Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone had a Happy Halloween today. I'm completely worn out from Trick or Treating tonight with my nephew. This morning, he was a Red Power Ranger when he left for school, but by tonight, he didn't want to be a Power Ranger any longer, so tonight, he was a soccer player. We walked two of the subdivisions in my community (which is what I walk on the weekends for exercise) and it was very much like exercise chasing after a 6 year old. Needless to say, I missed the crisp in the air because I was working up a serious sweat trying to keep up with him. I think we will all sleep well tonight. And I just can't begin to discuss the candy that is in this house that really needs to leave.

My parents are off on vacation this week and it sounds like they are having a great time. Thus far, they have been to Asheville NC and to see the Biltmore, to Cartersville, VA (?) to see Monticello and then to Lynchberg, VA to go to Poplar Grove (at least I think that is right). I'm sure the little man will rack up with lot's of "prizes" when they get back.

I actually had a little bit of success on the shopping front this week. I've been looking for some new suits for work. I have not had to wear suits much in the last few years, but it is becoming a bit of a necessity at times for my current job. Problem is that I'm extremely difficult to fit in clothes, especially suits. I'm right on the cusp of the whole Petite/Misses thing. In the past, petites have been just a tiny bit too short and Misses, well they just didn't fit just right. But success was had last night in the Petites department at Belk (my former Parisians....*sob* *sob*). I actually found three suits that fit really well and they were on sale for a great price!! I love it when things just finally fall into place.

So with the shopping this week and various other crap going on, there hasn't been a ton of knitting being done, but I'm happy to repeat that I have one more repeat on the toe decrease for my second Monkey sock and then I just have to graft the toe. Voila, the monkey socks will so be available for wardrobe by Friday!!

Ok, I got to get to bed now. Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's stopped raining

Well, the promise of rain this week is no more. Drat, we really need it.

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last week, but I was a bit under the weather with the Stomach flu last Thursday & Friday. I did resume knitting on Saturday. I have finally completed the socks for my sister for christmas, and I'm through the heel on my second monkey sock. I'll post pictures of the monkey socks as soon as I get done with them. I also blocked my Koigu shawl on Saturday, but have yet to take pictures.

I also watch the entire series of Band of Brothers. If you haven't seen this series, I highly recommend it. It is the story of Easy company of the 506th Division of the 101st Airborne during WWII. You can usually rent them from your local rental store, but I was able to get the DVDs through my library. I have also just finished reading Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends which is the real life recounts of two of the soldiers from Easy company that is featured in the Band of Brothers. Again, I could not recommend these more if I tried. You will be amazed at the courage of these men and the sacrifices they made, you will be horrified at what they were subjected to and witnessed and you will cry as they lose their fellow friends. Excellent true story!

So needless to say since I was sick last week, there just isn't much exciting going on in my world.

I am however, hoping to participate in the Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap, so here is my questionnaire.

What are your favorite kinds of coffee? (Brands, Roasts, anything at all you'd like to share!) French Roast, European coffee, flavored coffee. Starbucks, Barnies, you name it.

Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee? Ground please

This time of year, there are often Holiday Blends available, and many flavored coffees - do you drink flavored coffee? Yep, Like the new Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, like Mocha flavored (ok anything chocolate), Santa's White Christmas from Barnies. Pretty easy to please.

Do you enjoy special blends? Yep

How do you take your coffee? Cream and Sugar? Straight up? Decaf? Cream and Splenda please and decaf at night.

Do you prefer drinking from a nice thick mug, or a matched cup and saucer? OOOH, nice thick mug.

What is your favorite part of Winter? Finally being able to wear my handknit socks, and sweaters.

Do you celebrate a holiday in December, and if so, which holiday? Yes, Christmas

If you celebrate Christmas, do you put up a tree? Have to put up a tree, the nephew would revolt otherwise.

Would you enjoy items related to the holiday, or would you prefer a Winter themed package? Either, not real preference here.

Do you collect anything? Are there any holiday or winter-themed items (Snowmen, Angels, Snoflakes, Santas, etc) that you collect? I collect both Santas and snowmen

Do you wear scarves? Mittens? Hats? Wear scarves, gloves and occasionally hats.

What is your favorite holiday or winter treat? Spiced cider or Chocolate Chess Pie for Christmas

Please share a favorite Winter or Holiday memory. When my cousins were younger they used to spend Christmas with us. My youngest cousin is 16 years younger than me and I still vividly remember the year that he got the Teenage Mutant Ninga Turtles Pizza Shooter. It was this contraption that catapulted little plastic discs with stickers on them to make them look like pizzas. There were no ankles or pets that were safe.

Do you Knit or Crochet? Knit

For how long? Three years

Do you like wooden, metal, or plastic needles\hooks? Wooden, Bamboo & Metal

Circular or straight? Circular & DPN

What sort of projects do you enjoy making? Socks!!!

What are your favorite types of yarn to work with? The independent dyed sock yarns

Do you spin or dye? Absolutely not, can't afford to start another hobby

Do you do other crafts such as scrapbooking or needlepoint or anything else? I scrapbook, make cards and I used to cross stitch and can needlepoint.

When is your birthday? June 26

Do you have any children? (Furry kind count!) None of the two legged kind, but my 6yo nephew does live with me. We have several cats though.
What are your favorite colors? Ok, this one is always difficult for me. I love any of the fall colors (browns, rusts, golds, oranges), but I also love brights (yellow, hot pink, turquoise, lime green, bright orange, not red though)

Do you have any allergies? Cigarette smoke

Whew!! I'm done, now for the swapping and emailing to begin!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's raining, It's raining

Halleluah it's raining!! I don't think I've every had a time when I've been excited that it has been raining on and off for two days, but we so desperately need it. The area I live in is around 24 inches short of rainfall this year. I mean Alabama & Georgia are fighting over water! Who would have ever thought that would happen. I really hope that it rains all week like it is supposed to. Plus the rain brought in a little cooler weather. It is finally beginning to feel like fall and I can wear my newly finished wrap.

Tonight was knit night and a great time as always. The usual characters were there and there was laughing and enabling going on (oh that yarn, yes that yarn is fabulous, you must have that yarn.....).

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Look what came in the mail & what I finished

Yea! The mailman brought me goodies today!

First up is my Whatnot Sock Yarn from Union Center Yarns in "Calico". I love this yarn. It is just as soft as the "Fall" skein I got from Woolgirl. The colors are fantastic. And she also sent me two cute skullhead stitch markers, but the camera didn't want to focus on something that small.

Next up is my Sock Yarn from White Willow in "Pumpkin Pie". These colors are so warm and yummy! This also came with a cute stitch marker attached to the tag.

Yesterday after I taught my class at my LYS, I picked up the yarn to do the simple wrap below. This was a VERY easy project. I cast on and knit while I was watching Auburn get beat by LSU and had the entire wrap finished by the end of the game. It is made using Cascade Magnum and then you crochet Ozark Handspun around the edge. This project was a superquick knit. I've got so many other projects going that I needed a completed project and this one is super cute!!

Pattern: Winter Wrap (free pattern from shop)
Yarn: Cascade Magnum & Ozark Handspun (sold together as a kit)
Needles: Size 19 Crystal Palace Circulars.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Eye Candy Friday

Alice in Wonderland Garden - Oxford England

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It's here!!!

I got my package from Woolgirl today and it is FANTASTIC!! You did a great job picking out the yarn Jen - I love it! I got a nice goodie bag full of all things Reese's and some Spunky Eclectic Yarn in the Scarecrow colorway and a sample size Soak woolwash. Wanna See???

Isn't it Fabulous?!?!? I was so excited. Tomorrow should bring my yarn from White Willow and then there will the the shipment of my Union Center yarn. There is also the DKknits sock club that I signed up for. Must stop the madness!!

The symphony last week was really great! Lots of Mozart which I really enjoyed. Last weekend was just full of girl time which I really needed and enjoyed.

Not much on the agenda for this weekend at the moment (but that could always change). Today was a little bit of a bummer. You see, the Service Engine Soon Light has come on in the car a couple of time this week, so I had to take it to the dealership. Well almost $700 later, my car left the dealership. I really can't complain. I've got a Saturn SC-2 3-door coupe that I have had for 5 years, it has almost 84,000 miles on it and this is the first non-standard maintenance I've had to have done. Today's repairs involved the Engine Coolant thermostat and the Serpentine belt (which has a standard life of only 60,000 miles). So I count myself lucky that it wasn't worse than that.

Knitting wise, I'm almost done with the first pair of socks for my Sister for Christmas. They have taken a little bit of time to get done, but that is because I really only knit on them at work. I'm also working on a sock for my Dad (my own pattern) out of Shibui Sock Yarn in "Ink" and I've cast on for the Monkey Socks out of my Union Center "fall" yarn.

Well, I'm off to knit and watch Grey's Anatomy.........

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Take this quiz!


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Saturday, October 13, 2007

I love the weekend

Last night some of my girlfriends & I went to dinner at a local Thai Restaurant, Surin West, which is one of my favorite places. After a little sticker shock over how much the menu has gone up since the last time I was there, we had a great time! The food was really good and the company was fantastic. The group was myself and my girlfriends, Tracie, Kathy, Marla & Marla's friend Rachel (who is quickly becoming a part of our's too late to ecape Rachel). As usual, there was tons of laughing and storytelling. Rachel then had to leave us to go finish studying for her midterm this morning (Hope it went well Rachel), and the rest of us headed off to the Movie Theatre to see Michael Clayton. I have mixed reviews of this movie. First there was the definate eye candy of George Clooney, but the while the overall storyline was good, it was a tad confusing and slow moving at times. We then stood around and talked about the movie and various other topics that came to mind until we finally decided we all needed to go home.

Then this morning, I wake up to an email from Jen at Woolgirl. It seems I'm the lucky winner of the this weeks Socktoberfest contest. The contest this week was to answer how old the Reese's cup was. The Hershey's website was quite helpful and I found out that the Reese's cup is now 79 years old. Jen emailed me to find out what my favorite colors are. Well, almost anything of course. I narrowed it down for her.........anything fallish or anything bright.....oops, that may not have been very helpful. After looking at her store, I'm sure I will love anything she sends!!

Tonight, I'm headed to the Symphony with my girl, Tracie. I'm really looking forward to it because I haven't been to the symphony in so long. Tracie, I'm not sure the symphony is prepared for us. We will have to be on our best "cultured" behavior.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Eye Candy Friday


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sock Gala Recap & More (Picture Heavy)

Ok, so I've been a bit neglectful of the blog. My friend Alissa pointed this out to me tonight at dinner. This week has just been so crazy and then it has been hard to get the computer away from my sister & my nephew. But here is what you have been missing..........

Last Thursday was the Sock Gala at my LYS, In the Making. This was a regularly scheduled Knit Night that was devoted entirely to socks. There were lots of prizes, some games involving the history of socks and some information on a charity, Power Socks (more on this in a minute). There was also lots of food and did I forget to mention that all sock yarn was on sale that night. Power Socks is a local charity that was founded by a customer of the shop, Lou, who had knit so many socks for herself that she was getting a "stash" of socks. A friend of her's that worked for a local nursing home was telling her about some of the women who worked there that were having trouble making ends meet with the rising cost of power & gas. Lou went to her church and set up a program where you can buy socks already made and all of the money goes to the Greater Birmingham Ministries to help women who are having a tough time making ends meet. Donna, the owner of In the Making contacted some of her suppliers and had some yarn donated just for this purpose. On Tuesday, October 23, Donna is having a kick-off for anyone who would like to help knit socks for this program. The donated sock yarn will be available on a first come first serve basis for anyone who would like to help.

Below are some pictures from the event (some of the pictures are a bit blurry from all the movement):

Donna, the Owner of In the Making

The Cake (was oh so yummy!)
The Prizes
Denise & Shira

Shira, her Mom, Linda & Katie
Looking like they are talking about knitting....
It was so crowded, these two brought their own chairs
Ok, next let's talk purchases.....on Sock Gala Night, I picked up a couple of skeins of Claudia's Hand Painted for a pair of socks (forgot to take a picture).

With Columbus day, I had to wait a bit for some shipments. I finally got the recent shipment of the Art Walk Sock Club yarn. This month's inspiration was Pablo Picasso's Three Dancers. The yarn is beautiful and after a brief snafoo with my swift (aka lamp with very large lampshade) and some help from my sister the yarn is finally wound into a cake and ready for knitting (just need to find more time now).
Three Dancers

Next up is my shipment from Woolgirl. I found out about Woolgirl from Susan and dare I say it is almost too tempting. I order "Fall" Whatnot Sock Yarn by Union Center and it is really yummy!! I also ordered a set of Chiagoo needles to try them out. The package came and was wrapped so pretty and there was also a sample of Soak Woolwash in it. I can't wait to try it. I've already signed up for the Be My Valentine Charlie Brown Sock Kit and I'm definately signing up for the next sock club she does. (No, really, I'm don't have a problem with sock yarn....I can stop anytime.....who am I trying to kid here??)
I also got in two more sock bags from Stuck in Illinois, but I forgot to take a picture of them, but you can see them here and here. And dang it if she hasn't now listed the cutest Christmas bags (must resist, must resist, must resist)

Now on to non-knitting stuff. Tonight was Girls Night Out for the Ladies in my sunday school class. We met at Jason's Deli for dinner and had a great time. We spent the evening sharing funny stories (most of which were about our dating mishaps -where have all the good men gone) ......girls, we really need to write a book with these stories, we couldn't make this stuff up if we tried!! Tomorrow night, some of the girls and I are headed to dinner and then to catch the new George Clooney movie (some guy name, really can't remember it). Then Saturday is a night of culture involving the Symphony (cause you know I'm all about being cultured.....ha ha!!). I can't remember the last time I went to the Symphony and I'm really looking forward to it.

Also this weekend the big Pompeii exhibit opens at the Birmingham Museum of Art. I'm dying to see this exhibit, but I'm not brave enough to deal with the crowd this weekend.

It is finally turning cooler here and beginning to feel like fall. I'm so ready for the weekend, this week has been so crazy at work and I'm ready to relax!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Issues, Issues, Issues

Hello, My name is Suzanne and I have an addiction to yarn. For those of you who know me, you know that is just one of my issues that I have. But I just can't seem to help myself. It is just so pretty & soft, and did I mention "one-of-a kind"? I'm really a sucker for that. I love the independent yarn dyers because I know that even if they dye the same colors, it won't turn out exactly the same. Here are some examples of my recent falls off the wagon.....I mean purchases.

First is some yarn from a little buyer I found on Etsy, Thankewe Yarns. This yarn is called lighthouse. I really needed to retake the picture to better capture it, but oh well, that didn't happen. Still trying to decide if this yarn will be for me or for a Christmas present.

Next up is probably one of my favorite purchases I have made in a while. It is the Bamboo/Merino Wool sock yarn from Joyce at Elliebelly in the colorway Hedgehog. There are really not words to express how I feel about this yarn. I love the feel of it, the color of it, EVERYTHING. I had to wind it up the day I got it and start on a sock for ME. I'm through the heel turn on sock one.

Also, in my package from Joyce was this lovely lavender scented sachet. OMG, it smells divine. I could smell it before I even opened the envelope. Joyce is a very gifted artist and if you have time you should check out some of her artwork on her website.

Last but certainly not least is some Yarntini Sport weight yarn in appletini that I managed to snag from Amy. It seems she did what several of us have been known to do and that is purchase something we already have. I personally am glad she made this mistake because getting my hands on the yarntini yarn has been somewhat like finding a good man........IMPOSSIBLE (that is a completely different rant that I will spare everyone from).

OK, so on to my next major issue......ADD. I seem to have lots of things in progress, but have issues finishing things. Here is example number one. This is the Back to School Tank from Fitted Knits. I'm actually making good progress on this now and I'm about 45% complete now.

Example number two would be a pair of socks for my sister for Christmas (here's hoping she doesn't know or find out about this blog or oops! there goes the surprise). I'm working on the toe decreases on sock one. I got most of this sock done during CPE classes (remember that issue???). The difficulty of these socks is that she knows about the yarn and wants it for herself (convenient isn't it?), so anyway, if I knit them at home or my parents house, then she will know. So these are strictly being worked on at work (during lunch) or at other down times.

Now these are the socks I originally planned for my sister for Christmas that she has no idea about. These are out of Opal Rainforest in Tiger. These have recently gotten bumped in favor of the tank and the Hedgehog socks.

Next up is my Hedera socks out of the lovely Jitterbug Colinette. While this is an easy lace repeat, it is not stockinette and therefore takes a little more concentration which I just haven't been able to devote to anything lately.

Ok, this is my Sursa wrap in the colors of the Crimson Tide. I'm not happy with the ruffle however. It is rolling way too much for me. I'm still contemplating what I'm going to do about it if anything. It is pretty much done unless I decide to change something on it.

Last up, is my Koigu shawl/wrap. (Hard to take a picture of it since it is still on the needles) I love the colors of this and with it being in garter stitch the simplicity is definately there, so why can't I seem to finish it? Possibly the fact that there are so many stitches at this point that it takes me about 30 minutes to finish one row. YIKES!! But I have definately got to finish it.

Ok, so we all see that I have a few issues, but I guess that is just a fact of life. The sad thing is that this is just a small sampling of the problem. I guess you could say I'm in denial about the rest of it.

Ok, now on to non-knitting related stuff. This past weekend was chopped full of friends! Whether it be game night at Kevin's (where I was the queen of Dominos for once) or the ball games at Dan's House, it was lots of fun. If even gave me the opportunity to catch up on some chatting with my girl Marla. Sunday after lunch, Tracie & I did a little shopping which we haven't done in SO long. Warning however, if you need accountability on not spending money.....don't take Tracie with you. :)

Hope everyone is having a great week!