Saturday, December 6, 2008

I won! I won!

Ok, so now I'm this famous blogger being linked from the Mason Dixon Knitting site...(check out the December 2, 2008 post, I'm a wiener! LOL) No, but really, I entered the blog contest to get a yarn kit for the Emma Peel dress, and I won! I'm so awestruck... My daughter keeps asking me when I'm going to make the dress for her. I have to wait for the yarn.

I also just finished a test knit for Michelle Miller. It's called the Hollywood and Vine and the pattern will be out soon. It's an easy but not boring knit, in the round from the bottom up. Very comfortable, feels like wearing your favorite t-shirt but looks nicer (you know what I'm talking about, our favorite t-shirts are usually pretty ragged and worn). Here's a very rare picture of an elusive knitter (me, lol) that is actually being posted online.

Take a good look, folks, you won't catch many pics of me on here... Oh, and disregard the date stamp on the pic, we forgot to reset the camera.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cooking, Exercising, and Sale

Well, it looks like the cooler fall weather has brought on a new passion for me. All of a sudden, I want to bake bread and cook fabulous casseroles. So in light of this, I purchased two new cookbooks. The first is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I have been using my breadmaker to make bread from scratch, and our family of five eats a 2-lb. loaf in about 2 days. This book is sort of an extension of that for me, making the dough and refrigerating it to bake later. A friend of mine has been blogging about her experiences with this book, if you'd like more information.

The other book is The Best Casserole Book Ever. I'm trying to get back to the all-in-one-dish, nutritious but cheap meals. Everyone is feeling the effects of the economy lately, and I am no exception, so I am trying to get the most out of my dollar. Not to mention how easy it is to throw a casserole together.

I have also decided, after all my life of hating it, that I like to jog. I am not a hardcore runner, I have just started, and it is because I'm looking to improve my fitness level. I have been a brisk walker for years, but my 2 year old egged me on from the stroller the other day. She kept telling me, "Faster, Mommy, faster!" as I pushed her through the colorful leaves on the sidewalks. So what do you know, I jogged, and it was fun. I was out of breath afterwards, of course, but not unbearably so, and it felt good.

Last on the agenda today, I have had slow (read "no") sales on my Etsy shop as of late. I was recently asked by a previous buyer to custom make a sweater, and when I agreed, she never got back to me. It has been about two weeks and I sort of gave up on that one. But if anyone is looking for gifts or stuff to get ready for the fall and winter seasons, take a look at these.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Knitting, Accounting, and Toys

Wow, I just realized how long it has been since I wrote on here. Chalk that up to school starting back up for the kids, continuing my online accounting classes, and of course, knitting. Here's a bit of what I've been up to.

I struggled and agonized over my final exam for my last accounting class. Just when I was about to give up, I reworked one section and I ACED my exam! I was so shocked, LOL, and then I wound up doing a little victory dance. Sorry, you don't get to see a picture of that!

I have been working on test knits, this one is for Justine Turner. I just love her designs. Here is Maya modelling her new cardigan, the Roaring Meg.

I have also become strangely addicted to Cartoon Network's Johnny Test, now that I can't seem to find Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends anymore.

I also made knitted toys for each of the girls.

Ok, this one is crochet, but this poodle is for Maya, from a Lion Brand Yarn free pattern.

This is a bunny for Emily, from Fuzzy Mitten's pattern. This is my interpretation of the Easter bunny, who is naked because Emily wouldn't let me hold on to it long enough to make him clothes.

I would love to call this my masterpiece, but it is not my pattern. LOL This is Maddie's Hedgy, a Huggable Hedgehog from the Fiber Trends pattern. He turned out so cute, and he is well loved.

Now maybe I can get back to my poor hoodie that has been neglected, or my socks that have been impatiently waiting...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sneaky Little Monkey

The other day, I came out of the bathroom and only saw 2 of my 3 daughters. I asked the older two where the 2 year old was, and they pointed me to the kitchen. I still didn't see anything. I opened the pantry cupboard, and there she was, hands behind her back and telling me, "I don't have nothing!" She had climbed up the drawer handles into the cupboard, shut the door, and ate ALL the cookies. Ok, there weren't a ton, but a dozen is still a lot for that little girl to eat by herself. Check out how proud she is of herself.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Adventures in Camping

On the weekend of July 4, we went "up north" (a Michigan phrase) camping. We travelled to Mears, Michigan, to camp near Silver Lake. It is a given that we took the dune buggy; to DH, that is the whole point of the trip.

Here is Maddie hanging out at the campsite.

This strangely reminds me of the See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil monkeys. Maddie, Emily, and Maya in a giant Adirondack chair at Mac Woods dune rides.

Here are Dave's buggy and Bill's buggies the bottom of Test Hill at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

Here is the top of test hill. If your vehicle can make test hill, you can ride the dunes.

See how small Emily looks running down the dune?

This is at the beach with the lighthouse. We fell into a timewarp here; apparently our Nextels were receiving off Wisconsin towers across Lake Michigan, because the clocks on the phones were suddenly reading an hour earlier. Maya and Emily were trying to get away with splashing in this puddle.
Oh, and let's not forget: I leave you with an actual picture of me smiling. I have been told it is a rare occurence lately. What can I say, I was smashing other people in bumper cars with Maddie by my side, it was fun!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Test knits, horse herds, and health

I have spent the last 3 days knitting a herd of horses. I was testing a knitted and felted horse pattern for Katie Startzman. I have three horse-obsessed daughters, and of course, I had to make one horse for each of them. This pattern is very quick; I was able to knit, sew, felt, and finish each horse in one day. Which is a good thing when you have a cute little kiddo staring you down until you are finished... LOL So I have knit a small herd, and the standing horses are already well-loved enough to have wobbly legs.

On a personal note, I had to have my insurance health screen done this morning. My cholesterol is down 55 points since this time last year! Woohoo! I have been working hard on eating healthier and exercising more, so this was a great reinforcement, and also a great motivator to continue to improve my health.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Miracles of the Post Office

Wow. This year, I have had 6 or 7 packages of yarn, patterns, books, and other knitting notions disappear in the postal system on the way to me. I actually received a package today that was shipped priority mail from Arizona on 3/4/08. The person I bought it from was even nice enough to refund my money when I told her the yarn never showed up (hi, Erika!). I JUST got the yarn today, where has it been sitting for 3 1/2 months? Who knows, but I guess filing a complaint with the USPS over a missing package may be worth it after all, even if it takes 3 1/2 months. I am so excited, I've been wanting to try some Trekking, and now I can. So I am posting the yarn today to show off what I waited so long for, and to thank Erika for her patience and understanding, and be sure that I am paying her back!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Horcrux socks

I finished my Horcrux socks, a pattern from Susan Pierce Lawrence for the yahoo group, Six Sox Knitalong. Anyone can get these patterns free by joining the Yahoo group, so check it out. There is a corresponding group on Ravelry. These socks worked up quickly, and it is a cool pattern, even if you are not a Harry Potter freak like me. I made these 2 At a Time style. This is my new favorite way to knit socks, so don't mind me plugging Melissa's site. LOL

These socks were a great break in between assignments for my online Financing class, which is a huge pain. When I thought my brain couldn't take anymore, I'd work on these socks for a bit to relax.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Finally, 2 at a time socks!

Well, I finally tried it. I finally made my sample toddler socks from Melissa Morgan-Oakes' book, 2-at-a-Time Socks. I love it. I'm completely addicted. I will always enjoy knitting socks on dpn's, but not doing them one at a time. I can see making exceptions to this statement in certain situations. The method was actually pretty easy to get going, it wasn't nearly as hard as I was expecting it. So Emily gets a new pair of socks, which of course, she lost one before I could take a picture! I know, you're thinking I cheated and did one at a time, but I SWEAR, she lost it already! LOL Now I have cast on my second pair of 2 at a times, a pair for me. More about that once there is enough to show off. I'm barely past the cuff right now.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Escalator Socks by Ruth Greenwald

Hello, hello, just an update on what I've been working on since the test knits are finished. I'm making myself a pair of Escalator Socks (Ravelry link) by Ruth Greenwald. The link goes to her Ravelry pattern store (sorry if you're not on Ravelry at this time). I'm using some Regia sock yarn I got from a swap, from my friend Jill. I started using this yarn for a pair of Grumperina's Jaywalker socks, until the first sock was down to the toe and I realized the pattern wouldn't stretch over my foot. Now don't get me wrong; the pattern looked fabulous and I wanted to wear it so badly! But instead I got mad and frogged it, and put the yarn in a time out. You knitters know what I mean about yarn being in a time out... Then I dug it back out and it swore to behave for these Escalator Socks.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Corn Yarn, test knitting, and iPod technical difficulties

Hey, most of us knitters and crocheters know they are now making yarn out of corn fibers. But have you seen this stuff? It is fantastic! I'm currently working on a test knit market bag out of Kollage Yarns Corntastic. You have to see it to believe the vibrant colors. It is very soft and multi-plied, kind of like a mercerized cotton with less shine, but it is also lighter than the cotton. It is supposed to be machine washable and machine dryable. How can you resist that? More on the test knit after the pattern has been published, but it's a good one. :)

I also did a test knit for Knit Fit Knitting, and her yarn is fabulous too. I used some of the hand painted sock yarn, and it is some nice stuff. Great colorways. Again, more on the pattern once it has been published, although my idiot self forgot to take a picture before sending the sock back.

Anyone out there know how to sync an iPod from the Windows Media Player? Dumb question, I know how to download iTunes, but I ripped some stuff from CD's for my sister, and now I can't get the Media Player to detect the iPod to sync with it. C'mon, someone is more tech-savvy than I am, I know it!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Today is my 35th birthday. There are many people older than I am that would say that is young. There are also several moms at my daughters' school that would say, "Wow, you're 35? I didn't know you were that old!" This is a double-edged compliment, right? Thanks for saying that I look younger, no thanks for calling me old. I have to laugh about this because I don't feel old, and my parents are in their 60's, and this doesn't seem old anymore either. Age is definitely relative to where we are in life. I seem old as a returning college student, young in the span of life. All I can say is, I will be enjoying lots of sunshine and warm weather today, and knitting as much as possible. Happy birthday to me!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Spring at last!

Ah, at last, spring weather has come to Michigan. Knowing this state, we are not yet done with the snow and cold, but at least for now, it is sunny and 60 degrees. My mini daffodils bloomed yesterday, I've started walking again, and life is good.

I've finished one out of two socks from 2-At-A-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, the Be Mine pattern. Yes, I know, the title says two at a time, but I did it on dpn's because when I attempt this method, it will be on simple socks and not fancy heart socks with cables. The yarn is Kitty Knits Sock Wool in pansy, which you can buy here from a good friend of mine. The wool is unbelievably soft, with just enough give to stretch comfortably but still keep its shape, and the colors are just gorgeous.

In honor of spring, I'm also working on a flower washcloth from Creative Knitting Magazine. I will be back on later to post photos.

A friend of mine has introduced me to the Loopy Ewe, and I am now totally addicted. The products are awesome, the prices are great, and the shipping is very quick. Go take a peek; you won't be sorry.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fabulous toddler cardigan

I finished another test-knit for Justine Turner, this time the Spirited cardigan. This pattern is beautiful. The aran stitch pattern is definitely not a mindless one, but it is worth the effort, and is no more difficult than knitting and purling. It's worth the purchase, as are all her patterns. She also has some free patterns up. Take a look!

Monday, February 18, 2008

felted slippers

Wow, I have actually knitted something for my hubby that he likes. If you only knew what a miracle that was. He said he would never wear hand-knitted socks (he's never tried them!), but said he MIGHT like slippers. Ha! He loves them! Thanks to Julia K. Kehew for her cable guy felted slippers pattern!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Liam sweater by Just Jussi

Ok, here it is... the sweater I test knitted.... the Liam sweater from Just Jussi! A very nice pattern, all in one piece with a bit of intarsia on the front. I love love love this pattern!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Currently on the needles

I've been busy lately with test-knitting, so my own projects are temporarily on hold. I'm waiting for word from the designers before posting pics of my test knits, but so far I have done some baby booties, some ladies' socks, and I'm currently working on a toddler sweater by Just Jussi. It is an adorable design! I love the variety of patterns people come up with; it's half of what makes testing patterns so much fun. Hopefully, I'll get that permission soon, so I will have more pics available.

Otherwise, there hasn't been much going on over here. The kids are getting over colds and so am I and my hubby. Makes for a slow and grumpy household. :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

First lace-from-a-chart attempt

Another finished project! I dared myself to attempt knitting lace from a chart, and guess what, it wasn't so bad! Go figure. These are the Embossed Leaf Socks by Mona Schmidt, found in the book Favorite Socks by Interweave Press. Beautiful design, and now I have another pair of hand-knit socks! On to some test knitting now... I've got three test knits lined up, so I'd better get going!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, we made it through another year. Hopefully, 2008 will bring great things to us all. Another round of Christmas knitting is finished, and now I can work on things for me! Selfish, I know... I don't have any pics to post yet, but just wanted to wish everyone a fun and prosperous 2008, and put in another plug for my Etsy. LOL I desperately need to sell to make up for Christmas overspending!