Sunday, January 30

Ribbing Right Along

IMG_2891 My Ribby is coming along rather nicely. It is such a fun piece to do - it has a good flow to it - and it is a pretty quick knit. I am using the recommended yarn and I really like working with it. It feels so good in my hands! Unfortunately I haven't been able to give it as much time as I would like lately.

IMG_2893 And what is that little gem, you ask? Why that is none other than my oh so snazzy stitch marker! Yep, you got it. They are safety pins. Not even the nice little coiless safety pins. Just simple, 100 for $1.09 at Walmart safety pins. I'm so hip! HA HA HA!

Friday, January 28

Knitting in Public

Our little home on the hill was struck by a disaster today. We awoke to the wretched stench of fuel oil permeating the house. I just figured that I would have to call to have the furnace cleaned. However, when I went down to the basement to do some of that ever present laundry, I discovered that a dirty furnace was not exactly my problem. We had an oil leak. Not quite the Exxon Valdez but equally as devastating (at least in my little world). They estimated about 60 gallons.

Luckily for us, all the appropriate people moved quickly on this and the basement has been cleaned up. Personal property damage is fairly minimal - mostly stuff that was going to be tossed in the next dump run anyway. And the smell is (oh so slowly) starting to dissipate. I think the biggest plus is that we don't actually own the house. There is talk of it costing in the tens of thousands to repair. Not my money though!

We decided that the best thing for us to do after all of this was to get away from the house for a little bit. We went out to dinner. I tossed a small carry along knitting project in to my bag anticipating having to wait for a table. We were going to dinner right about 6 on a Friday night after all. We only had about a 5 minute wait for the table but as we waited for our food, I pulled out my knitting. The tension started to release and I relaxed. I noticed a few people watching me but I knit right along. It was good.

And in case you were wondering, the food was good, the boys were well behaved and I didn't give in to the stress and over eat.

Tomorrow we meet with the landlord to discuss the possibility of moving to a new house. Oh joy!

Thursday, January 27

About me - SP4

Secret Pal 4 is off and running! These are my answers to the "Get to Know Me" questions for my secret pal (and anyone else that is interested)

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I think everything has it's place and it's purpose. I do really love soft yarns though. (Who doesn't!)

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
No. I tried crochet. Didn't like it. It's too bad too because I really want these felted ballet slippers I just couldn't get the hang of crochet though and I don't want to do things that aren't relaxing.
I've not tried spinning but I'd like to.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Cats, cigarette smoke and laundry. Oh wait, I'm not allergic to laundry, I just don't like doing it.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Just a few months. But I am hooked!

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No but maybe I should. I'll have to look in to that.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Roses. I love roses. Lavender too. I'm not too fond of sweet smells though.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Just a little. I prefer salty snacks - popcorn, pretzels. I like sour too - lemon, lime (margaritas!)

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I scrapbook and I sew. I have 3 young kids so we do a lot of various crafts. I also like to bake. I guess that is not really a craft though.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have a wide range of tastes in music. I love it all really - I'm a big fan of music. I do listen to a lot of jazz and disco cheers me up and gets me moving. Yes, I can play music on my computer - I often do. I am right now - Renee Olstead.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
RED! I'm all about the red!

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am married with 3 boys. We have 3 fish, a hermit crab and countless unnamed dust bunnies

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Umm well... gosh I really have to think on this one. I WOULD like to drive a Zamboni someday. I want a wonderful herb garden and a rose garden. I had one and I loved it. We moved though and I haven't planted a new one yet. I'm not really sure what my life dreams are (is that sad?) I always dreamt of being a Mom and I have realized that dream 3 times over. I now hope that my boys grow up to be good men. We are working on that. I studied Geography in school. I was going to go in to Glacier Research. I often think that if I were to ever go back to school and have a career, I would go in to Forensic Geography. It absolutely facinates me. (I'm still thinking about this question!)

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
No preference yet. I'm still exploring all the different types. I want to try Koigu KPPPM but I haven't found it locally and I haven't gotten around to looking online for it. Those handpainted yarns look so yummy!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I don't know. I'll let you know when I find one.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Knitting! Oh wait I guess I need to be more specific. I am having lots of fun learning new things and each new project is a new adventure. I DO want to find a pattern for mittens with cables up the back of the hand.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I don't have a long list of FO's so I don't have a favorite. I've enjoyed everything that I have made.

17. What are you knitting right now?
I'm working on the Ribby Cardi, a simple scarf for my son and a French Market Bag. Oh and a sock.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
I like some of them. I have one (it's store bought) and it is very comfortable

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
No preference but I do find DPNs to be lots of fun.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I've only used aluminum so far. Using them reminds me of my mother and my grandmother since that is what they always used. *added - I just tried Swallow Casein and they are just wonderful to knit with!

21. Are you a sock knitter?
I'm working on my first pair. (A pair of Magic Stripes) I'm already looking forward to trying more. (I need to find patterns and nifty yarn) I started these socks just to see if I could do the "dreaded" heel and DPN's and to see what self patterning yarn looked like. It's just too much fun not to make more!

22. How did you learn to knit?
From a page in the back of a magazine, then got some help from the Stitch and Bitch Books. I kind of just dove right in. I figured I can learn as I go. I don't pay much attention to the skill level required on patterns.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I guess maybe a month old. I started my version of Cape Mod at Christmas. I made a mistake (almost invisible unless you are looking for it). I set it aside while I decide if that mistake will bug me enough to warrant frogging about 18 inches.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Hedgehogs. I love hedgehogs. I think my favorite animated characters are Pepe la Pew and Peter Pan. I really like Peter Pan - the character, the story, the show.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas and the 4th of July. I'm very patriotic. Halloween is a lot of fun too though.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Tea cups, Nantucket Baskets, family recipes - the kind of recipes that have a little story attached. I have recipes from my family and from friends and I just love using them. It makes me feel connected. (I like feeling connected) Oh and red shoes! I just love red shoes!

I guess that is it. If I think of anything else to add to my answers, I'll let you know. If anyone wants to know a little more, just ask!

Wednesday, January 26

Hat's Off!

Or perhaps I should say "Hat's On!"

This little vision of Chris in our blizzard this past weekend prompted me to set aside my Ribby for some thing a little more practical.

I discovered a little yarn shop just a few minutes from Topher's preschool and since I had a few hours alone, I decided to explore. I was overwhelmed by all of the colors and textures but the ladies were so nice and very helpful. I can't wait to go back.

I picked up some Lamb's Pride Bulky in Blue Boy, Deep Charcoal, and Grey Heather. I really like the way this yarn feels and it was so nice to work with last night. I also picked up some size 10 1/2 (US) needles. They are Sparrow Casein. WOW. These needles are great! First of all, they look like tortoise shell which I just love. Second (and more importantly) they are so smooth! They feel like glass. I just loved knitting with them. I HAVE to go back for more!

I churned out this hat for Chris last night. Just in time too as we are getting almost another foot of snow today. He says it is really warm and so comfortable.
Look how happy he is!
Isn't he cute?

I think I need to go get some Lamb's Pride in a "girly" color and make a hat for me!

And now back to Ribby...

Monday, January 24

Winter Wonderland

The view from my front door on Saturday afternoon.

Our weather wrap up:
19 inches of snow
57 mph wind gusts
High temps of 18 degrees
Low temps of 2 degrees

Friday, January 21

I got mail!


My yarn order came today! The postman was a tricky one too. I watched him and saw no package. I brought the mail in and still no package. I went out later in the day and there it was!

I ordered the Peruvian Highland Wool from Elann. It is so soft! I can't wait to start working with it. I'll knit my guage swatch tomorrow. Then I'll be off and running! (That is Ruby for the sleeves and Summer Sky for the body.)

You also may notice that I am not camping. We are expecting some pretty serious winter weather this weekend so my friend Cindy and I decided it would be in our best interest to stay home. We have a big family movie night planned for tomorrow instead. Much more fun!

Thursday, January 20

We're having a heat wave...

...A tropical heat wave! Yep, today was a balmy 24 degrees! The warmest day of the week. Tomorrow is supposed to dip down to about 15 and then we will get hit by an Arctic Blast this weekend. Just my luck too. I am supposed to go camping with the Cub Scouts. Luckily we WILL be in a cabin with a wood heater. If you don't hear from me next week, then I'll see you when we get the Spring thaw!

In other news, I have buttons! Check them out. Right there on the side. Aren't they fun?!?

ribbycardiMsmThe current knit-along at the KnittingParents group is a sweater. There are so many great patterns that I want to make but I finally settled on the very cool Ribby Cardi. So of course I had to join the "official" Ribby Cardi Knitalong. I'm such a joiner.

I've ordered my yarn and I am anxiously awaiting it's arrival. I think the postman will be happy too. Then I can stop peaking out the window at him like a stalker! I have a feeling it will come when I am freezing my poor little tootsies in the woods. (gosh, I should probably make myself some socks sometime!)

I've also joined the Secret Pals 4 group. It starts in February and runs through April. It should be fun. Hey, what's not to like about 3 months of surprises and unexpected mail! Woo Hoo!

Wednesday, January 19


My favorite cleaning fairy came to visit today! The FlyLady flapped her little wings right on up here to the frozen New England Coast. I worked hard but I feel good and it so refreshing to carry those bags to the curb!

That is three 30 gallon lawn bags,
1 13 gallon kitchen bag,
5 cardboard boxes
and about 50 pounds of JUNK!

The playroom in the basement thanks me! I hope the Flylady sticks around for awhile - I need to get the closets cleaned.

In addition to working hard, I also worked out. I did a 30 min S Factor workout followed by a 30 min yoga workout. It was a good workout but a bit of a challenge. Downward Dog makes a very tempting cave to a 4 year old.

I see a long hot bubble bath in my future!

Tuesday, January 18

I couldn't resist


100g, 200 yards of Aran weight Cashmere from Italy! It called to me. I had to have it. I wish you could feel how absolutely heavenly this yarn feels then you would know why it came home with me today.

It is such a beautiful mauve color. It reminds me of black raspeberry ice cream. The black raspberry ice cream that I used to get while staying at my grandparents' house at the beach. I can almost taste it now.

Anyway......back to reality and single digit temperatures!

I am going to use this yummy wool for some wrist warmers. I saw a pair with a little bit of a lace pattern. I called the store to order them and since they have a minimum shipping amount, I told the woman on the phone to find me a nice mitten pattern to add to the order. She asked if she should call me back and I told her no, just surprise me! It will be like getting a little gift with my order. I can't wait.

Sunday, January 16

A New Journey

Welcome to the launch of my new BLOG. My first post and I am at a loss for words!

After exploring so many other Blogs, I thought it would be fun to create one of my own. I hope to come here to talk about the good, the bad and the zany things that go on in our little house on the hill.