Sunday, April 30, 2006

Knitting Find...or Should that be Fiend?

The Village Wide Rummage Sales are over for another Spring. I think there will be another one in the Fall, but I will probably only be a consumer at that one. My sister and I did pretty well. We each made a small sum, but better than that, I had three less containers of stuff to haul back home! One box of stuff will go to Goodwill, one goes back into storage, and the remaining books will go back on Amazon.

I decided to be good yesterday, and not go around to any sales. My brother though, was instructed to look for and pick up any "things I'd like". This is one of the items he came back with - a cute little knitting tin, complete with the hole on top for the yarn to feed through. There's also a kitty on the other side. Sweet. For a dollar, no less!

Not much else going on knit-wise. It's raining today, and it would be a lovely day to put on some old movies and knit away, but I need to get busy and catolog some of these books I keep bringing home and get them on the new shelves my brother put up for me last weekend. There's another book sale coming up in May, so I need to make room for more.

Finally, Rusty asks, "Why is there no mention of me? I thought this was supposed to be my blog...I demand some attention!"

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Something to Tide You Over...

I realize that it's been too long since I've updated this blog. Now loyal readers are starting to wonder what's up. (Didn't realize I had loyal readers...)

I've plunged headlong into Sparkpeople, and it's consumed a lot of my time. But the results have been oh so worth it! I've lost 15 pounds in four weeks! I'm starting to notice a difference in the way I feel; the clothes are getting a little looser, I'm not soooo tired, and some of the health issues are starting to fade away. How wonderful. On the downside, though, I've been camping out on the Spark website so much, that I've gotten little else done. I realize that after a month, it's time to start getting back to my normal routine.

Wait, my normal routine was work, come home, sit on couch, knit, sleep. That doesn't sound very good. I'll have to find a new normal, one that's fun and exciting, that won't put you dear readers to sleep!

I am getting ready for a rummage sale at my sister's house this weekend. It's the annual Village Wide Rummage Sale. Actually, I've been putting this off too, but I'm off work tomorrow, and as soon as I finish this I'm heading for the basement to sort through boxes and have a good clear out. I promise. No hopping on the treadmill and then getting too tired to work. No way. Not even 10 minutes. After all, I need money to pay for the darn thing, don't I?
So I will leave you with this interesting little photo. Many years ago, I bought one of these little gadgets from The Nature Company, that lets you see the world as a fly sees it. A curved, faceted lens sunk into a little piece of wood. Similar to a teliedescope, it gives you a fresh look at ordinary objects. Great for anyone who likes to design and combine colors. This picture was taken holding the lens in front of the digital camera, and it's a picture of the stained glass light fixture that hangs above the dining room table. Cool, yes?

Saturday, April 15, 2006

After Booga

Here's the Booga Bag, all finished! I like the way it turned out, but I am going to change a few things for the next one. I think I will put in some yarnovers to make holes in the top of the bag, and string a large shoelace or something through them during the fulling process, to keep them open. This was a suggestion of some of the knitlisters. Also, instead of knitting one long length of cord and cutting it in half, I'll make two cords instead. That way all the cording will have the same tapered end, instead of a sharp edge on two ends.

I have some two-ply worsted wool coned yarn I got from Webs a couple of years ago, and some boucle novelty yarn - maybe for an accent stripe? The next bag beckons.

Finishing a project always leaves me a little bit at loose ends. Should I start something new, like another bag, or something completely new, or go back to an unfinished project? I did work on a couple of old projects last night. Decisions, decisions!

Finally, Rusty and Rollie want everyone to have a great weekend! Here they are, looking very comfy...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Booga Before...

Here is my first Booga Bag, all knit and ready to be fulled with the laundry today. I still have to dig out my zippered pillowcase, but it's down in the basement somewhere. I couldn't find the Noro Kureyon that I planned on using, so I used some old Tahki Ambrosia Slim instead. This yarn is about 20 years old, but looks great! It was way ahead of its time, with the gradual shading effect. The bag and cording only used 1.5 balls, so maybe I'll make more, once I see how this one turns out.

Last week was kind of frustrating. I bought a new treadmill, and let's just say, for the record (broken record, actually) that I despise Sears. But Sears was where I had to go to get my Nordic Track. Buying it wasn't so bad, except I had to wait over 30 minutes before a salesperson would talk to me. Several walked by, but it wasn't their department, so apparently they weren't allowed to even acknowledge my existence. Finally the lone sales guy was free, and the actual demo and purchase probably took less than 10 minutes. Two days later, my brother picked up the crate, which weighed 250 pounds, and it filled up his pickup! We strapped it to his appliance dolly and managed to squeeze it down the stairs to the basement, with me on the bottom going "yeah, I got it", and hoping he wouldn't let go.

I'd only cleared enough space for the machine, not the machine plus the box, so inching it out of the carton took a while. Finally the two main parts were free, and then we started looking for the directions. No directions. No hardware. No manual. It's 8:30 at night, and we're screwed. I call the store, talk to a different guy, who says "If you want to bring it back, we'll give you another one." I politely explain that there's no way on earth that I'm going to get the thing back in the crate, much less ask my brother to pull 250 pounds upstairs. And get to the store in the next 30 minutes. In my head, much colorful language was floating around. Luckily, none of it came out of my mouth.

Finally the guy told me to come to the store the next day, and they'd give me a parts kit and manual from another machine. Which is the probably the reason why mine didn't have any. So the next day I left work early, drove another 40 mile round trip to Sears, talked to three different guys, who all scratched their heads for about 30 minutes, and was finally given a parts kit and manual.

After all this frustration, is it any wonder why I headed to the nearest yarn store?? And here's what I bought, to calm myself...
Lovely, soft, Australian Merino that will someday become a pair of socks. I love the tweedy yarns, so this was right up my alley.

Hours later, and two free dinners in a row for my brother, the treadmill was finally put together and running. That night I was on it for 48 minutes, and almost couldn't walk when I got off! Since then, I've learned a little moderation. Still haven't figured out how to knit and treadmill at the same time, but that's coming...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hippity Hoppity/Casting a Vote!

Here's the bunny, all finished at last! I don't like the arms, but I guess it's cute enough. If I can figure out a way to make the arms more seamless, I might make more. Actually I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to knit back and forth for a few rows, then join back up and knit the head and ears, which would leave an opening to pick up stitches for arms. I'll have to try that, but not right away. I need a bunny break. I suppose it didn't help that I made this prototype with fingering weight yarn. It was very tiny to turn inside out, only a couple of inches across. I have a big ball of worsted weight acrylic that I could use for the next one.

Voting - I actually got to knit while queuing to vote today! Not too long, but for our small town, that's a first. I didn't even have to wait in line at the last Presidential Election! The hot item on the ballot today was a school referendum where the school district is asking permission to go into debt and raise the tax levy $800,000 per year for the next five years. Financial type votes always bring out a crowd. I was number 273 in the voting line-up, with 3 hours to go. School board and village board races also had multiple candidates, which is again unusual for teeny, tiny Trempealeau. Most people run unopposed.

Tomorrow I get a big new toy - a Treadmill! I am serious about this lose weight, get healthy kick, and have wanted one for years. I would love to be able to knit and walk on it, but I have visions of the yarn falling and getting tangled in the belt, and the motor burning out!! We'll have to see - maybe one of those waist hooks or knitting pouches will come in handy.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Shake Your Bootie

I finished these baby booties on Friday night. This is the kind of project I take along in my knitting bag, to work, or in the car, so I always have something with me to work on. The projects are usually small, like socks, washcloths, booties, and caps. This pattern is one that I adapted from the book "Knitting Tips and Trade Secrets" from Taunton, called "Stay On Booties". I do wish Taunton would publish a knitting magazine. The knitting articles they had in Threads were wonderful, then it became an all-sewing magazine. I actually have a tip published in this book, on page 113! The yarn I used for these booties is some leftover Tahki Socka. I think the bright multicolors make a nice change from all the pastel baby items.

My goal for the weekend is to finish the bunny (the ears have been ripped out and re-worked), and then to start a Booga Bag, which I finally have the pattern for. It's raining here today, and it's supposed to last all day, so I feel like pulling out my "Rebecca" video and nestling in on the sofa with needles and yarn, tea and kitties.

Finally Rollie asks "Why did you shut the door on me yesterday and leave me upstairs in the knitting room for three hours while you went galavanting? Why? Was it something I did?"