Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pink Swap Goodies

Gosh, another one week and just one post. I took the pictures for this post on Thursday, but never got around to doing anything with them.

Anyhoo... I took part in a swap through the Think Pink group on Ravelry. My package arrived last week (well, after a couple days of exile at the post office) from Leesa aka Woody's Gal.

Pink Swap basket

How adorable is that basket she packed everything in. I sort of collect baskets, although I'm pretty sure she didn't know that.

And what was inside?

Pink Swap goodies

All sorts of goodies! On the left is a pink Beanie Baby whose name is escaping me (I'm at my mom's, and my goodies are at home...) but who is awfully cute. Sort of behind him are stickers, including some knitting ones (I used to be really into scrapbooking, but it occurs to me that I don't think I've ever scrapbooked any of my knitting adventures). Then there are all sorts of interesting teas, packed in a little cloth bag that will be a great for socks. Speaking of socks -- there were two pink-themed pairs! And last but not least, see the paisley and rose printed scarf beneath all the goodie? She sent that, too. I LOVE paisley!

OH -- and there was yarn, too!

Yarn from Pink Swap

At the top is a ball of Glimmer from The Alpaca Yarn Co. Pink baby alpaca with sparkles -- what's not to love?? And in the front are two skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic, a yarn I've heard about but I have never use. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever even seen it before!

Thanks so much, Leesa!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Stitches and Stash Enhancement

On Saturday, I drove to Schaumburg, IL, supposedly to attend Stitches Midwest. But since I was only there for 24 hours, and only visited the Market, actually, I went to shop!

I should thank Helen for enabling this stash enhancement -- she offered me a place to sleep, so I wouldn't have the stress of driving 3 1/2 hours, shopping like crazy, and driving back home in the same day. This way, I had time to shop at the Market twice AND hit Woodfield Mall on my way home!

Stitches08 yarn

At the top is my splurge: a sweater's worth of Brooks Farm Mas Acero in a nice, nameless rosey pink. Right now, I'm thinking this will someday become the February Lady Sweater. Just under the Brooks Farm is Socks That Rock Mediumweight in Gypsum, from the Fold, and under that, a tiny skein (but 470 yards) of Malabrigo Lace in Little Lovely. I'm blanking on where I bought it, but it's so pretty! And to the right is a skein of Geisha -- 500 yards of lacewight dupion bombyx silk from Just Our Yarn. Both the Malabrigo and the Geisha will be perfect for Anne's Little Nothings, and since I already own the patterns for at least three of them -- but had only bought one yarn previously -- I think I'm set!

And then there were the "accessories."


The stitch markers and the sock blockers are from Chappy, who is an absolutely doll. The needles are size 0 Darn Pretty Needles from Grafton Fibers, just because I NEEDED pink needles. And at the top -- a Knitphomaniac night shirt, which I have no excuse for except that I had inhaled too many yarn fumes.

Also coming home with me was a gorgeous little knitting bag/purse from Susan's, which is upstairs, and I'm too lazy to go up two flights to get it, and a single DP WIP Tube. Helen and I split the pair.

In addition to shopping, I also had a great time socializing -- thanks so much to Helen and to Whichy for putting me up! (And to the lovely-but-blogless Elizabeth, who left before the picture taking.)

Needle Dancer and Whichy

Friday, August 22, 2008

Spreading the Happy Flu!

I'm happy because today I took a day off, and tomorrow, I'm going to Stitches Midwest, with an added bonus trip to Woodfield Mall!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Red Scarf Project

Red Scarf and card

Just a reminder -- this year, the Red Scarf Project will be accepting scarves for college-age orphans from September 1 to October 15. Visit that link for more information. The amazing Norma is the knitting force behind this project, which is run by the Orphan Foundation of America (still more info about the project at that link -- plus pictures of last year's scarves and their recipients).

I think this is a great project. It's easy enough to whip out a scarf, and I love red! It's also a great cause -- at age 18, kids "age out" of the foster program. Some of them, luckily, still get support and love from their former families, but others are truly on their own. This project targets kids who have gone on to college, on their own. As much as I loved going off to college and being kind of on my own, I can't imagine doing that without family behind me. These scarves are just a little sign for these kids that there are people out there thinking of them.

(Oh - and if you post something about this by 6:00 mountain time today, you might win a prize from Scout!)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Oh! Hi!

It's been a week and I thought I didn't have anything to blog about, but then it occurred to me that I did have a little knitting I could show you. I've got two projects going, but one is a gift, so no pictures (even though my sister knows she's getting a pair of socks). The other is the Daedelus shawl I'm test-knitting for Helen. I'm finally well into the second chart and have begun the beaded section. See them, up near the top? (You can click to enbiggen.)

Daedelus beads

As usual, it doesn't look like much, but you know lace -- it will definitely get better!

This photo shows a little more, although I don't think you can see the beads.


The yarn is JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk, which is lovely to work with.

So, that's the knitting content, but I have more! The Iowa State Fair!

My boss and I went over to Des Moines on Monday to work at the University's booth at the State Fair.

We rolled football schedules.
Iowa State Fair

We also hung out at my library's booth, promoting our GoLocal site. (More about GoLocal here.)
Iowa State Fair - GoLocal booth

We had some free time so we ate some fair food (yum, corn dogs!) and explored.

We found the butter cow
Iowa State Fair - butter cow

and the largest boar. (His name is Freight Train, and he weighs in at over 1250 pounds.)
Iowa State Fair - biggest boar

We saw sheep in jackets.
Iowa State Fair

All in all - a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

More H for Harley

Back in April, my ABC-Along H was for Harley. In that post, I left a space for a picture that I had of her from when she was still feral, standing on my friend's porch, waiting for food to appear.

Last week, while looking for scanned family photos that weren't in iPhoto, I found that picture. Harley was probably about 18 months old when this was taken, and she came to live with me a month or so later, in November 2002.

Baby Harley

Look at how teeny she is! And look how long her tail looks. As the fuzzy picture below shows, it doesn't look so long anymore, although I suspect it's the same length -- the rest of Harley is just bigger now!


H is for Harley
"What? Yes, I guess I have put on a few pounds,
but what if that bowl of food in the kitchen disappeared?"

Sunday, August 03, 2008

K is for...


Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.
-- Robert Frost, The Death of the Hired Man

It would have been so easy for K to be for knitting. I considered having K be for Ken, my brother, but then L would need to be for Linda, and I have something else in mind for L. I was considering if K could be for Ken&Linda, when I thought, "Not Ken, but kin!"

The Robert Frost quote is about home, and to me that means family. I've been thinking of family a lot lately. It's one reason I decided to move back to the Midwest. Since I've moved back, I've seen a lot more of my family -- my aunts, uncles, cousins.

My dad's side of the family is large. He was one of 9 surviving children, and they had 29 children. Twenty-seven of us are still around, and I've seen all but two in the last year or so. I once laughed that we range from poor white trash to PhD's, and that's when my sister pointed out that any one of them would take any of the others in, if needed. And she's right -- we're a diverse bunch, but we're definitely family. Most of us are outgoing and have a sort of goofy sense of humor. And even those who don't have that sense of humor appreciates it in the rest of us! We like each other and even if years have past since we last saw each other, it's like those days when we were kids and saw each other frequently.

cousins 1957

This picture was taken in the spring of 1957 -- probably Easter (which was late, April 21, that year) or Mother's Day -- notice that Grandma is wearing a corsage. I'm the baby being held in the middle of the top row. See the arc of four little girls all dressed alike on the right side of the photo? Not surprisingly, they are sisters and, together, four of the funniest women I've ever met. Not only do they get the funny gene from their dad's side of the family, but their mother is probably the absolute funniest woman I know. She was recently hospitalized with a little heart problem, and was shocked to discover after her release that she was supposed to refrain from laughing -- absolutely not a possibility, even while she was in the hospital!

And here's my dad and his siblings with Grandma, the same day. Dad's the one in the upper right. The aunt hiding behind her sisters in the upper left must have been very pregnant, especially if this picture was taken on Mother's Day -- her younger son, my cousin Bill, was born on May 20, 1957!

aunts & uncles 1957

There are 21 cousins in the picture up there -- the previously mentioned Bill and two others were born later in 1957 and one in 1958. The final four arrived later, spread between 1963 and 1969. Two of those late arrivals were my brother and sister, Ken and Linda. Linda always complains that there aren't pictures of them, so here they are, with Mom in late 1965, at my other grandma's house. (That's my cousin Gary on the floor next to them -- and notice the extra hand there behind Ken!)

Mom, Ken, Linda (and Gary) 1965

This picture was taken at my other grandma's house. You saw most of those cousins here -- missing were Ken, Linda, Gary, and Carol, born the same year as Gary and the year after Teresa, the baby in that picture. My mom's side of the family is much smaller, much quieter, and in many ways, much more complicated than Dad's side. But still, I think, any one of us would take in any of the others. That's what family is for.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Twisted Collective

Have you seen it? Wow! Lots of stuff to love. I restrained myself and only added three -- Jaali, Linden, and Gnarled Oakwoods -- to my Ravelry queue. The first two are sweaters, so I really should finish the two I've begun first. The third is a shawl by Anne Hanson -- do you KNOW how many of her designs are in my queue? I've even got the pattern and yarn for several. In my own defense, I feel the need to point out that I have finished two of her designs, including my giant Honeybee.

I haven't actually bought any of the patterns yet. That's restraint!