seems that the weather gods are just not happy with us here in the Midwest. For a week solid, we had storms that started after midnight and would last until 4 or 5 in the morning. So sleep wasn't really an option when you are lying in bed listening for the tornado sirens to go off. Luckily, we didn't get the Oz treatment last week. We did have a couple of days where not much happened weatherwise. We got a little rain during the day a couple of days ago. But this morning...HOLY CRAP! It was one fast moving storm! The weather channel said it was moving at 38 mph. It just dumped a buttload of hail and rain on us and now all's quiet outside. It's the kind of weather that gives me a major case of the creeps. It's so much like the weather where a tornado just drops out of the sky when you least expect it...just like it was when I was a kid back in West Texas.

I've been up since right after midnight. I guess that's what I get for going to bed early last night. I think I woke up because I was hungry. Of course, by the time I got it together to go get something, just about everything but McDonald's and Burger King was closed. Apparently, half of Wichita decides that 1am is the perfect time to go get something to eat. There was quite a line at BK's drive through. I can tell you that their Steakhouse Burger is pretty tasty. I liked the crunchy little onion strings on the burger. It was better than most of the ones at Red Robin...and the onion strings were actually crunchy instead of soggy. I could do without their fries, though. I guess I'm kind of over fries for the time being. I'd rather have a good cheeseburger with plain old potato chips than fries.

I guess I should mention knitting at some point, since this is my knitting blog. I finished my first pair of socks last month. They washed up really well, too. I am glad that I spent the money for the sock blockers, though. I think I'm going to get the small set so I can block socks for Rhiannon. I got the Little Box of Socks the other day and I am in LOVE with some of the patterns! One of them is called Faceted Rib Socks. It's really a fairly simple pattern, if you can get passed the funky twisted German cast on. They did their model pair out of Lorna's Laces, so I know that just about any sock yarn that I already have is going to work with this one. I picked up a couple of balls of Panda Wool in a beautiful heathered purple the other day and started the cast on for the Faceted Rib socks. I figured this would make a great pair for Rhiannon. There's also a pattern for golf/athletic socks in the Box. Rhiannon loves those little short socks. The model was stitched with Fixation, so I picked up some fixation to see if I'm going to like the pattern or not.

I am halfway through the first sock of March's SotM. I'm having a hard time getting motivated to finish this one. I guess it's the yarn. It's knitting up nice enough, but it's just not something that I would normally go OOhhh-AAhhh over, you know? It's one of the Opal Zirrcus yarns and I swear it looks like something a Red Hat wearing cat hoarked up...all purple, red and cream coloured. It's knitting up better than it looked in the ball. Good thing or I would have tossed it day one!

I'm going to try to nap a bit before the nurse comes for dressing changes. Later today, it's off to Twist to see what's new and to pick up the issue of Simple Knitting that Shelly always holds back for me.

Hugs to everyone-

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Let there be socks!

Finally! After working on them off and on for 2 months, I have finished my first pair of socks! Something I can wear and say, "Hey look at these! I made them!" They aren't perfect, but they're mine. I can't wait to cast on for my next pair. But first, I have a little obligation stitching to do for a dear friend.

After that, it's on to more socks! Socks, glorious socks!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Almost there!!!

For the last couple of months, I've felt like a little kid again. Constantly asking myself, "Am I there yet?" Have I been on some kind of strange trip? Well, not really. Not unless you count sock knitting as a strange trip, indeed. *grins*

I decided that I was going to learn how to knit socks since I had been collecting pretty sock yarns for several months. So when Twist started up their version of the Sock of the Month club, I couldn't help myself! So I paid for my club membership and then bought the yarn for February's SotM. I wrote down the pattern and put all my supplies in a cute little sock bag with little love monkey's all over it. It really didn't take me all that long to get sock number 1 finished, but then my health, or rather my bad health, reared its ugly head and set me back. I didn't knit much of anything. Anyway, back to the sock story at hand...or rather at foot. Last weekend, I took my second sock with me to Twist because I had a spot on the heel that I couldn't fix. Shelly, shop owner extraordinaire, was able to get the little ladder fixed and I sped right on through the heel flap. Of course, I boogered up the heel turn. The flap was great. The turn, not so much. That's where Connie, our official SockNut, came in. God bless her! She unknit my over-turned heel and got me back on track.

So Thursday, I picked up my sock again and got the heel turned and started working on the gussets. I zoomed through the gussets and now find myself in what I call the homestretch! I'm working on the actual foot part! I wrote down exactly how many rounds I needed to do of R1 and R2, and I am only48 rows away from the dreaded Kitchener Stitch! Wooohoooo! I should be finished with my first pair of socks later today (Sunday). I'm so excited that I can't sleep! I had to get up and let the dog out, so I figured that I might as well get some knitting in while I was wide awake and obviously not in dreamland.

I'll find a way to post a pic of the finished pair later on. Then it's off to March's SotM. I've got the pattern and the yarn just waiting. I even have April's pattern and yarn waiting most patiently for me to finally get to them. My mother, God love her, is waiting most patiently for the pair of socks that I promised her in January when she bought that yummy alpaca sock yarn and asked me to knit a pair for her.

Back to working on the last bit of Charade!

Monday, March 17, 2008


After 2 classes on how to knit socks two at a time on the same needle, I think I just might have the concept down. Granted, the only thing that can wear the itty bitty socks that I have on my needles is my daughter's My Twinn doll, but hey, I've figured out that I can actually knit two of the little buggers at the same time!

I've really come to enjoy knitting socks. They scared the hell outta me for the longest time. I'm still not sure why I was so intimidated by socks. I guess for the same reason that starting a sweater makes me nervous. I guess I'm worried that I'll screw it up so bad that it's not recoverable. I really would like to get started on Mom's sweater but I need those stitch markers that Shelly is making me first. I tried starting it without them and quickly got lost so the markers are definitely a must have for me.

I did finish the first sock of the February sock of the month. The second sock is now on the needles and the cuff is done. I think this one will go MUCH faster than the first one since I've gotten over the fear of socks on DPNs. I have to admit that I absolutely *LOVE* my Harmony DPNs! I tried working with the nickle plated DPNs that the idiot bought me last year, but they just don't feel as good in my hands as the wood needles do. I think I just might be on my way to becoming a socknut like my friend, Connie. Now there's a serious socknut! I've only seen her knit one other thing and that's a shawl. She's started spinning and is really making some beautiful yarn. She's one of the most talented people I have ever met...and she's a phenomenal friend.

It's Spring Break and I'm trying to come up with ideas for things to do with Rhiannon that aren't going to cost me an arm and a leg. We've already decided that we're going to go to the movies to see Horton Hears A Who. We'll probably go to Cheddar's afterward for dinner. She seems to really like going there and I like their chicken strips. They're more like monster chicken chunks. I've never been able to finish them and always have at least half of the order to bring home. And their cole slaw is incredibly tasty. So maybe that's what we'll do on Tuesday.

I'll let you know how things go for the week. As always, stay safe, be happy and knit on!

Friday, February 15, 2008

I have the World's Coolest Mom!

I have the most awesome mother on the face of the planet! She knows that right now my therapy is my knitting. She used some of her TradeBank bucks and spent $180 on classes, yarn and books for me and Rhiannon. Then Monday, she stops by the house and brings us each a Valentine. Inside Rhiannon's was a gift certificate for Twist for $50 and in mine was a certificate for $100! Needless to say, my momma ROCKS!

I now have the yarn for Wicked, Oblique and Bijoux Blouse for myself. I decided that I was going to change the yarn for Mom's Rusted Root. The cotton was just too splitty and was driving me crazy! So, it's now in the "maybe I'll use it someday" pile. Mom also picked up some yummy alpaca sock yarn for me to make her a pair of socks and she got me some Tofootsies yarn to make a pair for myself in the Learn to Knit Two at Once class. Jill, who's going to be teaching the class, told me that if for some reason I ended up back in the hospital that she would bring the class to me. Mom did buy me the book that inspired the class. I love the way the book is made. It's a hardback that is spiral bound...but the binding is covered.

My poor little knitted beaded bag. Somehow I managed to drop a stitch a row and a half before where my stopping place was! Could I pick up the danged dropped stitch? Not to save my rear end. I'm hoping that Tina can help me fix it. I don't mind frogging a few rows. I mean, it's just knitting and I'm good with that. I suck at frogging most knitting, though. I can unknit and unpurl but there are somethings that I just can't figure out how to cables and beadwork. I really should email Tina and see what she says. I wasn't the only person this happened to. Connie told me that it happened to Mimi, too. Right about the exact same spot. I think Connie kind of got it fixed, but she was having a hard time getting the stitches picked back up. I should really try and get one of those teeny tiny crochet hooks. Maybe a visit to Hobby Lobby is in my near future. *grins*

For tonight, it's me and the dog and the tv. Okay, it's me and the dog and the tv AFTER Vanessa and I go have a girls night out early dinner. Then it's going to be me, the dog, the tv and probably my Charade sock. Now that's the life. *winks*

Friday, February 08, 2008

Arrrrgghhh!!! help???

No, it's not Talk Like A Pirate Day, it's Tammy's frustrated with her knitting day. Last night, I finally got to take the Entrelac class at Twist. Things were going along great guns until class was over. I thought I knew where I was at on my scarf and that I could just pick it right up once I got home and keep on knitting. Apparently, I have become knitting challenged.

Laura, the really nice instructor from last night, said that I was my own worst enemy and that I needed to stop talking myself out of doing the right thing on this project. I guess it's because the knitting just looks all wonky and jacked up. So I'm on Row 3. I had the first to "rows" done on that one when class ended. We went to dinner and had some fantastic Chinese food to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Rat and then came home. Some time between one and the other, everything I learned must have just leaked right outta my head. I sat down and picked up where I left off. Once I finished the last of the 8 repeats, I thought I had picked up stitches in the right place. But for some reason, it looks so wrong. I undid most of what I did and now, I couldn't even tell you what all I've got done! I think I'm going to have to head up to Twist this afternoon and beg for help. I feel like such an idiot.

And that's not all. My beautiful fair isle tam is no more a tam than I am the Queen of Sheba. It turned out to be a Rhiannon-sized beanie. I don't think I could get it to stretch over a dinner plate. I suppose I'll pick up one more skein of silk garden in #226 and maybe try a different base colour yarn instead of a Kureyon. I may even go up a needle size or two. Maybe that would make a difference. I would love to have a tam, scarf and matching mittens. They don't have to be all the same pattern (i.e. fair isle or entrelac) as long as they are all done in the same colourway. There's a great cabled mitten pattern in the newest One-Skein Wonder book.

I haven't had much luck in trying to knit a hat for myself. Every single one that I've tried for me has turned out to be itty bitty. Maybe I should just knit a Rasta hat for myself and call it good, but I really wanted something different. sigh...

And don't even get me started on the fiasco that my Lucy Bag has become. Between all of the binding off and putting stitches on a million different stitch holders, I am so confused! The pattern just isn't making sense to me. I know it has to be me, as there are so many on Ravelry who have finished their Lucy Bags and they look great. I got all 100 rounds knit up and them started the strap set up. I did the K19, BO 22. I K16 and put the 17 stitches on stitch holder A. The I did the next BO of 4, K16 and placed those 17 stitches on stitch holder B. Onto the next BO of 22, K16 and then those 17 went onto stitch holder C. I BO the next 4 but I am 7 stitches away from the BOR marker that it says to remove then K 16. According to the pattern, there should be 17 stitches left on the needle at this point. I have 27 stitches left at this point. I have ended up having nearly 30 stitches too many. How in the H did this happen? I stopped increasing when I hit 120, I even used stitch markers to make sure that I was on track.

Please tell me that I am not losing my knitting mojo. This is what happened a year and a half ago when I lost my cross stitching mojo. It just disappeared and everything I touched turned to crap on linen. I need some major help!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Holy Cow!

Do I ever suck at keeping up with my blogging! I have sorely neglected my blogs in the last month and a half. I'm going to blame it on stress and the holidays and life in general just getting in the way. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

On the upside of things, I have now completed 5 Rasta hats that have all found happy homes and are currently keeping heads warm. I've started a new scarf if that yummy Love It! yarn from Twist and I've started the small Lucy Bag by Two Old Bags in the brightest, happiest yarn I could find: Kureyon's #209. I still need to do the finishing on my first pair of felted clogs and I need to get that darned Year of the Pig bag finished...especially since the Year of the Pig is going to be over next week!

Tonight I am going to attempt to wrap my brain around the elusive skill of Entrelac. For some reason, this particular knitting option has just got me so intimidated that it is pretty ridiculous! But what the heck! It's just another technique to learn and if I hate it, then I just won't do it any more. How's that for some resolve?

I am so thrilled that Twist is going to be open today and on Super Bowl Sunday! I had been a bit worried that they would close today due to Wichita schools closing for bad weather and that would leave me here at the house with an antsy 10 yr old who pretty much lives for her Thursday night Stitch'n Bitch. As for Super Bowl Sunday, I had been contemplating going up to Junction City to PTP for their Super Bowl sale...but had pretty much nixed that idea since I haven't been cross stitching for over a year now. Someone told me the other day that when I was ready to go back to it, a piece would speak to me so powerfully that I could not ignore it. I hope they're right.

I *FINALLY* chased down a bottle of Cherry Chocolate Diet Dr Pepper a couple of days ago. The verdict on this new drink is that if it disappeared off the shelves tomorrow, I wouldn't be overly disappointed. It's okay, but it's not what I was hoping for. And odd as this may sound, it's actually better at room temp than it is cold. You can actually taste the chocolate and the cherry that way and not just the "diety" flavour. It's definitely not one of those sodas that I can drink really fast and want more of like a good diet cream soda. Now that's something that I really would be disappointed if it was to disappear off the shelves!

I went on a bit of a Lexie Barnes buying binge when they discontinued my favourite print, Baja. I ended up with a backpack, a Gem and several Sweetpea's. All total, I think I now own 13 or 14 LB bags. I'd have more of them if I had more money and could find more places that still had some Baja pieces in stock! My quest for now is to find some of Mega's in the small and medium sizes. Those make great accessory kit bags when a Sweetpea is to long for the project bag that you are working with at the time.

Yeah, I know...having an accessory kit for each project bag is just a little AR but it definitely saves my bacon when I find myself snatching up a bag to take with me to keep busy. Of course, while I'm working on whatver project is in the bag at hand, I will need stitch markers or a pen and paper or a tapestry needle and scissors. So I just decided that it wasn't that expensive to put together little accessory bags to go in all of my projects bags. I can divide up stitch markers and tapestry needles and those cute little scissors that I like so much are on sale at Hobby Lobby for 40% off right now and so that makes them $2.99 a pair.

I think I'm going to go curl back up under the warm blankets and watch some frivolous home improvement shows on tv.

Hugs all the way around-