Poke You With My Sticks

It's here!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I finally got my new blog up and running. Now, I just have to start posting on it :)

I'm sorry to make you jump through hoops to get the new address, but you know how it goes. If you leave a comment with your e-mail I will send you the link. Or you can e-mail me (my address is on the sidebar). I've changed all of my profiles to the new blog on the various knitting sites (Ravelry, L&V message boards, knittyboard, Knitter's Review) so you can also get it there. My user name is the same everywhere, even my e-mail.

I know I have a few "lurkers" and that's o.k. I promise I won't keep your e-mail info and will let you stay a lurker, unless you want to introduce yourself ;)

So what are you waiting for?

Sockapalooza and some New Digs

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Let's do the fun stuff first today.

Usually, I start my sockapalooza socks as soon as I get my pal. But this year, I kept changing my mind on the yarn and the pattern. I finally made up my mind the beginning of July and made some kick ass socks. If I would have had more time to knit a different pair for my pal, I would have kept them for myself. Seriously!
The pattern is Twisted Flowers from Cookie A. And the yarn is Dream In Color Smooshy, "Some Summer Sky". The pattern looks complicated but was easy as pie. I liked it so much I think I'll make a pair for myself. And those of you who know me, know I hate knitting the same pattern twice. The yarn...Oh the yarn!! Out of all the sock yarn I have used and stashed, this is my favorite. It really is smooshy, and knits so nicely. I used size 2 needles, which is a nice change from toothpick needles. I love the way the colors blend. No stripes, so pooling. Just perfect. I have some more in another color for myself. (and I have the worsted to make a shrug too). My pal and I also have the same size feet so I had no problem making sure they were the right size. I'm happy to say my pal, who I believe is blogless, has received her socks and loves them.
Here's a close up:

Over the week-end my sockpal socks arrived. I wasn't expecting them so soon! The box was postmarked from England so I really had no clue what it was. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and realized it was my socks. Polly from All Tangled Up was my pal and she was a great pal. I've been reading her blog for well over a year (maybe two?) and love seeing all the socks she knits. What a nice treat having her as my pal! The socks were made with regia silk in a blueish gray color. They fit like a glove, and I LOVE them. I gasped so loud when I opened them that my son came running to make sure I was o.k. I really like how they don't have a ribbed cuff. It really makes the pattern pop, and they don't slide down any more than normal.
But wait! That's not all. There were some yummy candies for the kids and I. No pictures, because it's already been eaten :) There was a second tissue paper wrapped goodie. I figured it was the leftover yarn. So imagine my surprise when I opened it and found this:

The yarn is by Piece of Beauty Yarn. It's 100% merino superwash, the color is called "Deep End". It is SO soft and squishy. I can't wait to try it out. So needless to say, another kick ass round of sockapalooza for me.

I know I said I was going to blog more and then disappeared. I really wanted to blog but it's been a crazy summer for us. Christian had summer school, both kids played baseball again (it just ended last week). Emily, poor thing, keeps getting sick. First it was Fifth's Disease, rash and all. Then she got a little flu-like bug. I had my first set of fillings done last week, some girly doctor visits, a Mammogram in two weeks, more dental stuff in three weeks, Christian turned nine in July, and my brother is coming for a quick visit next week before he deploys for a year to Kuwait. So yeah...really hectic around here!

I have been doing a little knitting and some spinning. I'm really getting into the spinning (I guess I should show pictures of my fiber stash soon). I've also been sewing some baby stuff, and finally, I get to knit some baby stuff. No! Not for me :) I'll fill you in on baby detials later though.

On top of all that crazy, I haven't blogged because I don't like my blog. Ok, sure I like it. But I feel like it's a "knitting" blog and I shouldn't talk about much else. But then again, it is my blog and I can do what I want. So I compromised with myself. I started a new blog over at Wordpress. Much better than blogger! I imported all of my blogger posts over there, but the name is changed to something that doesn't scream knitting. That way, readers can't whine if I don't talk about knitting. *Not that anyone has complained before, but still...* I'm almost done setting it up. I just need to figure out the widgets and set up my side bar. I haven't decided if I will post the link or not. See, there's a crazy person out there sort of harassing me. Nothing crazy that requires police or anything. Just enough that I'd rather get away from him. I hate to ask me few readers to e-mail me for the link. Maybe you could just leave a comment and I can send you the link? (IF you do, make sure your e-mail address shows up. New blogger doesn't always show it)

I'm hoping to finish it later this week. I'll let you know when it's ready :)

It's a long one....ignore the typos I'm tired

Thursday, July 05, 2007

**I am so tired of messing with the stupids pictures. They are just going to have to stay the way they are. I miss being able to use Hello to load my pictures. Stupid Blogger. If you click on the picks it takes you to my flickr page. You can click on "All Sizes", which is above the picture, and you can see the larger sizes then for more detail. If you want to of course.**

I tried. I really tried. To blog more often that is. The kids are home on summer break, a new kitten who wants Mommy's attention all the time, and a husband who ripped a muscle in his lower back and is pretty much useless because of it, hehe. Oh yeah...and a dentist visit five years in the making. Just so you know, if you eat a lot of sugar, you are going to get cavities no matter how much you brush. Not only do I need a crown for an old root canal, I also have stage 1 gum disease and need a debrinement? or something like that (a special cleaning). But the worst part...8 cavities, all of my back molars!!! I was so embarrassed. I'm using it as an example for my kids though and they seem to brushing more often since then. I have so much work to be done that I actually have 5 appointments set up starting in Aug. and going through Nov. I'm not going to even mention how much it's going to cost me. Wish I could find a dentist who would take me as a charity case. I'm hoping to have the money by August 2, otherwise I'll have to reschedule everything. (there's a 3 month wait too, so that pushes me back the end of November and some of these cavities are real bad and before long I'm going to loose a few teeth) This sucks. Period. I need to find out if I can take a xanax before dental work, I am going to need it.

But enough about that...That's not what you come here for.

Up until last week, I have done minimal knitting. I just couldn't find the motivation. But now I need it...I still have sockapalooza 4 socks and some test knitting socks that need to get done asap. I signed up to do the Mystery Stole 3 kal, and wouldn't you know it, I sat down the first day we got the first clue and started knitting. I finished it Sunday night. And since then, I've had the urge to knit. Finally!

I decided to start my sockapalooza 4 socks first. I have an awesome skein of yarn from DoodleBird Creations that I need to knit up for an example, and I really want to get started on them. Unfortunately, my sock pal has to come first thanks to the deadline. (If you're reading this Beth, I promise to start on them as soon as I finish the sock pal socks!) So here's my sock pal socks. I'm using Dream in color smooshy sock yarn, color is some summer sky. And the pattern is Cookie A. Twisted Flower. I LOVE this yarn! It's so squishy when I knit with it, and the colors are just amazing. My only minor complaint is the tangled skein that took for ever to fix. Do you like my skull needle holders? I found them on Etsy and they are great.

Sockapalooza 4 Sock

After those two pairs of socks are done I will be making these:

Scout's Swag Cookie A. Pattern!!!
It's a brand new, exclusive Cookie A. pattern called Marilinda. It was part of the June installment for Scout's Swag. I almost didn't make it into this round but when someone didn't pay, my name was next to come up. SO freakin happy about that! These socks are going to kick ass. The yarn is really hard to take a picture of without it looking like crap. If you look closely at the pattern picture, that's the yarn that came with it. And Cookie even designed the colorway too. Sweet!

Up next is something you wouldn't expect of me. Last year I got spindle kit from my secret pal. i tried it and hated it. I just couldn't get the fiber to draft. After that, I didn't think I would ever think of spinning again. "I don't want to make it. I just want to knit it." Of course, things have changed. In my not wanting to knit slump I needed something to do. So I pulled out my spindle but it was still crap. So I ordered a 2.2 oz schacht hi-lo spindle (bottom), along with two how to spin books and tried it again. It was a little better this time, but still rough. I decided to order a lighter spindle, so I bought this 1.5 oz Grafton fiber spindle (top). But still I couldn't quite get it right.

I stewed on it for awhile. I figured the only way I was going to get it is if I have someone show me in person. I called up the ever sweet Kathy, from Holly Spring Homespun and made an appointment for some lessons. Kathy was awesome, as usual, and after a short time, I finally got it. She gave me some white, local grown merino and I was on my way. Here's what it looked like a week later, plied washed and skeined. One is navajo plied, the other is regular ol' two ply. Not too shabby I guess.

First Spindle Spun

One problem I am still having...I can't make thicker yarn. I suppose that's a good thing since I mostly want to spin sock yarn. But it's still frustrating. Anyhow....While I was there Kathy and I got to talking. We get along so well because the two of us can just keep going and going. I thought I would be there maybe two hours, and ended up being there for four hours! We just kept talking about everything you could imagine. It was really nice being able to talk to another woman, knitter, spinner in person. My husband thinks I have lost my mind because this is something else I came home with that day.... (yes, I just realized that is a backwards picture. I'm too lazy to redo it so imagine it's turned around the other way)

"New" old Wheel

The story goes something like this: I asked Kathy if she would mind showing me a little wheel spinning, just to see what it's like. (I have never even looked at a wheel up close before, let alone watch someone spin) She got out her shop wheel, an old Ashford Traditional in gorgeous condition. I was glad to see that, and told Kathy that's the exact wheel I have been pricing. For future reference mind you. I didn't expect her to tell me she would sell it to me for $200. Um, hello?! How could I pass that up. First I had to try it out, and I loved it! Just loved it! So I did what any sensible crazy knitter would do...I bought it. Clearly, I have lost my mind. But who could pass up that deal? It's single treadle (which turns out is a little bothersome because of my bum right knee) single drive. I did order a new flyer for the extra speeds and a turbo belt which makes treadling a little easier for me. And maybe a few more bobbins (it came with three and I bought three more). My fiber stash has grown immensely, to the point it is rivaling my yarn stash. That's bad! I haven't had a chance to spin anything yet, and now with those socks, it might be awhile before I really get to play with it.
Here are some singles I spun the day I brought it home, just to try it out. What do you think? Good, bad?
First singles

Before I start spinning up everything, I want to spin this green corriedale on the three different speeds. I figure that will help me get a better feel for each, and help me decide which speed to use for what.

Oh yeah, just in case you haven't seen the 4,000 pictures already out there of this, here's my MS3 shawl at the end of clue one.
Mystery Shawl 3

I'm using Zephyr Vanilla and clear rainbowy beads. (The same colors that the designer used. Yes I'm boring.) Surprisingly I zipped right through this and axiously await the next clue. I love how it looks so far.

I'll leave you with some Stanley pictures. This little guy is such a joy! And a momma's boy. He follows me every where. Cries if I'm behind a closed door. Sits on my lap when I go potty. He *still* sucks on my shirt. It drives me crazy because he soaks me shirt and makes this loud annoying slurping sound. But it's soo cute! If I am at my desk, he has to sleep in my lap. All day and night, every time. You can see that in the top two pictures. He curls up in wee balls and sometimes stretches out to tomorrow. The top left one, yes that "pillow" is my boob. They're soft and squishy, what can I say :) He's getting SO big! The bottom two pictures are my favorites. On the right, Leo and Stanley are sleeping together. If you look closely, you can see Leo's tail works quite good as a pillow. And the picture with me....that's me knitting my MS3 while the peanut naps on my lap. He doesn't mind my knitting, sleeps right through it. And no, he doesn't even bother with the yarn. It's shocking considering he bothers everything else in the entire house. But I won't complain.


Phew! I think I covered everything for now! I'm hoping that since I am knitting again, I'll be posting more. It helps to have progress photos and stories, you know? Also....I'm on ravelry so if you're over there add me. My name is ibmomof2 (big surprise) I actually got into Ravelry when it was only around 100 people, I just haven't had the time to add much to it. I'm working on it though.

New Addition

Friday, May 18, 2007

Meet Stanley!!!

This is my new baby. On Mother's day, the kids and I went to a small local festival with my parents. We usually try to go every year. There's live bands, pony rides, craft for kids, loads of vendors, and all that great fair food. This year, there was a woman there who was giving away kittens. At first, I resisted. Even when the kids started begging. But we don't need another cat. Really. A little while later, my son asked how much they were. When the lady said free to a good home, I knew it was over. I have always wanted a tan/orange cat. We always manage to get black/white/gray. This was the only one who was all orange/tan.

It took us a day to come up with a name. We were going to go with Milo, but it just didn't fit him. The hubby suggested Stanley, and you know what? I think he really looks like a Stanley. So the name stuck. This little guy is a sweetheart! He's 7 weeks old. He went to the vet monday, and other than worms (which I'm told are normal for new kitties) he's in perfect health. Stanley weighed in at 1.6 pounds. He was already sort of litter trained, although we did find a little poo once or twice the first day. Since then, he's using the litter box. He won't use the small one though. He uses the big one that the other 3 big kitties use. He purrs all the time! While playing, eating, sleeping... The other kitties didn't purr when they were young so this is a nice treat. It sounds so cute! the other cats have warmed up to Stanley. Smudge, the mother hen, has taken to bathing him. Of course, now he follows her around batting at her tail. Smart girl, she just ignores him and walks away. He naps in my lap during the day, and give me baby kitty kisses. I'm in love.
He really has blended in quite nicely :)

Hehe...Look, he's a little bigger than a skein of yarn pirate sock yarn :)

In Bloom

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Have I ever mentioned that I have a brown thumb? Seriously, I can kill a plant just by looking at it. Last year, my Mom got into gardening. Big time. She orders flowers/plants like I order yarn. And we all know how much I like to order yarn. Sometimes she drove me nuts talking about gardening, showing me plants. But it wasn't long before I realized her hobby was like mine and I should support it, just as she did for me. My Mom lives like me. We don't work, we don't have any friends. Just each other. I took more interest this Spring when the real gardening began for her. She had trees cut down to make more room for her garden. Visits to the flower nursery were almost a daily excursion. The results, which she is still adding to, is inspiring. I started feeling envious. I mean, who wouldn't want a big beautiful garden to relax in, maybe knit a little? But me, garden? Ha!

So on one of our little shopping trips, I fell in love with some hanging baskets. Petunias. I decided to give it a whirl. I bought 2 yellow and a purple and hung them up across my front porch. They really are quite nice. And after a month, they are still thriving. They survived some late season frost. And me. It wasn't long before Mom decided I needed my own garden. (I suspect part of this is because she ran out of space in her yard, and thought she could start on mine.) We tossed around a few ideas, and that was the end of it.

Fast forward to this past week. I took Mom to Lowe's to look at more flowers. I saw this huge orange one and I fell in love with it. next thing you know, Mom was putting it in the cart. "Happy Mother's day!" she said with a smile. And on we went. Before you knew it, I saw a huge pink flower that I loved. Again, it was put in the cart with a smile from Mom. In no time, the cart was full of flowers. For MY garden. The one that doesn't exist. We worked our way inside the store where I saw a garden decoration that I *had to have*. With that same Motherly smile, it was added to the cart.

The next day, Mom came over. And we planted my very first garden. We had fun. We laughed. Especially when I found a ton of worms, some grubs and a spider whose abdomen was bigger than a quarter. Each time, I jumped and ran away. I'm such a girlie girl. Mom stepped in and killed the spider, moved the worms and the grubs and on we went.

It was a labor of love. We sat there, in our matching blue shorts and white shirts, which was totally unplanned. *we do this a lot actually* A hobby that before bored me, has now taken me over. Something that my Mom loves, I've grown to love. We made wonderful memories that day. I can only hope that this garden will grow and grow, over the years. (Yes, we planted some perennials.) It's truly one of the most wonderful gifts I have ever received. I will treasure it forever.

To the best Mother in the world, I love you Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Now...how about some pictures of my new garden?

Here we are working away. The hubby had to take a picture as proof that I actually did some work.

The finished product. I'd tell you what was planted, but I can't remember most of the names. Let's see: Lavender, rosemary, portulacas, African marigold (they're huge!). There's four more, I don't remember. I'll look in the morning (I did remember to keep the labels in the garden), and let you know. There's also a lemon verbeena on the table. I didn't want it in the garden, since I plan on using it in the kitchen. There's a cat who likes to play in our yard, and I don't want him peeing on it or something. And of course, my fairy statue from last year.

Close up of the big pink one I fell in love with. It's a vine. It came on a smaller trellis and it took us a good ten minutes to unwind it. We're hoping it will get tall enough to wrap around the column.

The big orange plant I fell in love with. This is my favorite in the whole garden.

And the decoration I had to have. I'm sure you can see why. It's my homage to knitting, my first love. I like how it looks like the sheep is grazing in the meadow. (that poor marigold in the back. They're so big and heavy they can't hold themselves up. Her head popped off after planting.)

When I went out the next morning to put the kids on the bus, I couldn't help but smile. It sure is nice to have these bright flowers greeting me in the morning. Now...where else can I make a garden in my yard? It's addicting, I tell ya!

Happy Mother's Day to my readers. xoxo

O.K. So I lied...

Monday, May 07, 2007

I really did want to come home and blog Saturday night. But you see...that massage I mentioned. It really did a number on me. In a bad way. That woman was sooo damn rough! I must have said ow 4 or 5 times, she never got the hint though. So I spent the rest of my week-end eating motrin and bathing in icyhot. I kid you not, it hurt that bad. It's sort of ironic that would happen to me. The story of my life, you know? It's bad karma or some shit like that. It's ALL around me...

Sorry for leaving you guys hanging for so long after that dramatic post. I am doing a lot better now. All healed up. Sadly, I'm stuck paying crappy hospital bills *again*, and fighting with insurance companies *again*, and on top of all that...The surgery did absolutely nothing. I still have all the issues from before hand. I have an appt. with my Mom's Dr. but as a new patient, they can't get me in until the end of July. I'll stick it out, and wait. NO way I'm going back to that jackass.

the last two months have been a big roller coaster for me. I started taking zoloft two weeks ago. My IBS has gotten so bad I've been virtually housebound for weeks now. I was depressed long before the surgery. But that was just the icing on the cake. I've finally accepted that I need help. I want to get my life back. I've spent the last year pushing everyone away from me. The few friends I had are gone. I can't make new friends. I miss my old knitting group terribly. I really do. Mary reminded me that I can always join the group that meets closer to Richmond. But I can't. I'm too afraid of what will happen. they have such a good group, and I'm the outsider coming in. I know they wouldn't treat me like that. But after what happened with my old group, I feel like I'm all wrong (the world is all right) and it wouldn't be long before I would do something that would cause, hmm, I can't think how to word this. I just think if anything were to ever happen, it would be my fault. Intentionally or not. And I am just too chicken to set myself up for that heartache again. God...I must sound so pathetic here.

The good news is...The kids and hubby are great. Really. Married life is good. Our 10th wedding anniversary is 6 months away. And I've been buying yarn. And knitting. And buying yarn.

How about a little knitty FO as a thank you for actually reading this far?
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is Thermal, from Knitty. I love love love it! I used knitpicks gloss, Burgandy. I only needed 6 skeins, although the pattern called for 8. I didn't do any modifications to it. Although I did have gauge issues, I ended up knitting it on 4's instead of 2's. I'm surely not complaining. One thing I can warn you on with this pattern....It WILL grow when you block it. It grew a good 3 or 4 inches, which is good since it was too short. The sleeves, of course, were perfect. So blocking made them a wee bit too long. Fortunately, they look good rolled up. I've worn it several times and it is so comfy and cozy. LOVE IT! Here's a picture before blocking:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
When looking at the two pictures, you should know...One pair of pants sit on my hips, the other closer to my belly button. So at first glance, the length might not look too different. Trust me, it's there though.

I'm going to try real hard to start blogging more regularly. Even if no one is reading (And face it, I can't blame you I'm SO boring!). I think maybe blogging will help me get out all these crazy things I'm feeling, which will help me in the long run. See you soon!

Long Time Gone

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I didn't really mean to leave the blog...It just sort of, happened. I thought about deleting the blog. I thought about starting a new one. But I really just want to stay put. I don't think I'll bore you with all of details today. Suffice it to say, things are back on track.

I have a few finished projects to share with you. A few in progress to share. And whole hell of a lot of new yarn to flash.

How about later tonight? Right now, I'm off to get an hour long full body massage. My first professional massage. Couldn't ask for a better birthday present. Well, unless it's yarn. :)