29 November 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

Since I have no pictures of knitting that I can show you right now, here's what our Thanksgiving dinner looked like:
My sweetie made stuffing, cranberry sauce, and turkey and I made some mashed sweet potatoes.

I had a knitting disaster near miss the other day when I walked in the apartment and half of Valerie's Christmas present was missing, luckily the pups just decided they didn't want it on the coffee table and they nicely picked it up and moved it into the bedroom without damaging a single stitch. Today I had a true knitting disaster, but I can't tell you about it without giving away what I'm making for one of my sisters. So, you'll just have to live in agony until Christmas thinking about what I could have done wrong. I'll give you a hint. . . it has something to do with the needles and the yarn. Oh, that doesn't help you at all? Sorry!

I think I'll have to start another project just so I have something to blog about!

On the moving to Ohio front, we're closing tomorrow!!! We should have a house by noon. Keep your fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong! We still have yet to hear from the military that our stuff has made it to Ohio from Virginia. It should be in Dayton by December 5th and then they'll call us to set up delivery to the house.

26 November 2007

#5 is alive!

Does anyone else love the movie Short Circuit? I don't know why that isn't on TV ever. It was such a good movie. Steve Guttenberg, Ally Sheedy, and a robot. . . what could be better than that?

Anyway, I wanted to do an update on super secret project #5 so Gloria doesn't feel bad about her present. The new pattern is superb! I've been wanting to make this pattern for a while but just didn't have the right yarn. Well I've got the right yarn now and I'm a few pattern repeats into it and it's looking great. I now want to keep that one for myself too. Glor, you just may be getting a knitting book as well!

That's it, I wish I could post some good pictures. Oh, I took a picture of our thanksgiving dinner. I'll download that later and post it. What good is a blog without pictures!! Ok, I have a million things to do today. My main objective is to get my car registered in Ohio (trust me, it's easier said than done!)

25 November 2007

No Knitting Details

All my current knitting is holiday knitting for my sisters so I can't give details since they each read this blog. But I can give progress reports (maybe knowing their projects are getting done will inspire them to finish mine!)

First is Super Secret Project #4: this one is for Valerie. It's coming out fantastic! I really want to keep this one for myself. It's just the perfect combination of yarn and pattern. And the yarn!! I can not say enough about this yarn. It's my absolute favorite yarn I've ever knit with!!!! I can't wait to tell you what it is. So far I'm about half way finished with her present.

Next is Super Secret Project #5: this one is for Gloria. It's not nearly as far along yet since I just did gauge swatching last night. I started one project on it this morning and decided I was not at all happy with it. It went to visit the frog pond about an hour ago. So, thanks to ravelry I was able to find a much better pattern match for the yarn. I'm not far enough along to know if I like the pattern yet, but I think it will be great. The yarn is unfortunately not as nice as Val's yarn. It gorgeous, but just doesn't have as nice of a feel to it. I think I will wash is before I give it to her to soften it up a little. It's knitting up a lot softer than in the ball too.

OK, that's it. I have to go cut up some bread for Sunday night dinner (my sweetie cooks a great dinner every Sunday night. . . isn't he the best!)

23 November 2007

In Honor of Black Friday

For anyone who thinks they won't have enough time to knit everyone presents and they want to buy me something (or if you're not a knitter. . . GASP!) here's my Christmas wish list:

Anything from my amazon wish list (see link on the side)

Danah's Earflap Hat Kit (in green)

Yarn to make a Starsky Sweater: Knit Picks Cadena - 13 skeins in Mist or Natural

Anything from Lotus Yarns with a superwash merino or superwash merino/nylon base. I prefer semisolids if she has any available.

Gift certificates to stores that I could furnish/accessorize my new house with.

That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure I'll add to it as the shopping season progresses. And of course any and all hand made items will be most appreciated!

My sweetie and I had quite the shopping day today. Usually I refuse to leave the house on black friday, but given that we're buying a new house and need to get a whole lot for it, we thought maybe we could get a good deal on a TV. Our current TV is the one we've had for 7 years or so, it's about 25" big and we recently got an xbox 360 but can't play any games on it because you can't read the directions on such a small screen. So, we ventured out to Best Buy and got a fantastic deal on this little beauty! We got it for almost half price! But we didn't get there until after lunch so there were none left at the store. We're going to have to pick it up later, which isn't so bad since we don't take possession of our house for another week.

22 November 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!! I'm having a very low-key Thanksgiving. My sweetie and I are in Ohio far away from our family and friends in NY and Virginia. We just went grocery shopping and got stuff for my sweetie to make us a Thanksgiving dinner. I'll probably knit on the couch until he says he needs help prepping the veggies or something.

This year I'm thankful that my sweetie is here with me for Thanksgiving and not in Iraq like he was last year!

19 November 2007

My Owl Has Landed!!!

After taking a layover on Long Island, my Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap arrived today!!!!! It's absolutely amazing! This is what I got when I opened the package of mail sent from my parents' house:
Unwrapping the tissue paper I found this beautiful messenger bag in Ravenclaw colors. It's very thick and sturdy. Super secret project #3 has already been transferred into it. I've made a bunch of felted bags, mainly small ones for our annual charity auction. I've only made one that is about this size so I know just how much time and effort goes into knitting a bag this big and I can't say thank you enough for this bag. I LOVE IT!
Onto the goodies inside of the bag:
There's some Harry Potter candy, which I didn't get a close up picture of, but it's the Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans (I'm really hoping that I can get my sweetie to try the earwax and dirt flavored ones since he thinks that they all taste like regular jelly beans) and Jelly Slugs.
Knitting goodies included a Harry Potter snitch washcloth. I actually have 2 other washcloths in this same shade of yellow so it will fit right in!
There are some gorgeous handmade stitch markers with a stitch marker case. I have a little plastic case that holds some knitting notions, but I think I'll switch it to this case cause it's much prettier than a plastic case.
There's a set of US 1 bamboo dpns that I can't wait to use! I had a pair of bamboo dpns that I managed to bend to an almost unusable point. I've learned to relax a bit while knitting socks so I think it's about time I give bamboo another shot. Along with the needles there's some bath "potion". As soon as we move into our house there's a definite bath or 2 on my schedule!
Then there's the piece de resistance, sock yarn!! Ravenclaw colors, of course. It's absolutely gorgeous. Superwash wool, my favorite! It's from Razzy Tazzy Knits, which I had never heard of, I have no idea how she found this place, but it's fantastic. The yarn is so smooshy! You can't really tell from the picture but the colors are so great. It ranges from medium grey to light grey to baby blue to a rich bright royal blue. I really can't wait to knit this up. I'm definitely knitting this up into socks for myself so I have to wait to cast on until I'm done with my holiday knitting, although maybe it can be my "solace from holiday knitting" project.
Oh and then there's the pattern! There's just so much I almost forgot it even though the whole thing is sitting right in front of me. It's the flicker sock from Cookie A (one of my favorite designers. The pattern is on my ravelry queue so I definitely want to knit it up soon. I'm completely overwhelmed with all the amazing stuff that I got in this swap. The best part about the whole swap though was getting to know my swap partners. I spoiled Sarah and I was spoiled by Nancy. Both of them are friends of mine on ravelry and their blogs are on my bloglines so I can stalk them all I want! There's nothing left to say except THANK YOU to Nancy! You went above and beyond and I really feel spoiled!

Things I Miss

We moved out of our house and all our possessions were put into storage just about 3 weeks ago. There are some things that I'm really starting to miss:

- my winter clothes
- a yard for the pups
- my bathroom towels
- having a dog park nearby
- my lap blankets
- knowing my neighbors
- non-stick pans
- getting mail every day

Surprisingly, my knitting supplies are not missed yet. I guess that was the one thing that I properly packed. I think I brought more knitting supplies with me than clothes!

18 November 2007

Secret Socks

I actually have knitting content so I don't have to make up some blog fodder with sock reviews (I'll save that for another day.) Yesterday was an exciting day here in the Williams household. My sweetie had to go back to Virginia for our friends' wedding. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go given the $500 price tag for a single plane ticket. After dropping him off at the airport at 445am (!!!) it was a knitastic day. I spent most of the day knitting and ignoring my stay at home wife duties like dishes and laundry. I had to meet the realtor and decided instead of meeting him at the Barnes and Noble that's halfway between my apartment and the realtor's office, I'd drive down to the Barnes and Noble near his office since it happens to be less than 2 miles from a yarn store! I haven't had a yarn buying opportunity (besides internet buying) since Rhinebeck. That's almost a month of no new yarn! Well, I guess that's not true since I did have a fantastic package from my secret pal.

The yarn store I went to is called the Yarn Shop in Pickerington, Ohio. I heard about it from an Ohio knitting group on Ravelry. It was very nice, it lacked some of the atmosphere I'm used to in the high end yarn shops. But it was still very nice and there was a pretty big selection. Unfortunately there was not much in the way of sock yarn. Actually there was quite a bit, but it was not the sort of sock yarn I buy, it was all self-striping or self-patterning. They did have a small selection of their own hand dyed sock yarn, but none of the colors really spoke to me at all. Never fear I did still manage to purchase quite a lot:
- Victorian Lace Today (there's plenty of stuff I want to knit in the book, but I don't know why I bought it since I have yet to do a successful lace project except for socks)
- Knitting Fair Isle Mittens and Gloves
- Pace (3 skeins to make some fair isle fingerless gloves)
- Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Frappe (2 skeins to send to my secret pal)
- 3 packages of soak wool wash (my eucalan is in storage)
- stitch markers (not pictured, they are already in my knitting bag)

When I got home after that yarn binge, I spent the rest of the day knitting. I FINALLY finished the second of the secret pal socks. The second one came out quite different from the first one. The first one turned out pretty well variegated and I think it looks like pink camouflage, the second one had a lot of pooling and wound up with pink and green stripes down the leg and, they're broken up a few times so it doesn't look bad. I guess that's just one of the risks you take when making hand knit socks. I hope my secret pal doesn't mind! I've got a few more things to make for her and then I'll be ready to send the final package and reveal my secret identity!
Made for: My secret pal from secret pal 11
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns - Maizy
Needles: 2.75mm Knit picks dpns
Pattern: my own, just a simple stockinette sock
Size: Woman's size 8 foot

15 November 2007

Day 4 and bored

It's day 4 of being a SAHW for me. I'M BORED!!! I know that when we move into our house (hopefully the first week of December!) I won't be so bored cause I'll have a big house to take care of, my sweetie will be home 2 more hours a day since he won't have a long commute, hopefully he'll come home for lunch too, and I'll have a place to walk the dogs. Right now we're in a small apartment with 2 bags full of clothes. There's only so much cleaning and laundry I can do in a week.

So, to entertain myself today I'm blogging. With all this free time on my hands I should have lots of FOs, right? No. Sorry, I'm just not a fast knitter. Instead I'm going to do a series of finished object reviews for everyone. Today is going to be my accessories review. Being as it is pretty cold here in Ohio right now I've had to wear mittens and hats quite a lot when I'm walking the dogs. I only brought a handful of knitted items with me for the move (the rest are in storage). So here's a review of what I've been using regularly:

My Calorimetry:
I wear this just about every time I go outside now. It's great for keeping my hair out of my face and keeping my ears nice and warm. It's a little big since Val refuses to do gauge swatches! It's not so big it falls off or anything, it's just wide and sticks up a bit on the top of my head. I was worried it would get stretched out very easily and I'd have to block it after every couple of wearings, but not one bit! I've worn it a good 40 to 50 times so far and it hasn't needed to be blocked yet. I love this thing and will probably make myself another one to match some other accessories since I have nothing that matches right now.

My Fetching Mittens:
I've been wearing these quite a bit lately. They won't be getting nearly as good a review as the calorimetry! I do love the way they look and the way they feel, they're just not great for what I need. I need fingerless mitts for walking the dogs so I can use my fingers to switch the leashes around and handle the poopy bags. The problem with these is that the top rolls a lot and starts to look crappy after a single use. I haven't had time to block them since I do need mittens every day and these are the only fingerless ones I have with me. The yarn has held up great. I used the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that was called for in the pattern. Even with 2 60 pound dogs constantly pulling on the leashes and the leashes rubbing against the fabric, it still looks like new. There is not felting or pilling.

OK, time to put on those accessories and walk the dogs in the snow!

Up next, if I don't finish my secret pal socks by the next time I want to blog, a review of the 4 pairs of socks I've finished and how they've held up so far.

13 November 2007

My New Obsession

I don't know why, but for some reason I have a new obsession (don't worry it's still knitting, just a new knitting for me). COLORWORK! But only 2 color, anything more and I'd be far to confused. I have not knit any colorwork stuff yet, but every single little thing that I see that is colorwork is just calling to me right now. I do have that Tongue River farms sock kit with me. I'll cast on as soon as I finish the secret pal socks and super secret project #3.


Yesterday was my first day as a Stay At Home Wife. I've been done with school for 2 months or so now, but I've had my sweetie home with me so it's been like a very long vacation. Yesterday he had to go to work! And then this morning he had to go to work AGAIN!! The good news is that he likes his job a lot better than that silly tug boat job. He said everyone seems really nice so far but he's got a lot to learn. My sweetie is a smartie though and I'm sure he'll have no problem learning everything he needs to know.

Luckily I wasn't as sick as I've been the last few days and I was able to be somewhat productive during my first day as a SAHW. I got lots of laundry and cleaning done in the apartment which has been completely neglected while I was sick. The pups got a couple long walks, bills got paid, mortgage and insurance companies got called, and I'm caught up on my bloglines. Amazing stuff! Come 3pm I crashed though, I guess I'm not quite back to healthy yet. I took a little nap and then knitted. Until this happened:
Don't look at the sock, look at the working yarn. I'm not the most experienced sock knitter, but I have made 4 pairs so far and that was the first knot I've come to in sock yarn. I know this is not the end of the world and knots are necessary every once in a while. Luckily this yarn has very short color repeats and I didn't have to match up colors or anything. It did ruin my knitting mojo for the night though (I'm sure the cold had something to do with it as well).

Now I have to give a public shout out to my little man. He's been the best snuggler while I was sick:
I promise I'll read the instruction manual for my camera soon and picture quality will hopefully improve soon.

On the agenda for day 2 as a SAHW:
Get my sweetie some new socks
Walk the pups
Figure out some podcast editting software
Knit like the wind!!!

11 November 2007

Taking a sick day

What's worse than being sick and missing Alpacafest (which I have no idea what it is, but it sure sounds like something I'd like.) Being so sick that I lay in bed all day and can't even knit!!! I was able to get some work done on super secret project #3* yesterday before I got so sick that I can't even think straight. But the rest of the day yesterday and all day today have been sick days from knitting. It's so sad!

*There will be pictures on ravelry soon, it's a present for a non-raveler.

09 November 2007


I got a package from my mom today that had a lot of bills I have to pay (my mail is being forwarded to her right now until we get a permanent address) and a package from my secret pal! It was just fantastic!

Here's the whole thing:
First off there was a lambchop doll that is as soft as can be and a tape measure. The tape measure will go directly into one of my knitting bags (you can never have enough tape measures!!) and Lambchop will keep me company in my knitting room when we move, until then she's going into the closet since Trapper showed way too much interest in her (that's his nose sitting on the table)!
There was a beautiful card with a drawing of a sheep writing a letter to Ms. Ewe at 12 Meadow in Bah, PA. How cute is that!
Some fingering weight yarn from knit picks in mint:
That will probably become a pair of socks unless I find something to make from it in my first ever EZ book, Knitter's Almanac!!!!:
I've been wanting this for a while. Especially since Kelley Petkun of the knit picks podcast is doing a year long knit-a-long (called Elizabeth's Year on Yahoo) and is chronicling it in her podcast. I probably won't join the knit-a-long cause I have too much stuff online to keep up with already, another group would be overkill for me right now.

For those of you who may be occasional knitters and may not know about the EZ (Elizabeth Zimmermann) obsession most people have, let me explain a little (a very little, check out here for a more detailed EZ story). EZ was a revolutionary knitter, she encouraged people to think for themselves a bit and not follow exact patterns through newsletters. She later founded a company to supply the public with needles and quality yarns. Speaking of those quality yarns:
The last part of the package from my secret pal was a cake of unspun Icelandic wool from Schoolhouse Press, the company EZ founded. The color doesn't show up so great in this picture (I'm still learning about the new camera), but I'm calling it misty blue. I can not wait to work with it. I'll definitely be able to find something to make with it from EZ's Knitter's Almanac.

I honestly can not say it enough, but THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I've really been spoiled!!

(Trapper says: Can I please play with lambchop? I promise I won't hurt her! I just want to nibble her a little. Please!)

Socks and Pups

I've been having lots of fun with my new camera, although I can't download the pictures to Snapfish, which is pretty annoying.

Here's the first of my secret pal socks:
And here's some cute pictures of the pups in the apartment. Trapper in his favorite spot (since there's usually someone sitting next to him to rub his big ole ears):

Cooper in his favorite spot (there's a big window for him to look out and watch for other pups!):
That's it for now. I'm sure there will be a house update either today or this weekend.

Fawkes in Action

I got a new camera!!! A Nikon Coolpix s200 in red. I was able to rescue my pictures from my old camera and here is my Fawkes sock in action:
They wore really well with just a very little bit of pilling on the heel and ball of the foot.

Today we have the inspection of the septic systems at the house. Keep your fingers crossed!

07 November 2007

Pictureless! (and a note to my pals!)

My camera broke! I'm so pissed!! I took a picture of my Fawkes socks in action today since I wore them for the very first time. It turned out to be a great day for hand-knit socks. It snowed the whole way from the apartment to the house today (45 minutes) and we spent quite a bit of the day outside while the inspector did the inspection of our possible future house. The socks held up great. I still have them on 14 hours after I put them on and they're not slouching or anything. Anyway, back to picturelessness. I brought the camera with me to take some pictures of the house, mainly so I would remember how their furniture was arranged since the house looks fantastic with all their stuff in it, and I couldn't get it to turn on at all. I'm so mad. I tried new batteries and everything.

The inspection went less than ok. There are quite a few plumbing problems, a major problem with the chimney, a rusted through vent that has something to do with the water heater, and the biggest hornets nest I've ever heard of. It was 2 feet cubed. I didn't see it since it was in the attic, but the inspector took a picture to show me. It was enormous. And there was bat droppings in the attic. We have the septic tank inspection Friday and we'll have the water and radon results by then so we'll see if this house is worth proceeding with.

Now a note for my pals, secret and Hogwarts. . . I have received both of your packages, sort of. Both have made it to my parent's house (my temporary address until we get moved into a house). One, I believe my October secret pal package, is on it's way to me as we speak, however the Hogwarts one got to my parents house when my mom was at the post office sending me the first batch of mail. My mom is not so great about sending me things, but since bills make up the majority of my mail pile, hopefully it will get here soon!

Hopefully I'll have pictures soon since I have 1/2 a FO to show everyone. I finished the first sock for my secret pal. It's pretty nice, very plain, but it showed off the yarn the best I could think of. I think it's as cute as can be.

OK, off to hand wind a skein of yarn to start a new, hopefully quick project. (I really should have wound all my skeins before I packed up my ball winder and swift!)

06 November 2007

Oh, What A Day!

Life has been ridiculously hectic lately. Me and my sweetie have been staying in a hotel with the pups for the past week (cramped quarters to say the least!). Yesterday we moved into a temporary apartment. It's 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, we're all much happier! Although, it's on the 3rd floor and it's quite a pain in the patukis when the dogs have to go out 5 million times a day. And very few people seem to clean up after their dogs here so it's like walking through a mine field out there.

Now, onto my fantastic day. First off, we met with the realtor to sign the paperwork on our house. Yes I said our house! We're under contract now! We're aware things could still go horribly wrong and we could lose it. We've got inspections scheduled for this week so we should know about anything major by Friday-ish. I'm not going to post any pictures until we actually move in cause I think that's a bit of a jinx.
We met our realtor at a shopping center in Columbus, OH (that's where our apartment is). It was quite a nice shopping center so we walked around a bit and went to places like Crate and Barrel and Restoration Hardware to pick out things to furnish our new house (not that we're going to be able to afford anything from those stores, but it was nice to dream!) We're walking out of Restoration Hardware and heading to Trader Joe's when I had a celebrity siting! He may not be a celebrity to many people, but he's one to me. It was Peter from Clean Sweep on TLC. I was so flustered, my sweetie was pushing me to go say hi, but he walked into the store we just walked out of so I felt very weird, although I totally regret it now. I know, he's just a guy from a design show, but as anyone who knows me well enough to know about how organized and anal I am will understand why I was star-struck!
Now, onto the 3rd and final fantastic part of my day. I was out walking the dogs with my sweetie and it started snowing! I think that's the earliest snow I've ever seen (at least that I can remember). But this fantastic part comes with a big down side. . . it's cold enough to snow!!! It's been pretty mild while we were here, I've needed a fleece whenever I go outside, but that's it. It's rapidly changed to hat and mitten weather. Unfortunately we moved here from Virginia where just a few weeks ago it was 80 degrees. We definitely did not pack well for this weather, neither one of us even packed a jacket. Some clothes shopping is in order.

On the knitting front, I didn't get much done while in the hotel. I just don't like knitting while sitting on a bed. But the last 24 hours I've starting making progress again on my secret pal socks. I'm just starting the decreases for the toe of the first sock now. I'll post pictures soon. I found the camera but haven't found the USB cord yet. And that's all I've worked on. I'll pick up another project soon, but for now I really wanted to get these socks done for my secret pal before the end of the month.