Thursday, December 07, 2006

Want vs. Need

I haven't posted any pictures for a long time. Here's one of the munchkins just before they ran out the door Trick or Treating.

I'm still digging through the stash and deciding what to do with it all. It's amazing how much we acummulate and then promptly forget about. As I opened one storage box of yarn, I could not even remember where some of the yarn came from. I'm sure that when I bought it I was sure that I couldn't live without it and envisioned myself casting on as soon as I got home. Not so. Some of the balls/skeins were lucky to have even received the attention of a swatch.

It all comes down to our perception of what we need and what we really just want.

Steve and I decided this year, that our kids were becoming too materialistic and seemed to appear as though they were "entitled" to tons of toys, gifts, presents. It's easy to want to give your children so much more than they need and then we wonder when they turned into Veruca Salt (remember Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). We came to the decision to limit their gifts this Christmas to three. They will receive their Santa gift (generally, the gift that is too large or awkward to wrap) and gifts from friends and family, plus their stockings, but we will only be purchasing them three gifts. One will be a gift of love (this could mean a toy that is something they really wanted or for the younger ones, something cuddly), a gift of learning (a toy to learn with, maybe educational, computer or dexterity related), and a gift of fun. There may end up a few extra gifts here or there, and we usually do one family gift (this year we were thinking of either a vacation somewhere the week after christmas or new snow shoes for all the family - we're still not decided). It's not that we couldn't afford to get them more, actually it's quite the opposite - because we COULD buy them more we feel we shouldn't. They initially were not overly fond of this idea, but we reminded them of the story of the Christ child and that three was enough for Him.

We felt this would help them not feel so overwhelmed on Christmas; would help them feel the spirit of the holiday a little more; would help us not be so frustrated at toys strewn throughout the house; but most importantly, they would learn to be content with less. Once we had presented the plan, the kids took to revising their christmas lists with no encouragement. The lists went from 3-4+pages to 5-6 items, with one marked as the most desired gift. We also have had them find 3 toys that are in good condition to donate.

Because we want them to learn to plan for things and save their money for things they desire rather than buy what they can't afford, we have a family meeting scheduled for January 1 where the kids are to present a larger priced item that they are interested in acquiring. They will then work out a plan to earn the money for it and the jobs/chores they will complete to earn the cash to pay for it. The gift of controlling desires/wants, and managing budget will be one of the most valuable gifts we can give them this year.

Now, if I could just find someone to help teach me that I don't NEED to have that extra skein of yarn to go with the 200+ others lurking around the house. It seems so much easier to teach them a skill that I don't possess. Maybe they'll also be receiving the gift of Hypocrisy this year.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Can't see the Forest for the Trees

Okay, I'm not dead, but had just fallen off the edge of the knitting blogland for a while. I've been incredibly busy, but haven't we all. Here's a quick update of what's being going on in the D household over the past 6 weeks.

  • I had my Lasik Surgery! I can see. It was so easy and painless. I would strongly recommend this to anyone considering it. It was well worth it.
  • Baby E caught a bad strain of Strep C (yes, usually it's found in animals - last time I checked I have no animals in my house, just children - maybe that's the same thing). He had a fever of 106F and they couldn't get an IV started on him - 9 tries. Poor kid! It also took 3 tries to get a catheter going and that caused more pain and discomfort for him over the next week than any high fever of ear and throat infection could of. This happened 3 days after having the lasik surgery, so I looked particularly strange, stood in the emergency room at 3am with sunglasses on, so that the bright lights in the ER wouldn't bother my eyes. He's doing great now, although he does have a fear of the doctor's office since those traumatic few days.
  • Many PTO activities have taken place that I have organized - installation of climbing wall, book fair, Fall Festival, Blood Drive, purchasing DVD players for all the classrooms, bake sales. Along witht he ridiculous amount of drama that some mothers want to cause. Word for the wise: Avoid positions within the PTO like the plague. My kids love seeing around the school though and having me so involved, so that makes it worth it.
  • Purchased a new site for dh's new clinic and started construction. Still trying to decide on what colors are best for dental offices. dh did look a little put off, when I suggested that it didn't matter what color the walls were, nobody actually liked going to the dentist office.
  • I've been doing a big clean out of all the cupboards in this house - we have stuff stashed everywhere. I always get a big case of spring cleaning right before the holidays, as I know that more stuff will be entering the house.
  • I'm preparing for some afterschool classes I'm teaching at the Elementary School, one of which starts today. I'm teaching teamwork and problem solving using the climbing wall with the 3rd-5th graders.
  • Reading - I have been reading alot. I read Jean Plaidy's Victoria Victorious and highly recommend it. I then purchased the A&E/BBC mini series Victoria and Albert to watch - loved it. I read the Alchemist - I'm still trying to decide if I liked it or not. A bunch of fun quick reads - Richard Paul Evans Finding Noel, The Sunflower. Not the best literary works, but the reading equivalent of knitting a scarf or dishcloth for a fast fix.
  • Knitting - has been rather limited, but has started to pick up again. I did whip out a bunch of dishcloths (I know, not the most interesting, but necessary, and it was nice to have a FO after an hour). The weather finally started to turn on us and I have been knitting some socks - which I'm thoroughly enjoying. The sock draw was looking pretty empty, and I've fallen in love with Mountain Colors Bearfoot yarn (thanks to Marji - from a summer project colorswap) and have purchased some more skeins in different colorways. I've decided to try out some different sock patterns to experiment with.
I have noticed a recurring theme on many blogs that knitters are feeling a little overwhelmed with the stash they have and many yarns that they don't think they'll ever use. I have been feeling a strong need to basically start fresh and have been strongly considering eliminating all my stash and basically starting anew. I haven't knit like I normally do lately because I feel bogged down by this excessive stash. So watch for a huge cleanout in the next few days. I am considering combining it into 3 lots and getting rid of it.

Any thoughts? I feel like I can't see the forest for the trees. I can't get into a project for all the balls of yarn falling all over the place. We'll see!!!

To some of my favorite bloggers out there - missing you and hoping you're having a lovely holiday season.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Flying By..

Things I've done since posting last...

1. Attended three different meetings regarding various PTO activities.
2. Knit one block in Noro Kureyon for Lizard Ridge (loving it)
3. Watched one of the kids Pop Warner Football game
4. Ordered my thanksgiving turkey
5. Attended a cooking class
6. Attended a roundtable scout meeting
7. Missed a wedding - I'm an idiot what can I say - I wrote it on the calendar on the wrong day
8. Spent a few hours with the whole family at a corn maze and pumpkin farm - it was a blast
9. Took 3 kids to get their teeth cleaned
10. Started and almost finished an Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket
11. Bought some new clothes
12. Bought some new Le Creuset dishes for the kitchen
13. Viewed some building lots to buy
14. Signed papers on building a new office building
15. Cooked an amazing Pork Pot Roast with navy beans and dried cranberries (see cooking light issue - most recent)
16. Knit another ball on the Michael Kors Cable Tunic
17. Received the new Knitters Magazine and promptly gave it away, as it was complete crap.

I did more stuff, but having four kids plays with the mind so I don't recall what else I accomplished, but I'm sure that many loads of laundry were somehow involved.

Well, I'm off to cub scouts, I guess I better figure out what I'm doing with the boys tonight.

BTW, winter has arrived in the Northwoods. It snowed this afternoon for an hour or so. It didn't stick, but gave us a taste of what we can expect to see over the next few months.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


I had the pre-op appointment today for Lasik. So, that means that I can hardly see a bloody thing due to an over zealous application of dilation drops by the technician. So bad, that I couldn't knit. Once applying the drops they had me sit in a small room and watch some dull "informative" video about the procedure. "Perfect opportunity to sit and knit", I hear you say. I tried to knit. I tried, but my arms got tired of holding the knitting directly in front of my nose so that I could see the stitches. I couldn't see anything but a blurry distance with glasses and very close up without, and nothing in between.

You can tell the blurriness was bad, when control freak chef Kim, suggested that Caleb (10y) help chop the vegetables and read me the recipe for Clam Chowder. He was very helpful and it turned out lovely - we even adapted the recipe to use White Rice Flour, so that it was Gluten Free for Declan. Teamwork.

Steve just walked in the room laughing, as he saw me trying to type with my nose pressed against the glass of the computer. It's ridiculous! Although I am very excited at the prospect of not having glasses slide down my nose, non-poking of eyes while inserting contacts, and actually being able to see my hand in front of my face.

I did get some knitting done last night on the Kors Cabled Tunic. Did I mention I love this pattern and yarn? I'd like to knit on it tonight, but am certain I would screw it up with not being able to see what I was up to.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fog Free Post

So, finally, a post without the haziness of my medicine in my system. I'm in a rush, but have realized that one of the reasons I stall on posting is because I feel the need to post these huge indept and extravagant blogs. Ain't Happening? Reality is.. I'm the mother of four young kids. So, short stumpy posts is what you're going to get. love it or leave it.

Anyway, point of the post is ... I finally decided on a new project and am in love. It's the Michael Kors Cabled Tunic from the fall Vogue Knitting. It's lovely and a pleasure to knit. I'm using Classic Elite's Wool Bam Boo in a silvery grey color, which I'm thoroughly enjoying knitting with. It glides through the fingers.

I checked out the new preview for Vogue Knitting Magazine yesterday and there are a few items I'm interested on knitting. Don't you find that's always the case? You can't find anything to knit (I know this never happens to Marji or Jae, but for some of us it does) and then once you start something, there's tons of projects trying to tempt you away.

Take the blanket in Noro on Knitty - Lizard Ridge. I'm fighting the urge to pick up some needles and start knitting this. I'm not sure I'll be able to resist much longer. I just don't know how to be monogamous to my knitting. I'm a dirty dirty yarn slut. There. I've said it. I'm the Meredith Gray of knitting (ref: Gray's Anatomy) However, I'm not ready for a 12-step program yet. I think I'm ready for a 12 project on the needles program, so am off to abandon my reserve and get nasty with some Noro.

note: See Marji - apparently it's not the meds that make me send out strange posts. I'm naturally that way.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Is it really better late than never?

You Deside! I'm late blogging. I'm really behind on blogging. Yet still only a shorty span of time to chat.

Quick TTP update:
Mum and Dad did visit
No blood was shed while they were here
All but Mum and Steve becuase ill with the flu - nasty
We took turns, as one was feel better the other would get sick.
I've cleaned up lots of vomit and still have never found the most effective way to handle it.
Kids are bag at school - all three of them this year, Calebs in 5th, Declan 3rd, and Madison Kindgergarten. They love it and are having agreat time. I'm their new PTO leader and it's going to be fun (I keep telling myself), but am looking forward to how the kids feel when they see me involved in their lives at school.

Now here's the big confession, I'm not really knitting anything. After stittches I became in such a funk that what I knit I have to love and so have stalled on everything. I've swuatched and played around and I need to nail it down to a project. This would be a good time to come up with suggestions. Names will be drawn from a hat for each realistic suggestion. Winner will get something fun that I haven't kicked up yet, but it will be cool.

Shout OUt to the following - Marji and Jae - my fun stitchers pals, I have recently abandoned you and am begging for our closeness to return.

Shout out to marina, carrie, deeann, and all the other buddies I've met online. I appreicate reading your blogs and you comments to mind.

SO to my Secret Pal - Amy Proto. The ladies amazing. I can't find the camera and want to get the phots uploaded of the last stash she sent me. It was, as usual, pefect.

I want to chat more and fill you in on what's beeng going on, but I doubt you really need the detaisl, just remember to wash your hands and brush your teeth afterthis read. Then you too, can avoik, the creeppy pedi bugs that are happily invading our lives.

Well, I'm a little out of it. The medicine kicked in fast today and I'm afraid if I continue I'll share private details with you and cry about it in the morning.

So until tomorrow - yes, I think that tomorrow is a realizatic goal - knit some more and email me with what you think the next project should be. Enter as many times as you want and get your name entered in the box with each suggestion

Monday, August 28, 2006


I'm trying to get a thousand and one things done, and am suffering with guilt for not posting. So here goes, fast to the point (well, as much as I can ever be with my waffling problem), and as much as I can type in 3 minutes.

  • Have been busy with getting kids ready for school. I will have 3 kids in elementary school as of the 5th of Sept. K, 3rd and 5th.
  • Did I mention that I am also the new PTO co-president, so have been running around trying to get everything ready for the open-house (31st), booklets printed, magnets made, directory info gathered, and forms designed and handed out. Not the mention, the meetings.
  • I am also on the Cub Scout Committee, and have been busy planning the kickoff for this school year. Again, meetings.
  • Caleb started his second year of Tackle Football last week, and I have been running him to practices. Getting gear fitted and mouthpieces molded.
  • "E" decided to hit the terrible two's a few months early and has been tearing the place apart and destroying all in sight. e.g. managing to open sippy cup with chocolate milk in and pouring all over expensive sage green italian leather sofa (do not ask why with four children we would possess such a thing - I can only say in defense, that I believe that the smell of play-doh must be toxic and has permanently damaged our brains)
  • Squeezing in four kids worth of doctors appointments and shots before school starts
  • Shopping for school - finding the perfect backpack - not to big, not to small, sturdy enough
  • Same as above, but for shoes for kids
  • Declan's 8th birthday - involved an unplanned trip to Mall of America. No shopping took place (except for a cute Hanna Anderson dress for Maddie, but that doesn't count). We rode more rides than my stomach or back could handle. Admired the sharks in the aquarium and petted some sting-rays.
  • My parents are coming to visit from England on Friday. This means that I turn into a crazy person. Cleaning out every cupboard I own and dashing things off to Goodwill, washing down closet, reorganizing items (my mother critics everything in a way that causes me to act like a bratty teenager, so I try to counter that by having everything look lovely - it never works. But I try.
  • Friends birthday lunches .
  • Swatching. I have dug out some Dale Sisik yarn I had in the stash and have been busy swatching with it trying to figure out what I want to make out of it.
  • Last week I also received my new book "Aran Sweater Design" by Janet Szabo and Twists and Turns Newsletter that she publishes. Love it. The book is fantastic, I highly recommend it if you are an aran knitter. Check out her site -
  • While at Stitches I discovered that what I really loved was more textured knitting, mainly with cables. The first item I ever knit was an aran as a child. My grandmother thought they were the perfect item to learn how to knit with.
  • I have discovered in all this cleaning out that we have over 10 knitted arans in our house. Some by me, but quite a few from my mother for Caleb when he as a baby. They are still in perfect shape and have been used by each of the kids. Ethan is set for this winter with over 5 sweaters and cardi's ranging from traditional cream to blue and green.
That's it for now. Gotta run. Happy Blogiversary to Marji!

Friday, August 18, 2006

We were in Stitches - Part 1

Laughing was a large part of Stitches. It all started with Lily Chins class - Darting the Issue. Jae, Marji and myself had her class all day on Friday, and it was excellent. I think we all felt that we learned alot from it. I feel very comfortable with adjusting any sweater I'm knitting now, to add darts, especially shortrow ones. I know, you're impressed. Me, too!

However, I wasn't sure by the end of the day that I could handle Lily talking about her "Boobies" one more time. To be quite honest, I didn't actually think anybody really used the word "Boobies" anymore. By 4pm, I was about to stand up and ask her to call them a different name but thought it might be rude, so quickly slipped out of the class when it was finished.

She did an excellent job of handling the variety of knitting skills possessed by the students. By the end of the weekend, I was a little frustrated at the inability of people to read a class preview/description and what level of knitter one should be before signing up. Apparently, some people feel that if they've knitted one scarf in fuzzy lion brand yarn on size 13 needles, then they're an expert, despite the fact that the class description suggested that they be advanced knitters who have knit at least one sweater of their own design and one aran sweater.

Jae was apparently the muse for every teacher, and found herself being singled out because of her slender (no darts needed) figure. She even had teachers have the class point out why her shirt was too short, the wrong color and wrong pattern, and yet, still came out smiling. She was high on lace knitting though, so that might explain her constant smile.

Lace Knitting seemed to be the "in" thing of the weekend. More than one time, I almost had my eyes poked out with lace blocking pins. It was refreshing though after all the funky yarns of last year and many poncho wearers.

Marji and Jae made the weekend perfect. It was amazing how we instantly clicked and chatted away as though we had been friends for years. My biggest regret is that we didn't spend enough time just sitting, knitting and talking. Next year, I'll skip one of the shows, and some of the classes just to hang out and stitch with the girls.

Well, this has been a rather disjointed post, but I'm hurrying. It's Declan's 8th birthday tomorrow and I've got to get some stuff together for him.

BTW, marji has pics on her blog of our fun time together. I would like to note though, that I don't usually look (at least I hope I don't) so grey and blahh looking in real life.

More to come with details of yarn purchases.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Knackered from knitting

For those of you who don't speak "english", you'll have to google the meaning of the word knackered. It's an excellent word. One of the few true english words/terms that I have never been able to forget since moving to the US. For the record, some of the others are torch instead of flashlight, bap instead of hamburger bun, rubber instead of eraser, and calling the person driving the car that cuts me off a wanker instead of .... Well, a wanker is really the best word here.

Anyway, back to the topic of being knackered. I should really say that the discussion of knitting theory has me knackered as there was little kniiting that happened at stitches much to my frustration. I loved meeting marji and jae. We had a blast. We knit swatches. We laughed. We shopped. We discussed knitting. We all discussed what a total pratt (yes, another english word to google) that rick mondo-inappropriate-dragon is. He kept going on about drugs and lsd. I'd wager a guess that all the drugs he did during the 80's destroyed his ability to filter his inappropriate thought. He kept needling two little girls about smoking.

Other than that, I loved our time at stitches. Next time i'd take less classes and knit more, but am looking forward to the reunion next year.

I'm posting this from my treo and will have to post much more tomorrow with details of the classy marji and the amazingly good sporting jae. Not to mention the yummy shopping.

'til then - hugs to marji and jae (hope you feel better soon, jae).

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off to Stitches I Go

Oh I'm sorry! I know it's a bloody lame title, but it's the best I could do while trying to run around and get things done before I leave. I'm not actually leaving for Stitches until early Thursday morning, but have been helping my friend, so I have piles of laundry (anyone who has read my blog before, knows that this is a constant battle in my house), cooking a couple of gluten-free meals and snacks for my son, Declan, while I'm gone, and getting ready to go.

For the record, Steve is completely capable of cooking for the four kids, but admittedly he isn't used to cooking GF meals for Declan that the other three picky eating kids will like, so I decided to make it easier. It was that, or write out step by step instructions for Steve and it was easier to just whip up a couple meals.

I'm so looking forward to my classes, shopping and meeting Marji and Jae. It's going to be fab.

You know... there is still time for you all to get tickets and come play (yes, Carrie K, I am talking to you).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Friends and Angels

Yesterday morning, I received a call from my friend that she had gone into early labor (she was 32 wks). She has 6 children at home ranging from 12 months to 11, and no family lives in the state. She said the kids were okay at home, but I picked up 3 of them (my other friend) took the other 3. I live pretty close to the hospital and one of her children, Maeli who is 5, has severe diabetes and had just had a new pump inserted and her sugar levels are all over the place. She is often on the border from going into a diabetic coma, so she has to be extremely closely monitored. So, it was a crazy day, checking her blood, having to quickly contact her dad and give her insulin/pump, snacks when her levels plummeted. I was nervous taking care of her, but she is truly such an angelic little girl. That sounds a little over the top, but if you met her you would understand. As I was checking her levels and poking her fingers and giving her shots, she would say "thank you Kim for taking such good care of me", "you're so nice to help me", "I like you Kim One-in-a-DeMillion (cute variation she has made up of my last name). She was being sickly sweet or putting on a show, this is how she is - all the time. As she is getting a painful shot in her stomach, through the tears she smiles and says thank you.

My friend had her baby at 4:15p and she is doing remarkably well for being 8 weeks early. She weighed 4lbs 4ozs and is incubated but stable. I'll admit to being a little more concerned about my friend who is in her early 40's and has a lot of health problems due to the pregnancy risks.

Before you think her too reckless, she was told she would never have children due to terrible scar tissue that had formed when she was in a near fatal car accident. 5 of the children are adopted, 3 having come from the same family and she was asked last year if she would take all 3 because they obviously didn't want to split them up and one of them had serious health issues. No sooner did they adopt them but they found out Mitzi was actually pregnant, and carried the baby to full term. Then 5 months later - she's unexpectedly pregnant again. This women is amazing and accepts everything that comes her way so gracefully. She is the epitome of unconditional love and is a bundle of energy.

When I first met Mitzi, I remember thinking to myself, that she was too hyper/nice/sweet and that people aren't really like that (I'm more from the bitchy/snarky/sarcastic garden variety). But I couldn't help but like her and enjoy her company, her perkiness was contagious.

After talking to her yesterday when she called in the middle of labor to check on the kids, she was her usual self (although understandably very scared for the baby) and actually was worrying that I was doing okay. See what I mean?!

I tell you all of this, because I'm grateful to have a friend who inspires me to be a better person and for the opportunity to spend time with such a family. I hugged my kids a little closer last night and felt more grateful for what I had. I feel that having friends in your life is such a blessing and you can never have too many of them. Especially not too many of ones like Mitzi, who make you want to be a better person.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

She was lost, but Now is Found!!

Originally posted late Thursday night August 3rd.

NOTE: This post has been edited from the original, as I was apparently out of mind when I wrote that last night. A day at the fair and taking meds that night, didn't help in my clarity of thought and ability to filter information. For those, who read the initial post, you'll know what I mean, thanks for bearing with the crazy ramblings.

Also, to anyone who received a strange comment to a posting on their blog - oops! sorry. I will try to be cleared of mind when commenting next time. Please forgive me.

Kimmmm's Back!!!!!

I've had the slew of tests and retests done, only to receive the diagnosis that I thought it was all along - Fibrosis. But now, at least, I have peace of mind.

The cysts are still hovering around and we're debating taking something to help reduce the size of them, but it's nothing to worry about. If they don't reduce in size, they'll perform surgery to remove them. I've had this same surgery a number of times now and find it pretty easy to bounce back from.

I took the kids to the Wisconsin Valley Fair today at 4pm for what I thought would be an 1 hour and a half - of course, that meant in reality, that we didn't leave there until 9pm. It was obviously longer than I planned, but the kids had so much fun. They got to go on tons of rides (as it was wristband day) and are still of an age that they enjoy seeing all the animals. They particulary enjoyed the poultry house, which freaks me out for some reason. Ever since I saw the movie "The Birds" I've been slightly paranoid that they're going to peck my eyes out. Ridiculous! I'm sure they're lovely little things. I even owned a budgie when I was a kid named "Joey" and he was a delightful little pet. So, I was trying really hard to act cool, calm and collected while walking through the poultry house, although I'm not sure I pulled it off, as I about jumped out of my skin when half of them started crowing and making a fuss. My kids just laughed, at the birds and me. At least I'm comic relief for them.

Steve doesn't like the fair at all, but acted much cooler than I did. He even took them on the ferris wheel. I think the motivation of Pork Chops on a stick helped in his eagerness to play superdad.

Caleb was at a friends house, so it was just Declan, Ethan, Madison and Celeste (Maddie's friend). I know it still sounds like a lot of kids, but they were very well behaved and made one of my least favorite activities almost enjoyable. Overall, it was very long, hot and humid, and I was desperate to go home and wash my hands, face and feet (especially feet - note: do not wear sandals to the fair next year). The music wasn't too bad - the band "Little River Band" was playing and were pretty good. I would have preferred to hear tomorrows music act - Chris Cagle.

I was amazed to hear that people go to the fair every year, for each day of it. They say that it's a family tradition to gorge on fair food all week. Ugghhh! Tons of unsupervised kids, lots of litter, it costs a fortune for the crap you get. It's definitely not quite my cup of tea. Yet, the food is very interesting, if not always edible:
Pork Chops on a Stick
Barbequed Turkey Legs (think Henry the VIII size)
Fried Dill Pickles on a stick
Cheesecake on a Stick
Cheese Curds
Fried Twinkie Rolls
Funell Cakes

I have lots to update, but am truly cream crackered so it will have to wait. Before I forget 7 days to Stitches - Woo Hoo! What? Do I sound excited? Knitting got slowed down quite a bit while waiting for results, but I did find my gift from my One Skein Secret Pal truly invaluable. After sitting in the hospital having tests all day monday, plus a couple of follow up scans over the next few days, it was a lifesaver. I sat and listened to a book I'd downloaded that was hilarious. I wanted something light and funny to distract me, nothing heavy, so I chose "Can you keep a secret?" by Sophie Kinsella. The fact that it's british helped in my comforting, as I thought of home and mum and dad while listening. The only side effect was that my english accent would return briefly after listening and started asking the kids if they'd fetch a nappy (diaper) so I could change Ethan's bum. The techs at the hospital did find it funny when I was laughing my head off while having a pelvic ultrasound. Big hugs out to OSSP for such a thoughtful and insightful gift.

Well, I desperately need to go to bed - I'm knackered. So I'm back on the blogging track and will post tomorrow with updates.

Love to all those who sent me well wishes while awaiting the news. It meant alot to know others cared. Love to all the knitting buds I've met and I look foward to many more time with you typing keys and clicking needles

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

You're the Apple of my Eye!

This morning started off pretty badly with a doctors visit and some fairly scarey news. I dashed from the doctors appointment to drop Caleb off at his golf lesson. Dashed off to run some errands, and then it was time to schlepp (not sure if using this word correctly) out to the golf course to pick up Caleb again. Grab take out (I hate take out) for the little ones and decided to drop some lunch off to Steve (he works so hard and wanted to let him know I appreciated him) and then hurried to get kids home to eat their lunch before they devoured nasty takeout in "Black Beauty" (aka my surburban). My mind was pretty full of what had transpired at the doctors that morning and I was trying to remain positive and be cheerful for the kids sake (after all, it is their summer vacation and they seem to gauge their moods off mine). As I pulled up to the house, one of the kids told me that a package had been delivered in the morning while I was out. I LOVE packages - they make me feel like a kid at christmas, and I especially love packages that weren't expected. I quickly threw the food at the kids and settled down to open my package.

Wow! One Skein Secret Pal - You're the Apple of my eye!

Inside, was a skein of deep green Manos (I've mentioned before how much I love this yarn); a skein of Noro Transitions (again, Noro is a favorite of mine - although am very excited to try out Transitions for the first time); a box of Chocolates (I started testing them right away, not surprisingly); and ... wait for it ... an IPOD Apple. My secret pal sent a note explaining their package and yarn choices, and that they had read on my blog about my troubles with our computer recently, and that they were a die-hard Apple fan, and felt that I should have something Apple. They thought I'd enjoy music to knit to, and knitting podcasts.

Oh ... my ... gosh! What a great pick me up. Now, before I continue, let me state for the record that I am not as some may suspect purely motivated by material items - but let's be honest - yarn and such thoughtful surprises like this are bound to make the most cold hearted of knitters smile.

OSSPal - what can I say? Thank you. I was busy with the kids the rest of the day, but got a few minutes before taking Declan to his soccer game to load the software and take a peak. Unfortunately, it appears that my USB connection blocks the ipod from connecting fully, so I need to run out in the morning and get a USB connector that will work. But that hasn't stopped me from smiling and acting rather giddy, and taking a look at the iTunes Website and marking certain files that I wanted to download such as knitting podcasts, music and some audiobooks.

For a while, I actually forgot about my dr's appointment. I did take pictures of the lovely package and will load them tomorrow (blogger was not cooperating and I can't be buggered with it tonight).

Now, don't be worrying (as knit bloggers are the kind and caring worrying kind) - my dr's appointment wasn't anything too terrible. I have ovarian cysts and need to have a large one removed (I refuse to have the surgery until after stitches and kids go back to school though - my doctor looked confused when I mentioned Stitches - obviously he is not a knitter). But, while I was there he also did a routine exam and as we were happily chatting away and discussing the 30lbs that had been nice enough to drop off my backside the past 3-4 months, he asked me if I had been doing my breast exams lately and if I had noticed anything out of the ordinary. I told him, I had sort of, and no, I hadn't noticed anything weird. He then guided my hand to a lump which is a little smaller than a quarter and asked me if I had felt that before. Now, knitters, I'm not that big in the milk-making department and have always been pretty sure that before I felt a lump there, I would be able to see it. But, how the hell did I miss this lump. He then wanted me to have a mammogram scheduled and an ultrasound the next day. Unfortunately, the kids have things going on Thursday and Friday and I wanted time to process everything (stall), so I scheduled the mammo for Monday and the ultrasound for Wednesday. The weird thing is, is that I'm not really worried - okay, I'm a little nervous, but I'm 95% sure that it is just a fibrous, grizzly lump or fat and nothing to worry about. One of the few illnesses/diseases not listed in my family is breast cancer, so again that makes me feel pretty calm about the whole thing. What bothers me, is the possibility of huge changing depressing info like that - plobbing itself down on my quite lovely life. I'm quite a risk taker (note: I did move to the US when only 19 without even breaking a sweat). But, this makes me uncomfortable. The thought of my families happy little life being shaken up like this is bloody annoying. Again, let me state that I'm 95% sure that this is nothing - really. I did get really ticked off though, because I didn't think to buffer this info from the doctor to Steve (whose mother had a rough bout with breast cancer a couple of years ago). I just blurted it out on the phone and was very blaze (again, not sure if that's the right word) about the whole thing. I scared him. This man is so kind and loving and gives me the world. He tiptoes around my feelings (with the exception of bday cards - read prev blogs for explanation of this comment) and I stupidly was so insensitive to how he may take this. This bothered me, and still does, the most. Here I was, claiming to worry about how my family would feel about this, and then I go and make Steve feel like crap. I know that Steve doesn't read my blog so I won't take the time to publicly apologize here, but am deeply sorry for being such a cow.

Anyway, I'm not going to knit tonight. I want to go snuggle up next to Steve on the couch.

Again, OSSP, thank you for the lovely package. I think I need a chocolate before I settle down on the couch.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Bag Lady

I don't have a picture of my Bobbles Everywhere bag yet, as I had promised. It's sat at the Black Purl for others to admire for the time being, as I'm waiting for some handles to arrive.

Talking of bags, I did get a new knitting bag (apparently, I have a thing for knitting bags) from Lantern Moon, called City Lights. It's beautiful. Not very big, or probably practical, but it is a way to take along small projects on evenings out and still look dressed up, rather than toting around some hippie chic/suitcase sized bag.

I've been busy working on some of the WIP's, but seem to have lost my ability to get Gauge on my Dale Agave project. I've ripped out the body twice now. I have both of the sleeves completed and am trying to "get 'er done", but I had to play around to get the correct gauge (I forgot to notate what needle size I used for the sleeves, and the usual down one size didn't seem to work.) That's what you get for taking so long to finish a project.

I've also been whipping out some slippers/mukluks for Caleb today and seeing as they're turning out so fast, I'm going to make some for Declan and Ethan too. It gets a little cold in the Northwoods in the winter (which last 6 months), so I'm trying to get a head start on them. Actually, the boys asked me to knit them some slippers, so while they'll still wear handknits (before they reach teen/tween ages) I decided to take advantage of their fondness for the warm and fuzzy slippers.

I had to admit... I feel like a child counting down for Christmas. Maybe someone should put together a "Stitches Advent Calendar". I'm really looking forward to the classes I'm taking, meeting Marji and Jae (and if we can convince Marina to come see us), and all that shopping. I had to hunt down the book "Poems of Color" for my Bohus class. It arrived yesterday. It was worth the hunt - it's a really interesting read and the patterns are beautiful. It made me all the more antsy for the class, and I'm fighting the urge to call Kimmet Croft and order a Bohus Sweater Kit. I must show some willpower and at least wait until I've taken the class.

I ned

Thursday, July 13, 2006

We're on a roll now.

I'm still working hard on the WIP list, although I have been busy knitting on the sample for Black Purl and have finished the back already. Here's the latest update on the WIP's.

The Vivian Hoxbro Sideways Shadow Jacket has 100% of the knitting completed. Now, I just need to graft the back seam together and knit the side seams. Although this seemed to take forever to knit, I love it. I love the yarn, the needles and the colors and the pattern was interesting, with the exception of knitting tiny rows of 340+ stitches.

(This is a picture of one side of the jacket)

I've also finally finished sewing all the bobbles for the Bobbles Everywhere bag. You knit them as round/rectangular swatches and then baste around the edges and cinch them into bobbles. Sounds fun, well it was 100+ bobbles ago. You then have to attach all the bobbles to the purse by tying them on (which fortunately doesn't take as long as you'd think). Then give the ends a haircut... and it's time for felting. I'll felt it later today as I'm taking the kids swimming for a little while so that I can pretend I'm an attentive mother who doesn't long for bedtime each night so that she can sit and knit on the deck 'til her fingers get pins and needles.

I've been reading an interesting group of books lately. (yes, I read lots of books at one time, just like I knit many WIP's). Easy pool and kids sport watching reading is "Devil Wears Prada" it's hilarious and want to see the movie because I love Meryl Streep and I can really picture nailing the role of "her". I've also been reading Leeway Cottage, by Beth Gutcheon, it's a relaxing summer reading book. I just picked up "Amagansett" by Mark Mills as that looked interesting also.

Friday, July 07, 2006

It's Alive!!!!

The computer is up and running. She is behaving beautifully and purring along happily as I type. This weekend was spent in busily updating and restoring files on the computer and spending time with the kids at the annual ChalkFest. Last year, Caleb and I participated in the Chalkfest that is held in downtown Wausau each summer. We worked on a piece together last year, and Caleb was feeling brave enough to step out on his own this year and be a solo artist. Declan decided he would like to participate too, on his own, so I got bored and chalked my own square. The committee hires an artist to come in and draw a magnificient picture each year and make sure we all know what lowly art skills we have, but it's a lot of fun. Over 200 people participated in chalking this year, with tons of spectators coming to watch the fun. It's a fun weekend in the town of Wausau as they also have the Balloon rally held the same time each year. It is a weekend that makes me feel warm and fuzzy about living in a small town that supports the arts and encourages family time. The boys were very excited as they were quoted on the front page of the Daily Herald and felt like stars. Well, here are the photos of the completed items that I've been promising for a week now.
(Left to Right)
Reynolds Odyssey Ribbed Scarf for Steve Meg Swansen Unspun Icelandic Lace Shawl Misti Alpaca Sport weight Baby Hat - adapted from Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino pattern Felted cow pattern wool bag - was supposed to be a felted wool hat for Madison, but even though the gauge was right it didn't felt evenly, so we decided it made a perfect purse for Maddie with some dark wooden handles. Still trying to figure out how to attach wooden handles. Any suggestions?

(Left to Right) Deco Ribbon cropped cardi by Black Purl Purple Cascade 220 Felted Ballet Slippers from Felted Knits Pink Cascade 220 Felted Baby Mary Janes from Fiber Trends Reynolds Odyssey Tunic Sweater Pink Baby Rimini Baby Blanket Great Adirondack Fluff Scarf

Close up of the felted baby mary janes and felted ballet slippers. The pictures do not do them justice.

I have completed some other items that are not pictured yet as they need to be blocked. They are a Koigu Charlotte's Web Shawl and a Koigu Elizabeth I Lace Scarf. I'm in the process of attaching the bobbles to the Bobbles Everywhere bag and am weaving in ends on the Louisa Harding Beachcomber Bay Shawl. I also have been working hard on the Vivian Hoxbro Cardi and am on the right front edging (10 rows to go). Then I have to graft together 340 stitches (ahhhh!) and sew up the seams. I've also gotten a few rows done on the Philosopher's Wool sweater, but have quite a ways to go with that one.

I'm so glad that I finally got going on these projects, they were so ridicuously close to being finished and have freed up tons of knitting bags, so that I can add lots of projects from Stitches.

We got a little rain delayed at the Chalkfest on Saturday, so the boys and I stopped in to visit with Beth at the Black Purl. While we were there Beth and I came up with a couple of designs for sweaters for the boys, so I have started knitting the sample for Declan's. It's in a heavy worsted weight Merino and knits up very fast and is going to be beautiful.

Back to some knitting before I have to take kids to swimming lessons, soccer practice and golf lessons. Ahhh! I am a taxi cab, but may have some time in between to get a few rows in.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rekindling lost love

By making myself buckle down and finish wip's, I've rediscovered how much I loved the Vivian Hoxbro shadow jacket kit I bought at stitches mw last year. I love how every 2 rows you switch colors... And the colors in the fall colorway are gorgeous that I find myself admiring the gradual changes of color. Tht yarn is a delight to knit with and sick and twisted as I am, I love the size 2 and 3 needles. It's so close to being finished and i'll savor these last few days of our relationship.

I'm still without a computer. The geek squad are coming at 8am to fix it. In the meantime, thanks everybody for your supportive comments and for helping me realize I'm not alone in my drowning in ufo's.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Apparently it's my computer's turn to have an illness. A virus! So i'm sending this post via my treo which isn't the easiest for anything other than quick posts.

I've completed 11, yes that is correct - 11 of the wip's. I even took pictures to post on the blog but that obviously isn't cooperating tonight. Seeing as yesterday was independence day, I decided to buckle down and finish those projects. It was ridiculous how close to being finished they were.

Hopefully i'll get the computer working tomorrow and you can view the finished goodies.

I can receive email but can't respond. So don't feel bad if I don't reply asap.

Monday, July 03, 2006

I have a problem!

No wise cracks! I have a serious problem. I thought that the Fibromyalgia was a serious illness, but apparently I have one far worse ... Unfinishitis, or it's more common name, starter-of-knitting-projects,-but-never-finishing-project disease. This diagnosis can be confirmed by the following evidence.

List of projects not finished...

1. Dale Sisik Sweater - 90% of body completed
2. Dale Agave in Tiur - 2 sleeves completed
3. Louisa harding Periwinkle Shawl from Beachcomber Bay book - 100% knitted, needs ends wove in and button attached
4. Mason-Dixon Knitting Dishcloth Baby Kimono - 80% completed
5. Fibertrends Felted Baby Mary Janes - 100% knitted - needs felting and buttons attached
6. Philosophers Wool Color Your Own Sweater - 2 sleeves completed, 33% of body completed
7. Reynolds Odyseey - 100% of knitting completed, sewn together - needs 5 row collar knitted
8. Meg Swanson Unspun Icelandic Shawl - 100% knitting completed - needs ends woven in
9. Black Purl Cropped Ribbon Cardi - 100% knitted and finished - needs button attached
10. Koigu Knit Picks Elizabeth 1 lace scarf - 100% knitting completed - needs ends wove in and blocked
11. Koigu Charlotte's Web Shawl - 100% knitting completed - needs ends wove in and blocked
12. Rowan Calmer Shrug Sweater - 100% knitted and sewn together - needs edging reknit and blocked
13. Plymouth Baby Rimini Baby Blanket - 100% knitted - needs ends wove in
14. Baby Mist Alpaca Hat - 100% knitted - needs ends wove in
15. Baby Cow felted Hat - 100% knitted - needs sewing, ends wove in and felting
16. Great Adironack Fluff Scarf - 100% knitted - needs ends wove in
17. Felted Purple Ballet slippers for Madison - 100% knitted and finished - needs felting
18. Vivian Hoxbro Shadow Knit Cardigan - 90% complete knitted
19. Debbie Bliss Cashmere Baby Cardigan - 100% knitted - needs finishing
20. Odyssey Reynolds Scarf for Steve - need to lengthen - knit one other ball - (66% complete)
21. Classic Elite Premiere Shrug (own design) - needs shoulder shaping reworked & finished
22. Bobbles Everywhere Bag - needs 192 bobbles sewn & attached to bag - bag needs felting
23. Trekking XXL Lacey Nancy Bush Vintage Sock - 1st sock complete - needs 2nd sock knitted

Obviously there is no denying my problem. Therefore, I have decided that I must complete a minimum of 10 of the above projects before attending Stitches. I think that should be very easy considering that more than half of them are 100% knitted and just need finishing. This goes to proove that I am definitely a process knitter and not a product knitter for those who wondered.

In light of the need to finish projects, I have been sorting through the yarn stash and have come across some never started projects to be destashed. I will be the posting the following on Destash for Cash in a couple days, but first thought I'd give some (if there are any) of my blog readers a chance for first dibs.

Anny Blatt Rustique Yarn - 17 skeins - color Brume 064 (plus extra skein from swatching). Retail was $8.95 per skein so would have been $152+. I'll sell it for $90 OBO

Philosopher Wool Kilim Jacket Kit in Deep Sea colorway with clasps not buttons - retails for $142 so will sell for $90 OBO

(note: blogger isn't uploading pictures for some reason, so I have linked some pics from the web for you to see the yarns)

Anyone interested, let me know at my email - knittinbrit at charter dot net. The yarn comes from a smoke free and pet free home.

Now, I'm off to try and get some of those projects finished. I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Delayed Shout Out to Secret Pal's

They say "better late, than never!" Words I live by these days. I finally snapped some pics of the two most recent packages I had received. One from Karla, my Project ColorSwap partner for June and one from ?? my Secret Pal 8 partner.

The first is the colorswap package - Blue was June's color. What a lovely job Karla did when putting this package together. There is so much variety and lots to take in. The fun yarn, that my daugher wants a scart knit out of (we'll see) and then the mints (I consider mints a yarn bag staple), Note pad, Diary, lotions, Knitting booklet, so much more more. Thank you Karla for such a nicley thought out package. I can tell you really put a lot of effort into it.

My Secret Pal 8 partner, outdid herself again, with gorgeous yarn in one of favorite colors (brown) in a silk/kid mohair blend from ArtFibers (hint: she lives by ArtFiber - the Ms. Marple/Agatha Christie sleuth in me is itching to investigate and discover her true identity). There's so much yarn per ball - 515yds. I haven't swatched it yet to see wText Colorhat it wants to become. Any suggestions? Thank you. It is beautiful. I now need to research the company on the web and see what other delicious yarns they have to offer.

I received in the mail on Saturday my registration packet for Stitches along with all the homework. I am SOOOOO excited. I have decided in the meantime to work like a demon to get some projects finished up before I go to the show, and then I'll feel freer to purchase more (like anything stops me). I'm also looking forward to meeting Marji our Tudor Rose Host and the rest of you lingerers who might be in attendance. Let's meet up.

Thank you everyone for the kind words/thoughts on my illness. I'm trying to adjust to the new meds and live with the side effects. Hopefully this will pass soon. But I do appreciate your support in the knitting community. Mostly I appreciate the outlet to express myself and be accepted for who I am not what I am.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Aches and Pains

I'm frustrated! I suffer with Fibromyalgia and the pain has been pretty bad lately. I met with the Doctor on Monday to see what we could do to ease the pain and, as usual, it was throw as many medications at Kim and see which one sticks. I hate taking medicine. But even more, I hate the side effects. I feel like I trade one pain for another. The pain had been affecting (or is it effecting, I can never tell) my desire to knit. Well, not my desire, but my ability. Admitedly, the new medication is helping and the knitting has started back up again.

So, sorry to my Secret Pal 8 and Project Colorswap partner for not getting pics on the website yet of the wonderful packages they sent me. I promise I will get them on the blog tomorrow - no excuses. In the meantime, forgive me if I've not been commenting on my favorite blogs like normal. Hopefully, I'll be back in the swing of things soon.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ramblings of Crazy Summer Days!

I've been running crazy this week and haven't had a chance to update the blog. I don't want to get on the "naughty list" with the SP8 gals, so I thought I'd post a quick update. Also, I've had quite the week for packages, so I want to thank my swap partners for a fun month of packages.

First, let me say a big thank you to my Dye-O-Rama pal - Karen G. She sent such a lovely skein of yarn that she dyed personally. I think the colors are perfect for a fun summer sock knitting project. She also included some chocolate, you will note that there is no evidence of said chocolate in the photo, as it was promptly eaten. I've told you before, I have chocolate issues. It was delicious - chocolate pigs - mmmm... are you trying to imply something here Karen, if you are - you're right when it comes to choco. She also included some handpainted soap which was very nice, but I forgot to photo it, as my daughter has taken off with it already - claiming it to be hers. Thank you again, Karen. You did a great job. You'll have to walk me through your dye job, so that I do a better job next time.

Next up, my package from my One Skein Secret Pal Partner, who sent me some lovely Blue Sky Alpaca & Silk in my favorite color. It's delicious and I'm trying to decide on projects - any suggestions knitters? Also included was some scrumptious Godiva chocolate - which deceivingly looks in tact in this picture, but the truffles were already gone. This yarn is heavenly and I keep fondling it and picturing different projects in it.

This past week, I took Steve's hummer to Appleton to get it serviced (driving 100 miles for an oil change - does that seem a little crazy to you?) but besides being a kind hearted and giving wife, I had alterior motives. I went to Iris, formerly known as Jane's Knitting Hutch. If you are ever in the Appleton, WI area I would strongly suggest you go there. It is divine. Tons of yarn, beautifully displayed, herbal tea for the drinking, friendly and knowledgable staff. My kids were delighted to be reckonized from their patterns for Black Purl and behaved well, so that I could grab some Rowan Classic knitting books I wanted and some Rowan Soft Baby in pink and blue for some baby gifts. (I know 8 people who are having children during Sept/Oct- apparently it was a cold winter).

When I was in Utah, I had stopped at Piper's Quilts and grabbed 10 balls of Rowan CashSoft DK in pale mauve and 10 balls of Rowan CashCotton 4ply in sea blue. It's delightful and I've fallen hook line and sinker. I'll post pics another time as I'm rushing to get ready for a wedding I'm attending early this afternoon.

The kids made the mistake of looking bored the other day, so I got them to work on a project, tearing out the bricks on the back path that leads to the deck. 25+ ft of pavers later, some new edging and liner installed and I'm still putting the bricks back. I'm sick of it, but am using Marji's method of 10 rows a day per knitting project and applying it to the path. 10 bricks a day, at least and then I can knit 10 rows. I'm 2/3 of the way completed with the path and am 7/8 of the way finished on a baby sweater in Rowan Baby Soft.

Steve took the two older boys and went to Hummer Homecoming this past week (the sturgis of hummer events) in South Bend, IN and had a blast. They took the camera so I couldn't snap any new pics of yarn and projects. I had thought with them gone I would have gotten tons of knitting done, but friends came to visit and the baby sweater is the extent of my knitting completed.

There's the update, it's rather disjointed and not the most thought out post, but it'll serve it's purpose. I'm going to try to take pics of new stash enhancement and project updates. Sadly, Eliz has made zero progress this week.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Goodies on the Doorstep!

We arrived back from vacation very early Tuesday morning and look at the fun package I had waiting for me from Marji, my Colorswap partner.

Let me explain what is was in the photo, plus what is not.

(clockwise from center top): Green purse, that Marji picked up while on vacation - I love this purse! It looks great with one of my favorite summer outfits and I feel like a chic Parisian carrying it (where really I'm just a Anglo/Wisconsinite and certainly not chic)
Ghiradelli Caramel Chocolate squares - I have them hidden from the family and have been secretly snacking on them and definitely not sharing.
Tazo Zen Tea - This appeals completely to my British heritage but with a modern zenlike twist.
A pin cushion with thread - my husband loved this gift as he claims he can never find the thread. He wants this kept in the closet, for quick and handy repairs. I believe the amazingly talented seamtress, Marji, made this and I love the fabric.
Lindt Orange Chocolate - what more can I say but I started eating it right away and I know I should have savored it, but next thing I knew - it was gone. Don't worry, I found it, it's on my butt.
Beach read - I devour books, so this will be perfect for basking in the rays (??in Wisconsin) and relaxing.
2 cards - Marji made up for me having misplaced the card to go in her package.
Delicious recipe, that I will make this weekend.
Mountain Colors barefoot yarn - I love this yarn. This is one of my favorite yarns, and I absolutely love the deep colors. Excellent choice.
Blue Mohair/Silk - Don't you love the rich color? and it's so soft. I'm trying to decide what project this will become - any suggestions, Marji? In the meantime, I've been enjoying fondling it.
(Center) An apron - I love aprons as I love to cook, and like to look the part.
(not pictured) Fresh herbs - basil - too die for, I used it today with some fresh pasta, roma tomatoes and fresh parmesan. Marji, plant one on your talented husband for growing such beautiful herbs.

Thank you, thank you , thank you. It was a joy being your partner for May and I'm really looking forward to meeting you at Stitches MidWest.

Vacation update
The travel was very long and tedious, but was much more pleasant than anticipated as the munchkins were ridiculously well behaved - The secret for 1400+ hours of driving - lots of DVD's. I suggested to Caleb that we play the license plate game and explained the rules to him. I told him how I used to play that game on road trips as a child. He then looked at me like I was off my rocker and said "Why on earth would you play that when you can watch movies?" Obviously, road trips are a little different from when I was a child.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blogging on treo on vacation

It's early thursday morning in Park City UT and it looks like a beautiful day is ahead.

Note: this post is being sent via my treo as I'm on vacation, so please forgive the errors.

We're here to attend a wedding and then have a mini family vacation in PC. Our townhome/condo is a good size for the 6 of us, but the service hadn't put the air on before we got here and it was stifling. It really cool down until the nightime evening breeze kicked in. I miss the mountains and enjoy catching a glimpse of them as I walk past the window.

I don't know how people travel without knitting to entertain them along the way. I usually get my knitting bag ready first and then worry about packing clothes in what space is left. I've managed to getsome work done on eliz and knitted a sock, so vacations can be productive.

I need to run and get everyone up and ready for the wedding... But first I need to put a list of LYS's to hopefully visit.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Here are the pics!

Sorry about that - we're having computer problems today.

I'm ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille!

Finally, I have a pic of the progress on Eliz. I'm enjoying this pattern, but have been trying to finish up a couple of other items in the WIP.

Here is the finished shawl from the class I took at Midwest Masters with Meg Swansen. It's knit with Unspun Icelandic and was easy but interesting fiber to work with. It only used 1 1/2 wheels of the yarn, so was extremely cheap also ($7 per wheel). I'm not sure who will be the recipient of it, as I enjoy knitting shawls but rarely wear them. Probably my mum, or MIL.

My computer is on the blitz today, so I have put the remainder of the pics I uploaded on Flickr, so check them out.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yet another proud mum moment!

It was Madison's turn to make me cry and feel like the proud mum. It was her Preschool Graduation on Friday. We spent a lovely warm day on the top of Rib Mt. playing, grilling and watching the ceremony.

The orange cap in the pics doesn't match her dress, but they were their official graduation hats that they made in class. She did such a nice job and made us so proud. I'll admit I'm not sure that I want her to start school this fall, but she is determined to. I know better than to mess with a strong-willed woman.

On the knitting front - I did cast on for the Tudor KAL on Eliz I. Unfortunately I haven't gotten very far with it, as we have been so busy with activities the past few days. I have also whipped out the bag part of the
Noni Bobbles Everywhere bag and am planning on whipping out the 192 bobbles .... yes, I did say 192 ... and will felt it this week.

Seeing as we don't have family within 1,300+ miles we decided we would go and stay at a Waterpark/Hotel so that the kids could have some fun. Personally, as usual, I wanted to go to Chicago, but the kids won the vote. The Dells would seem like the obvious choice, but seeing as half of the MidWest was heading there, we thought we'd stay a little closer to home. We stayed
here. Not my usual class of hotel, so I tried not to complain about the room. Despite my reservations we had a blast. Steve and I took turns playing with the younger two in the kiddie play pools and racing down the slides with the older boys. We went out to eat and had fun being a family.

I really needed the good time with the family as I had some very sad news on Wednesday. My Uncle Peter (well, not really my uncle, but I still called him that) died of Bone Cancer. We knew it was coming, but was still a shock. The bigger shock for me was that his ex-wife (who he still desperately loved) was trying to get back to visit with him before he died from California. On Monday he told my dad, his best friend, that he was ready to go, but wanted to see "his" Pauline one last time. She quickly tried to change tickets to get there sooner and was in the air, 4 hours from landing, when he passed. This was so upsetting to me, as my family lives in England and my dad is not in the best of health, and I am afraid that I wouldn't get back in time if something were to happen to him or Mum. I almost flew home on Friday, but decided to wait until July or later this summer for a better planned visit. I loved Uncle Peter. He was an amazing man and will be deeply missed.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Proud Mum Moment

Yesterday was Piano Recital Day for the boys and so not alot of knitting was accomplished. Don't they look so handsome. It's interesting to see the different personalities in these boys. Declan (#2 child) was very nervous beforehand, but played beautifully, not missing one note, everything perfect. Which is exactly how Declan likes things - he's our perfectionist. Caleb sauntered up to the stage, no fear at all. He was very confident and did a lovely job. Although he doesn't enjoy practicing piano, he has such a beautiful sound and doesn't hit but squeezes the piano keys. I'm done bragging for the moment.

(Left to right, Caleb, Mrs. Dix - piano teacher, and Declan)

Now, to the knitting. Today is the official launch of Tudor Rose KAL. I'm very excited to start Eliz I today in deep red Silky Wool. Unfortunately there is some (5+) loads of laundry to be done. Which is beyond me, because as of Friday afternoon the laundry was completely up to date. I guess that's what you get for having 4 kids. Not to worry, I'm still in proud mum stage so I don't mind.

Last night, as I was trying to behave and not start Eliz a day early, I had a serious case of Cast-on-itis. I did dig into the stash and start a Mason Dixon Knitting Log Cabin with some GGH Bali yarn. It will be a fun mindless project to have on the side.

It's a beautiful day for a Cast-On!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Secret Pal 8 - The Real Photos

Here are the real pics of the goodies my Secret Pal 8 sent to me. I hooked up the printer dock and it appears that Best Buy managed to fix it (they did however manage to break something on the camera, but who's keeping score).

Don't the pics look lovely! Now you can see the lovely colors of the yarn. As you can see, I had to taste the chocolate before taking the picture. It was delicious! I have absolutely no will power.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm really not shallow

Steve came home early from work this afternoon and gave me a belated birthday card, it was lovely and I instantly forgave him for the delay. Then he and Madison dashed off to Appleton to pick up his Hummer from the dealer (it has practically a new engine although only 5 months old - don't ask - long story). He just returned and had stopped off at the specialty store. He handed me a huge bag of yummy english sweets (candy) and biscuits (cookies). As a dentist he can obviously easily identify a sweet tooth and soft spot.

All is forgiven!

I'm not really shallow - I'm multi-layered. Funnily enough, so is the candy bar.

Who needs a birthday card?

Yesterday was my birthday. Steve was nice enough to buy me a beautiful new phone/pda that I wanted/needed and planned (well, I arranged the sitter) to take me to a movie and dinner this weekend. He also had helped the kids pick out 4 bouquets of flowers and cards for Mother's Day. Yet, he couldn't understand that although I appreciate the gifts etc. - that I wanted a birthday card (or handwritten note would be fine). He didn't believe me when I said that the card was more important to me than the gift. In fact, he may have chuckled at this point and made some "yeah right" comment.

It's amazing - how when he rolls his eyes or makes smartass comments, how I want to beat the snot out of him, but I'm not an abusive wife or prone to outbursts of violence. In other words, I called him an arse and walked away.

A few minutes later he asked me if I would please let him know (writing down would be preferable) what my expectations were for birthdays/mothers day etc. Apparently, 14+ years of marriage haven't taught him anything. I, of course, told him that I shouldn't have to tell him what I want. His immediate response was "Dr. Phil says that you're supposed to ask for what you want and not assume the other person can read your mind." What??? Now this is a man who laughs at people who watch Dr. Phil, so I was a little thrown off base. After a moment of stunned silence I saw the mischievous twinkle in his eye and we both started laughing. Steve then shared with me that his patients all like to watch Dr. Phil while they have their teeth worked on, so he can't help but pick up tidbits of wisdom every now and then.

I love how me makes me smile. There's hope for him yet.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

One-Skein Secret Pal Questionnaire

1. Which yarn is most like your personality (you can be specific or general with your answer- brand, type, color, fiber, whatever)?
Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool in #24 a claret. Because its colors is warm and fiesty, yet appealing. It has the coolness and luxury of silk and the down to earth side of wool.

2. What is your favorite color yarn to knit/crochet with?
I love Red, or greys or creams.

3. Have you ever used variegated, or magic, yarns?
Yes, I have mixed results with it. I prefer subtle variations, but did knit a jacket in Manos Lava 105 and loved it.

4. Do you tend to favor certain fibers when choosing yarns?
Natural fibers. I am not a superwash fan unless on occasion in sock yarn.

5. Do you prefer to work with center-pull or traditionally wound balls of yarn?

6. Have you ever worked with organic yarns or are you interested in trying them?
Manos Del Uruguay is an organic yarn. I have had mixed success. I had purchased some Araucania nature cotton and was very disappointed with it. I'm up for trying anything.

7. How many and what projects have you made in the last year?
Too many to list, but here's the tip of the iceberg. Lace Elizabeth I scarf from Knit picks in Douceur et Soie, Merino Angora capelet for sample for Tess yarns, top sample for tess yarns, 5+ pairs of socks in everything from socks that rock to koigu, charlotte's web shawl in koigu, dale agave, philosophers wool color your own, baby sweaters, scarfs, dale in sisik, there are at least 20+ other projects.

8. Will you be knitting any gifts this year?
Yes. I usually end up giving my lace away. I always knit a gift for my mother-in-law and often my children's teachers, gifts for babies and children.

9. What is your favorite one skein project?
Labyrinth Rug or Petal Bib. I love the rug because it could use up a lot of stash and who can resist a cute baby bib, there is always a baby being born to someone you know and a great way to whip up a finished project fast and use the stash.

10. How much yarn do you have in your stash and how do you store it?
5+ large storage boxes. I have it sorted by project and then loose skeins by color and type. I also have skeins of yarn in a bronze vase as decoration in my living and tons of yarn and projects stashed throughout the house.

11. Do you have a yarn in your stash that you love so much you can never use it or part with it?
No. There is a project for everything and you can always buy more.

12. Do you knit less or differently in the summer?
No. I knit year round with whatever strikes me or is in reach. I like to knit sweaters during the summer so that I have something new for fall. Living in the northwoods, our summer is very short, and winter/fall weather most of the year so I have to knit year round to keep up.

13. Do you belong to any knitting groups (online or offline)?
Tudor Rose Knitalong, WIP Wipeout, local knitting group at LYS

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Dye-O-Rama Questionnaire

Specific to this swap:
Your favorite colors?
Red, green, gold, browns, generally deeper autumnal colors/tones. Although I do like sage green and blues.

Preferred yarn weight (Fingering, Sport, DK, maybe even Worsted)?
No real preference here as it depends on the project.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?
I do like solid yarn the best, but like tonal solids and multicolored also.

If your buddy is able to do so, would you like a variegated, self-striping, or self-patterning yarn?
I'm up for anything.

Would you be interested in a wool blend sock yarn (nylon, tencel, silk, acrylic, alpaca, etc.)?
Certain blends are more appealing than others. I'm not a fan of acrylic this generally feels plasticy. I love silk (who doesn't) and alpaca.

Imagine the perfect colorway. What would you name it?
Autumn's Glory

What was the biggest appeal to you for joining this dye-along?
The opportunity to try something new and get to know other fiber addicts.

General yarn/fiber questions:
Have you dyed yarn/fiber before?
Once. I used kool-aid dye for a hat for the kids.

If so, whatÂ’s your favorite dye and method?
Seeing as that is the only type of dying I have done, I can't really state a preference.

Do you spin?
No. Would like to, but haven't dared to yet.

Have you knit socks before?
Yes. I love knitting socks, and always have a pair on the needles and in the purse.

Do you use sock yarn for just socks or in other patterns too?
I have used sock yarn for baby sweaters in self-patterning yarn. In fact, my youngest son was a model for a sample I knit for Black Purl Designs in self-patterning sock yarn. It was one of the hits of Stitches Midwest 2005

What are some of your favorite yarns?
Cascade 220 is a classic and always good to have on hand. I do like Dale and absolutely love Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino. Silky Wool is anotherfavoritee. There really are too many to mention.

What yarn do you totally covet?
Silk blends. Although I'm never entirely sure what to do with them.

Favorite patterns?
I have to say Dale and Baby Dale, Black Purl Designs (I'm biased), Alice Starmore.

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
A collection of the Alice Starmore patterns.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
Lantern Moon straights and Bamboo Addi circulars.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
Cultivated Silk by Tess Designer Yarns. It sounds good, but to be honest it would probably be a karabella yarn.

Nothing to do with knitting/yarn/fiber in any way but seemed kinda fun:
Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
European chocolate. Lindt, pure milk with hazelnuts. Blacklicoricee also racks up at the top of the list.

WhatÂ’s your favorite animal?
My kids. Oh, you meant a real animal. I'm not sure I have a favorite animal, but I am fascinated by sharks.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages?
We have a house full of allergies, so only goldfish and to be honest I don't know their names.

If you were a color what color would you be?
Red. It's warm and appealing, yet fiesty.

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone elseÂ’s)..
Classic black t-shirts, and I have one Kenzie t-shirt that has some cool applique on it and funky ties.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
An iris. I have always loved the intense colors and interesting shape.

Tell me the best quote youÂ’ve ever heard or read.
I love quotes, here are a few of my favorites -
Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish. - Albert Einstein
It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required - Winston Churchill
It matters not what someone was born, but what they grow to be - J. K. Rowling

Do you have a wishlist?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love the classics - Wool, wool blends, merino, cotton, silk, silky wool and most other natural fibers. I also have enjoyed some novelty/acrylic yarns such as Louisa Hardings Fauve or suede, but generally prefer natural. I am not a big fan of superwash and acrylic yarns. No matter how expensive they always seem plasticy to me. The exception being suerpwash merino sock yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Needle Rolls that match my knitting bag by Betz Designs.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting since I was 5 years old and would definitely consider myself advanced, but there is always more to learn in knitting (unless you Elizabeth Zimmerman or Meg Swansen) so I enjoy taking classes to learn or improve on skills.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No. But I may try to get to that later this weekend.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Warm smells, like Fig or brown sugar vanilla.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I didn't know there was any other kind of tooth. I LOVE chocolate, but hate Hershey's. I grew up in England and so have never become accustomed to the waxy US brands. I also love licquorice (black).

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do scrapbook, a little. I do not spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
James Blunt, Josh Grobin, INXS, Toby Keith, I not the biggest fan of R&B, but otherwise have pretty mixed tastes (if you can't tell yet).

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Red. I prefer deeper and warmer colors, autumnal tones, browns, greens, golds, reds. I'm not really a big pastel lover, but do like sage green.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married with four children, 3 boys - 10, 7, 16 mo's and 1 girl - 4. We only have goldfish and have family members in the home who are allergic to cats, and dogs.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
In the winter I do wear scarves, hats and mittens as we live in the Northwoods and it gets cold as heck here. I don't really wear ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Cabled sweaters. My first sweater was an aran when 5, and have enjoyed them ever since. I do also enjoy knitting lacey items, but enjoy the process much more than the finished garment as I'm not a real frilly chick. I tend to gift out these projects. I also enjoy knitting socks.

13. What are you knitting right now?
The question should be, what are you not knitting right now. Let's see, a lace shawl in meg swansens unspun icelandic yarn, 2 pairs of socks, 2 dale sweaters, 1 Philosopher wool sweater. I am preparing to knit a sweater from Alice Starmore's Tudor Rose with a KAL. This is all I am willing to 'fess up to publicly.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It depends on the type of knitting, but never plastic needles. I am rather keen on the rosewood and other exoctic needles offered by Lantern Moon.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No, but it's on the list of items to get. I really do need to get one.

17. How did you learn to knit?
My Nanny Taylor (grandmother) taught me. She and my mum knit constantly, so it was second nature to me.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
5 years old, a hat for my daughter to felt. It would probably only take me an hour or so to finish knitting it, but at this point I think I'm over it. Otherwise, everything else is just a WIP, as I intend on picking it up again when the moment is right. There is a difference.

19. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving (although Christmas runs a close second). Although I didn't grow up in the US I have thoroughly embraced this holiday. I love it and plan for weeks before what I'll make and love to organize big dinner parties for that day. It's always the start to the holiday season and I feel like a kid at Christmas eve.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
Duh? Yarn! Oh, you mean anything non-obvious. Boots. I love boots. They are a complete weakness of mine. Plus knitting books.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Early rowan magazines. I have #20+. Vogue knitting stitch references or any stitch reference for that matter, you can never have too many. Some Alice Starmore. I have subscriptions to Knitters.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Brioche, better design techniques. I need to think on this one.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes. Size 9 1/2.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
May 17.