Friday, December 26, 2008

The Knitter's Lament

Alas and alack, The Knitter finds herself without knitting. She was sure that three projects would be enough, but neglected to realize that she would run out of beads for Daedelus. The Knitter sighs....

Yeah, that would be me. On vacation with no knitting. It's not like I haven't knitted -- I finished two projected between last Saturday and yesterday, but when I picked up Daedelus, I realized that I only had enough beads left for one more row. I need, oh, probably a couple hundred more! When I get back to Iowa City Sunday afternoon, I'll stop by the bead store, I guess.

Like I said, I have finished two projects. I finished the Golightly Gloves (Ravelry) that coordinate with the Toto (Rav) for my sister. When my sister and I lived together, she wouldn't even look at a sink full of dishes without rubber gloves, so I thought these rubber-gloves-with-cuffs were perfect for her!

Christmas 2008

As you can probably guess, I made these from Sugar'n Cream, on size 7 DPNs. If I were to knit these again, I'd go down a needle size, but really -- these are basically disposable, so perfection isn't necessary, although cuteness is!

I also frogged and reknit my Dolores Park Cowl, using the same yummy yarn (which Dream in Color has renamed Softy -- apparently, they thought that people were turned off by the name Fatty. Whatever you call it, it's lovely yarn!) but with 60 stitches in size 11 needles. It's much cozier now. It's also less drapey, and somewhat less attractive, I think, but it will be better at keeping the wind from wooshing down my collar!

Perhaps I can stop by Michael's tomorrow morning to buy some cheap needles. I've got yarn left over from the gloves that I could use for a matching warshrag....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Home Alone

No, not me -- Harley!

Saturday morning, I attempted to "pack up" the cats to bring them to Mom's for the week. With Harley, I have one chance to get her into the carrier, and then she's uncatchable for the rest of the day. She's a BIG, round cat, which makes it more difficult. Lately, she's been more cooperative, but Saturday morning, she slipped out of my hands and under the bed. If I really needed to, I could have chased her, and terrorized her, and eventually caught her, but it's really not worth it. She's such a scaredy cat, and I hate to make it worse. She also doesn't really mind being alone. A friend was coming by a couple times to pick up my mail anyway, so she's stopping in to check on Harley (who she won't actually see, of course). Dolly and I will return this weekend and we'll see if Harley even realized we were gone!

And I like Christmas!

Your Christmas Sprit Level: 75%

Your Christmas spirit is almost as big as Christmas itself. Christmas is definitely your thing.

You celebrate Christmas with enthusiasm. You love every minute of the holidays.

Your Christmas spirit is inspiring to everyone who runs into you during the holidays.

You make everyone's day just a little bit brighter. And that's what the holidays are all about!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Toto IV

Apparently, I cannot stop knitting these! There are only 21 of these shown in Ravelry and 4 of them are mine. Why aren't you all knitting Toto, too?

Toto IV

This is (probably) the last one before Christmas.

Today was a non-typical day. We had our Holiday Luncheon at work, so I got up at 6:00 a.m. to start the Crockpot Creamed Corn. (Combine 2 lb. frozen corn, 8 oz cream cheese, 1/2 stick butter, 1/4 c. heavy cream or half-and-half, 3 T. sugar, and a little salt and pepper in your crockpot, and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, stirring it every hour or so.) Then I watched a little news, where I heard that the parents of a co-worker were involved in an accident which totaled the 2008 Saturn Vue (the same car I drive, except 4 years newer) they've had for about 2 weeks. They're fine, but it was odd to hear about it on TV. And, finally, while washing my face, I managed to stab my upper lip, right there at the top of the bow, with a finger nail, and it bled like crazy! I now have a really stupid looking scab there -- it's so stupid looking that I tried to take a picture of it, but it really doesn't look like much in the photos.

All of this before 7:30 a.m.! And how was your day?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Drive-by Post

I promise a better post, with pictures and everything, soon. In the last 10 days I've:
  • knit a third Toto
  • knit most of a second Mitered Hanging Towel
  • put up and decorated my Christmas tree
  • decided to send store-bought cards instead of hand-made ones
  • done about half my Christmas shopping
  • loaded a whole bunch of Christmas songs onto my iPod
  • convinced my cats that they could both sleep in the bed with me
  • survived our first real snowfall and minor ice storm of the season -- although I did fall down twice on the way to bus the morning after the ice storm
  • replaced my worn-out YakTrax (this was directly related to the previous point)
  • slept through the "you're truly old" medical procedure (in other words, I had a colonoscopy. I slept through it -- yay for Demerol! -- and my colon's good to go for the next 10 years.)
  • been thrilled that the jerk governor -- I'd call him worse, but this is a G rated blog -- of my home state was arrested. According to the latest poll, his approval rating is at 8%. Even before this, about a month ago, it was 13%. He's been despised for quite some time, and I doubt many people are surprised that he was this corrupt. I think lots are amazed that he actually got caught though. And they've named a drink after him!
  • oh -- and I went to work practically every day!

Monday, December 01, 2008


There was family (and eating).

Thanksgiving 2008Thanksgiving 2008Thanksgiving 2008

There was knitting.

Toto II
I finished the second Toto....

hanging towel
and began a matching Mitered Hanging Towel.

  • Both are from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines and use Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton yarn. It's softer than Peaches'n Cream or Sugar'n Cream -- nice for baby clothes, I think, but possibly too soft for the towel.

There was new yarn.
Noro Silk Garden Lite
Noro Silk Garden Lite in 2014 (left) and 2032 (right). Purchased at KnitWit in Springfield, IL. I think I might want to make one of those two-row scarves.

There was, and still is, snow. I guess it wasn't a fluke after all....

Snow at Mom's

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Things I've Done

I'm sitting here waiting for my pumpkin pie to bake, and could be doing lots of other more productive things, but instead, I stole this Top 100 Things I've Done meme from Bezzie.

Things I've Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (I doubt they mean the high school band, but I'm going to count this one anyway.)
4. Visited Hawaii (Not yet -- but I've got a ticket to go in May for a conference, plus an extra couple days)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo (oh, good lord, no!)
11. Bungee jumped (also, good lord, no!)
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables (never very successfully)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (what about an overnight bus?)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language (not that I remember the German I used to know but I did learn on my own, mostly from listening to people around me)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (but they won't take my blood anymore)
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (Ted, the Bear)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (a tiny one)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (but I've watched my mom and grandma kill turkeys and chickens)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person (repeatedly!)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant (as a child at the Illinois State Fair)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Where'd that hat come from?

Yes, between the time I posted yesterday and bedtime, I knit a hat to match the cowl!

Hat:  Foliage

Pattern: Foliage (version 1) from the Fall 2007 Knitty
Yarn: You have to ask? About half a skein of the same Dream in Color Fatty in Ruby River!
Notes: I followed the pattern exactly. This is an incredibly quick, easy pattern. You need one, too!

I have a little less than half a skein of this yarn left. I'm wondering if I could get a pair of fingerless gloves out of it....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stop Me Before I Cast On Again!

Since I last blogged I have knit a warshrag to match the Toto for my mother

Another dishrag

and a cowl for me!!!

Dolores Park Cowl
Did you know that cowls are the new scarves?
And does anyone know if that
Strivectin stuff works?

I love this and am looking forward to wearing it tomorrow morning while waiting for the bus! I'm now looking for a hat pattern to make use of the remaining 90ish yards of yarn.

Pattern: Dolores Park Cowl
Yarn: just a little over one skein of Dream in Color Fatty (a sort of slightly-thinner-than-bulky yarn, which is apparently no longer produced) in Ruby River
  • I cast on 70 stitches instead of 60, but really, probably would have been fine with 60.
  • Because I was hoping to only use 1 skein, I skipped one plain knit row in the middle, but I still needed to dip into the second skein for the last round and a half and the bind-off.
  • I used the Russian Bind-off, which I think is just as beautiful as it is stretchy. It takes longer to do, but I think it may be my new bind-off.
  • This picture doesn't do justice to the yarn's color, which actually has a lot of purple in it.
  • The yarn is wonderful -- soft and squooshy and gorgeous!
I'm not sure why but small projects on big needles really attract me at the moment, which is totally, totally not usually me! But really I think this cowl needs a matching hat of some sort... (Sorry, Helen, I promise to get back to Daedelus soon!!!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I managed to miss my Mom's birthday earlier this month. I mean, I knew it was happening, and saw her the previous weekend, but the cookbook I wanted to get her wasn't published until the next week. I'll take her the cookbook at Thanksgiving, but figured I should add something else. She really likes warshrags, so I've started one (no picture!). On Monday, though, I was suddenly overwhelmed to knit her a Toto the Extremely Useful and Cute Potholder (Ravelry link) from the new(ish) Mason-Dixon book. Although it was a rocky start -- my size 8 DPNs are metal and extra long and heavy (and I have no idea how I came to own them!), so midway through, I switched to two circs. However, all of my shorter Harmony cables were in use, so I ended up using a really long cable on one side. Those needles swinging around were almost as annoying as the DPNs! This afternoon (before a dental appointment), I stopped by my LYS and picked up some normal, short, bamboo size 8 DPNs, and finished it this afternoon.

Toto I
Yarn: Lily Sugar'n Cream in Red, Sage, and Warm Brown

I'm so please with it that I started another!

Toto 2

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Settling in for the Winter

I know winter is coming. We've gotten a couple of snow flurries, although no accumulation, and just today I put the flannel sheets and electric blanket on my bed. (I also sealed my drafty bedroom windows with the trailer-trash plastic film, but I'd prefer not to think about that.)

But the real sign, I think, is how much I've been cooking, especially with the crockpot. This weekend, I used it to make risotto. I don't know about you, but I've always thought of risotto as something you ordered in a restaurant, because it's such a pain to make at home -- all that stirring! I was a little skeptical about this recipe, but tried it anyway. The only change I made was to add some sliced mushrooms with the parmesan.

in the crockpot

It wasn't exactly perfect risotto, with those separate but creamy grains of rice, but it was pretty close and incredibly easy!

I made focaccia bread, using my favorite pizza crust recipe, with a little olive oil and Italian herbs.

pizza crust turned into focaccia

I had a glass of this with it.

box of wine from target!

mushroom risotto and focaccia

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



I was in Chicago yesterday and today for eight hours of meetings. Part of that time was knitter-friendly, so I got through two repeats of Stonewall. I love this pattern, I love this yarn (although Jessie apparently out of the Merino/Tencel) and I love the color, which is actually pretty close to what I see on my monitor -- maybe just a little deeper in real life.

ETA: And over the weekend, I took Bezzie's suggestion and finished the second Illini sock. Yay, FO!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I have a serious case of startitis. This despite the fact that I've finally started the last chart of Daedelus and am back to beading fun:


You might remember that I've recently started a pair of socks, and a Christmas stocking.

Christmas stocking
Red Velvet kit from Judy's Colors
Nail polish: Boris & Natasha by OPI

Apparently, though, that wasn't enough.

A couple days ago, I cast on another beautiful Anne Hanson design, Stonewall, using Jessie's A Piece of Vermont Merino/Tencel in Long Time Gone.


I love Anne's designs and Jessie's yarns -- together, they're even better!

Last night, while digging through the knitting bin next to my chair, I pulled these out.

Illini socks

These are my Illini socks, begun over a year ago, right after I moved here, when I thought I'd be able to knit on the bus (nope, too crowded). It's Wendy's generic toe-up sock, knit from Scout's hand-dyed sock yarn in the Illini colorway. All that's left is a couple of inches of stockinette leg, a little ribbing, and a bind-off. So.... I knit a few rounds tonight.

And all the time, there are four skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino, begging to be knit into a hat and small scarf....

Malbrigo Silky Merino
Really more of a blue-green...

Friday, October 31, 2008

FO: Homemade Caramel Sauce

Ever since I read this post about homemade caramel sauce, I've been obsessed with the idea of making some. Even though I bake a lot and am a decent cook, I avoid candy making, because of some sort of candy-thermometer-fear. Well, despite the fact that homemade caramel sauce involves melting sugar, it doesn't use a thermometer. In fact, the melted sugar can apparently also melt thermometers!

So - tonight I did it!

I melted sugar, which isn't pretty at first

melting sugar

but smoothes out quickly.

melted sugar

Once it's dark and smells a little like burnt sugar (but not too burnt!) you add butter, which makes it foam up,

adding butter to melted sugar

before you remove it from the heat and add the cream, which makes it foam up even more. I was a little bit busy stirring, so I didn't get a picture of that step.

The entire process took about 15 minutes!

The final product is very yummy -- I'll try to remember to take a picture of it when I put it to use!

homemade caramel sauce

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yes, I do still knit (and blog!)

Red Scarf 2008
Details on Ravelry

The Red Scarf is finished, soaked, and blocked. It ended up about 65 inches long. I really love it. I can definitely recommend the Cascade 220 Paints. It hasn't been mailed yet, since I found out that the deadline has been changed to December 15. (So, if you haven't finished your scarf, you still have time!)

I also cast on for my Christmas stocking but haven't really gotten far enough for a good photo. Did I tell y'all how last Christmas when I got to my mom's, I discovered that the stocking I had had for years had disappeared and been replaced with one of those tiny miniature stockings? It was the same size as the dog's stocking! Mom didn't know what had happened to mine, so I decided to knit one just for me. The good news is that there will be no Second Sock Syndrome. The bad news is that it's at least three times larger than a real sock!

I've also been working on Daedelus. I'm at the beginning of Chart 6, which means more beads. While I enjoy the beads, it really makes for poor travel/work knitting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Back Home

In the last 10 days, I've driven to Mom's, then to St. Louis, where I got on a plane to Dallas. Coming back to St. Louis four days later, I drove to Iowa City, and 36 hours later, got into a car with two co-workers and drove eight hours to Troy, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Three days later (last night), we came back home. This weekend, I'll drive to Mom's again because the kitties have spent the last 10 days there, at "camp."

And I finished Shifting Sands (except for the blocking and mailing) and knit half a sock.

The pattern is a little pattern-y for the colorway, I guess, but I like it anyway.

I had so much knitting time because both trips were for knitting-friendly conferences. The first, in Dallas, was for the annual conference of the South Central Chapter (SCC) of the Medical Library Association (MLA), and the Troy conference was for the Midwest Chapter of MLA. The first is my "old" chapter -- these are regional groups of MLA, so when you move, you may find yourself in a new chapter. However, I just can't quite let go of my old chapter -- it's full of good friends and good memories. My new chapter is good, too, and I even know some people in it, through work in "big" MLA. But so far, it doesn't feel like home, so I decided to attend both.

I wish I had taken decent pictures at either meeting. Although I don't have any good photos of people, this picture is indicative of the good time we had at SCC!


My new chapter had an event at the Detroit Institute of Arts, which is really impressive.

Diego Rivera mural at DIA
Diego Rivera mural

Detroit Institute of Art
Amazing ceiling in the Main Hall

And don't worry -- we drank a little at this party, too!

I also returned from SCC believing I desperately need an iPhone. All that's stopping me is the knowledge that AT&T's service is really lousy on my side of town!

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I promised pictures yesterday so here they are:

My version of Shifting Sands, not quite done

Shifting Sands

And the same, up close. I love this pattern, and the yarn, too.

Shifting Sands up close

And here's Daedelus, up close. From a distance, it still looks like boiled ass, but up close, it's so pretty. Of course, it would have been prettier, if I'd taken out that pink lifeline....

Daedelus up close

Saturday, October 04, 2008


For some reason, as I sat here watching the Illinois-Michigan game (Oskee-wow-wow!) and frantically working on my Red Scarf, I decided to visit their site, to make sure I was right in thinking the scarf needed to be mailed by October 15. And -- hallelujah! -- I was wrong! I have until October 31!

Over th last two weeks, work has infringed a lot on my personal time, including time actually at work last Saturday and tomorrow. Plus, I will be gone to back-to-back conferences from October 10-20. Well, I'll be back for about 36 hours around October 16, but that's just enough time to do laundry! So I thought I really needed to get this scarf done, including washing and blocking, by Friday, and I just didn't see how it would happen.

Now, I'm still aiming to have the knitting done, or very nearly so, by Friday, but I won't have to wash, block, and mail until after I'm back from my travels to Dallas, Texas and Troy, Michigan.

(And hopefully, there will be pictures tomorrow....)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


My latest creative endeavor: Black-and-gold Hawkeye cupcakes.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
photo taken with my cell phone, then posted to twitpic,
which explains, i guess, the odd size

Today was Homecoming here at the University of Iowa. Yesterday, we had a little advance celebration, and I brought devil's food cupcake with vanilla frosting, colored gold. I dug out my cake decorating tools to frost the cupcakes -- using a giant star tip is fast, relatively non-messy, and looks much more impressive than it really should!

Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes lost to Northwestern. I celebrated by working this afternoon, although since this was the first time I worked a weekend (worked as in covering a public service desk) since I moved here, it was okay. In San Antonio I worked a weekend day every couple months.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Hey, look! It's a second sock! The first sock got sent to my sister a month ago, and finally I've finished the second. Hopefully, it will get in the mail tomorrow.

Second Sister Sock

The yarn is A Piece of Vermont's wool/nylon superwash. It's a great yarn, although I'm not sure Jessie is still using this base yarn. The color is called Away.

The pattern is the Baby Cable Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. This the second pair I've made from this pattern. It's easy to memorize (even for me, and I'm a lousy memorizer) but still interesting.

As soon as I finished the sock, I cast on for my Red Scarf Project scarf -- Grumperina's Shifting Sands scarf, in Cascade 220 Paints, in a red/orange colorway called 9868. So far I love it -- I think the pattern and the colors go together perfectly.

Autumn Sand

I also did a couple rows on Daedelus, but I have to admit that I need to bring my reading glasses home from work. I can't keep blaming my problems seeing the tiny beads on poor lighting....

And finally -- here's a great video by a guy with a lot of good stuff to say. This one's called What Teachers Really Make, and it's not what you think it is.

Thanks, Helen, for introducing him to us!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ouch! (and a recipe)

In the middle of making a pot of Pasta e Fagiole, I dropped my Pampered Chef can opener. It landed working-end down on my toe.

It's hard to take picture of your own toe, at least when you want to do so.
And sorry for the blurry -- my camera battery died immediately after I took this!

Have I shared my Pasta e Fagiole recipe before?

1 cup dried white or red kidney, pinto, cranberry, or cannellini beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
15 ounce can peeled, chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh sage (or 1½ teaspoons dried sage)
pinch red pepper flakes, salt, pepper
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 or 2 carrots, julienned (optional)
4 ounces sliced mushrooms (optional)
3/4 cup dried small pasta
grated parmesan

Rinse beans, then soak in water to cover for about three hours.

Drain, then place in saucepan with water to cover by about two inches. Bring to boil, boil for 2 min, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until skins begin to crack and beans are tender (45-60 min). Drain.

In the meantime, in soup pot over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are soft (10 min). Add tomatoes, sage, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Simmer 20 min. (If using carrots and/or mushrooms, add them about 5 minutes before the end of this time.) Add beans and broth and simmer for 30 minutes more. Add pasta and simmer until tender, 12-15 minutes.

Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


On Sunday, my Daedelus got to visit Helen's. My Daedelus now understands what it will grow up to be.


It's been a really busy week, though (work stuff on two evenings) and I haven't worked on it once since Sunday.

Have you seen the new Knitty? There's lots there that I like, but highest on the list is Waves of Grain, because y'all know I need more lace to knit!

Friday, September 05, 2008

L is for....

(I'm meandering slowly through the ABC-along...)

Librarians! I could say a lot more, like how librarians sort of take themselves for granted (note that it's the American Library Association, National Library Week, etc., even though without librarians and the rest of the staff, those libraries wouldn't be much.) I could remind you that although lots of great people work in libraries, the title "librarian" indicates that you have a master's degree in library/information science. I could also point out that, as a general rule, librarians are very politically liberal. I think I've know one Republican librarian. We take that freedom of speech/freedom to read stuff pretty seriously.

But mostly, I'll say that I know a whole lot of fun librarians. The pictures below were all taken at some sort of official gathering of librarians, but we were having fun anyway! (I also realized that I don't have pictures of some of the most important librarians from my past. I may have to go scan some old pictures.)


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!)