Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day

It's Boxing Day! I didn't get a chance to post for Christmas so I'm posting for Boxing Day, not an American Holiday but a holiday all the same.

First, pictures of the Christmas Pageant at DD's school.

Set: Maria Regina School Christmas Pageant 2007

Little DD sang in her Christmas Pageant and made me cry. What could be cuter than my little four year old, up there on the stage, hamming it up with the other cuties, singing her heart out?
And, sucking her thumb, right there on the stage, in front of countless hundreds.

She was great, sang, wasn't shy, a natural. She was also really tired!
Well, she's decided to kick the habit of thumb sucking. She sucks her thumb every 10-12 minutes and wants an American Girl doll. I told her I would take her to the store to get one if she would stop sucking her thumb. After 30 days of no thumb, we'll go. Much to my surprise....well, let's say it's been 2 days and I better start saving. She must really want this doll. Oh well, if it costs me $200 now, it's cheaper than a few grand for braces later!
Let's talk about my sewing and decorating projects:
I am planning a trip to Joann's to buy some holiday fabric, which is now on sale, for a tablecloth for the new table. That should be a quick and easy project for me to do on my sewing machine. Can't wait. Maybe I will stop there tomorrow on my way to work. I'll be late anyway, being I have a dentist's appointment in the's ALMOST on the way...sorta...
I don't HATE my downstairs bath, it's just the wrong color. Everything downstairs is a different theme. You see, when we bought this house, it had it's very own decor: 1980's beauty salon. There were aluminum, (chrome that is!) blinds. They matched nothing I like or have other than the mag wheels on my sports car which I don't have any longer being I'm wife and mother. I now have a minivan and a Chevy Equinox. ANYWHO, the living room was pink, baby pink. The house exterior was cloud gray. The windows were vintage 1950 single pane originals. The kitchen, yellow. The master bedroom had one wall entirely covered with...cork. Yes, one large bulletin board! The downstairs bath, baby blue. Floor, walls, everything. It had been done in 1999 and was functional and acceptable although poorly and cheaply done.

We painted the living room terra cotta, the kitchen, cream, the master bedroom, marshmellow. We painted the second downstairs bedroom mint and yellow with a Snoopy border on the walls for the baby. (DS who is now nearly 6). We added a room off the kitchen and painted that cream as well. AH, Benjamin Moore take me away.
The bath stayed. It's time to upgrade. DS tried to remove the border a bit and it looked ugly, I removed it a 'lotta bit'. The bathroom is a new WIP. More pictures to come. We had to make it acceptable for Christmas. Maybe I can make it a new shower curtain and a new curtain for the window when I get good at sewing?
This is going, so here's some eye candy for you....

Set: Punkin's Bathroom. Vintage light fixture circa 1999. 1980 Beauty Salon Collection
In knitting news: I have been working on Iris Afghan and Monkey Socks. BUT, I don't have any pictures. Things have been hectic around here. That's why this post is all over the place. Just a quick catch up.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve 2007

And so this is Christmas...and what have you done....another year older...and a new one just begun.

That song is so sad. I'm promising myself that I won't be sad this year.

Santa is coming, kids are very, very excited. DS thinks he's getting Rock 'em Sock em Robots and coal because he was good and bad. Litte DD thinks she's getting a bunch of dolls and no coal because she was good. She's also walking around telling us about the Peas on Earth to All People. Hmmnnn.

It's 46 degrees, no snow this year. Dry and clear. Santa should have no problem finding us this year.

Being there isn't anything good to show off, here's some Christmas Stamps, Holiday Knits:

All nestled and snug in my Christmas Cactus.

Merry Christmas from Joanne, Ricky, Rudolph and Clarice.

Stay tuned for the next post-where I tell you about my new table and my old bathroom...


Friday, December 14, 2007

See my Stansfield #12s Blocked!

Well the socks that made my hands red made nice pink bubbles when I gave them a bath. I stirred and I swooshed them around and rinsed them three times. I threw in an 1/8 of a cup of white vinegar and that seemed to help lots.

I put them on my Blue Moon Fiber Arts sock blockers and put them on a towel. They dried quickly and nicely and into the most beautiful shape! Me, the skeptic, 'why block socks'? Well, they come out great...and make for nicer photos than feet.

So lovely they were, so shapely, so beautiful, almost ... like roses.

Tomorrow, update on Iris Afghan, review of the yarn I used for these socks and pictures of my Monkey!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Package Pour Moi!

Today, I went to my NYC office for a little Holiday get together for our staff. We all brought in goodies and lunch things to eat. We had pumpkin cake, carrot/jello salad, blondies, grape leaves, flan, banana bread, pasta salad, pizza and empanadas. Yummy!

Ok, I am done with NYC until maybe once in the winter. I came home to this.

My STR came today!

A nice big box, and this was what was inside:

Comon gang, Brenda Lee voices, please, "Blockin' around the Christmas Tree, have a happy holiday..."
And then I tried them out with Stansfield #12 knitted in the kangaroo dyer's yarn from Webs:

Don't they look delicious?

And, my Monkey, WIP:

And, some socks to be:

That Spinel (far left) is nice and green not nice and blue. It's calling to me...Here there be Dragons Sock pattern from the Keyboard Biologist?

Ah, life is good.

Merry Christmas to all of you in Sock Cyberspace.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Winter's Day, in a Deep and Dark December.

Today, a dark dismal winter day, cold and damp Once again, I am not feeling all that well, scratchy sore throat, cough, sick. A dark winter day. This is what it's like in Alaska, I keep telling myself. It's only like this here for a short time. I think that I have SADD.

Now, back to our Broadcast, "Life in a Gameshow"

Yesterday, the kiddies and I enjoyed a visit from Elizzabetty. She brought over her game show toys to show us, the GPS and the new tires. We had tea and oatmeal raisin cookies for snack. The kiddies love her and wanted to show her all their toys, too. I was enamored with her new tires.

My minivan has beautiful bald tires. You know, God only created a few perfect tires. The others he covered with tread. See the nice hole in my front one? The air is leaking out and I'm skiddin'

Bridgestone Turanza 36k miles.

Click here for the Goodyear Assurance Triple Tread with Aquachutes! I love that word, I'll type it again, AQUACHUTES. Sounds like an amusement park ride, no?

I have to get new ones. This is a necessity. I could have a blowout. There is a Mavis Tire store across from the RR station in Massapequa Park. I am going to NYC tomorrow for our end of year staff meeting so it'd be a perfect day to get tires. I am dropping the car off there and hopping on the train and when I come home, I'll be driving on my new Goodyear tires with ... AQUACHUTES!

Last night, we took the kiddies to dinner. I wanted to try a new Chinese Buffet called Tian Tian that a friend recommended. I had the address, I mapquested it but couldn't find it. I told DH in the car, "See! Now if I had a GPS like Betty!" and he gave me that look that said, "you're out of control". We hit the regular buffet. "Good Taste". It's ok, the food is a little better than tolerable. The egg drop soup is good and I put wontons in it. The skin on the wontons is too thick for my liking but not all that bad. The ribs are good and they get stuck in my braces. The shrimp dumplings are great! The sushi sucks. I told them the sushi sucks. Oh well, the kids love it.

Last week, DS broke our cheapo dinette set that DH had from his apartment in Inwood, Manhattan days. We can't really raise the family on this especially now that we have homework, artwork and bigger kids that sit in real chairs. He broke it being out of control and falling. It looks like this now. It has those side leaf things that you can't lean on. Pay no attention to the garbage on the floor, I just wrapped some presents and have to clean up.

So, this morning on my way down to the RR station to purchase a ticket for tomorrow, I stopped in the furniture store and made an offer that they couldn't refuse. I got exactly what I wanted. Natural dinette, double pedestal table rectangular with rounded edges, 4 side chairs, 2 grown up armchairs for the mommy and daddy, dual butterfly leaf. The table stores the leafs underneath so when I have my husband's entire family over here we can all sit at the table. I have service for 12 as well from a previous appearance on a gameshow. This table is big, it's 42x60, good for everyday use. With one leaf, 72, with two leafs, 84. The room is 13x16, three walls of windows. This will go parallel to the 13' side which leaves little room for my glider.

Problem: I love that glider. I don't know what to do with it! It'll have to move..maybe to another room. Where am I going to knit!!!

We love this room, we live in this room. I built this room from the dirt up. We eat and watch tv in here and it's a shame that I didn't make it bigger. BIGGER is better.

So, I'll have to see how the furniture works. We'll need to get rid of that entertainment center and buy a 42 or 60 inch plasma for the wall to create even more space.....

Shall I have to make another appearance.

OK, OK, I know I have you in suspense. Wanna see my monkey?

it's going swimmingly and this pattern is great! Easier than it looks, for sure. (or, as DD says, "Shirr", she sounds like Marsha Brady sometimes. Not like a native Long Islander who would say it just like "SHORE" or "SHOE-AH".

Oh well, kiddies are at a birthday party, I'm not feeling that great, time to clean the house.

Stay tuned for an update on my monkeys and pictures of my sunroom with natural table.

I'm out of control.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My 100th Post - Monkeys, Pink Monkeys

This is my 100th Post and I'm going to show you a project that I started this morning.

Monkey Socks. Pink Monkey Socks. Lorna's Laces, color=Peach.

I know, it looks pink but I wanted PEACH. I know I spent $450 on a camera so I could show you stitch detail you'd think it'd get the colors right. Well, that's the color it is. It's supposed to be PEACH. I ordered PEACH and the yarn came marked PEACH and that's exactly what it looks like in person. IT"S PINK!

I like this yarn....but not alot. It feels and acts alot like Fortissima and costs a little more. I was expecting it to be more tightly wound. I must say, it does a very nice job of behaving itself, not like Tofutsies. It isn't splitty, it is nice and soft and even smells delicious not like sheep poop and vinegar. It's just all over nice and I will use it again...and again. BUT, It's not my beloved Cherry Tree Hill. I am totally in awe at CTH. I wanted to make this pair out of Burgundy CTH which is in my stash but alas, it's not wound. Don't get me wrong, I love STR, too. The one thing that makes me like CTH a teeny tad better than STR is the weight. I use STR lightweight and it's not skinny enough. I am weird and like to have tons of repeats and itty bitty stitches and STR doesn't do that. If I use my size zeroes it becomes too dense. They're still heavy. I'm thinking about trying laceweight to make socks out of. The colors are truly awesome though. CTH has nice colors too.

OK, you twisted my arm, I'll show you. Time to flash some of my stash.

I picked up some of this Sockittome stuff. I haven't used it yet but the sample that they had in the store was very nice AND, it was 20% off....

Earth, Birches, Wild Cherry

Below, we have some CTH that was 50% off....
Burgundy, Purples, Blues, Wild Cherry. I think that's what the middle ones are called. I will look again later.
One more CTH, Teal Green, making friends with some Wildfoote.

Not being able to resist a sale, I picked up another ball of Tofutsies in a tan/earthy color.
Not liking that lime color, I will give this one more go. It's splitty and it's nice at the same time. I did like the lime green socks more after I was done. They're nice lightweight summer socks but working with this stuff is the pits. The Wildfoote was also on sale but I think that I paid too much for it. It looks like pumpkin pie, nice fall color. My sister in law will like that color very much and I am thinking that Bluebell Rib from Sensational knitted socks may be nice for her.
Well, that's it for now. Back to the Monkey socks and the Iris Afghan that really hasn't grown much because I've been addicted to completing more socks lately.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Knitting Dilemma

Well, Stansfield #12 is now behind us. I had started working with my STR Ruby Slippers and had about 3" worth of Stansfield #16 but I sent it off to the frog pond. I started a monkey sock in CTH Old Rose last night, I did the ribbing and 22 rounds. Beautiful. Then, I had another knitting injury. I was using my size 0's Knitpicks. They're really tiny. Tiny enough that this was going to come out too tight. I didn't care, I was whaling away at the speed of light! I can't find the new ones, so why not use the small ones? Then, a mishap. You know, these Knitpicks needles are really sharp. Perhaps..too sharp? Well, I stuck it through the tip of my right index finger. A hole. Impaled. As DD would say, "I got blood". It is a tiny hole but those tiny holes hurt the most. OK, that gave me some time to rip that out. I want to make Monkey socks but I don't have a solid color wound up. I do have another order in with Bluemoon and I think I have some nice solids coming. I also have CTH Burgundy in my newly enhanced stash. Just not enough solids there! I am starting to like the solids more lately.

So, what to do?

I took out my yarn pail and went though it. I have CTH Burgundy, Lorna's peach (that is really pink) and a CTH teal. I also have Lorna's Douglas Fir which would be nice in keeping with the season. I have to look in the morning . . after my wound heals a bit.

Mail has been slow. Tomorrow, I will send out my Christmas cards. At least I'll be doing something on time. We may make some more soap.

In the meantime, I'll search the web for new sock patterns to inspire me and work on Iris Afghan tonight.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Stansfield #12 is Completed!

Hurray, another finished object to show you!

Pattern: Stansfield #12 from More Sensational Knitted Socks
Needle: Knitpicks Options, size 1, 2.5mm
Yarn: Valley Yarns Franklin, Cherries
Gauge: 7 sts per inch, 56 casted on
Date Started: 11/3/07
Date Completed: 12/6/07
They even fit! Well, I do think that I could've gone SLIGHTLY larger, maybe just a few more stitches. When I block these on my new sock blockers that aren't here yet, we'll photograph them again. I love them. I love the color. I love the yarn except that I am anticipating TONS of dye coming out of them when I wash them.

I almost entitled this post, "Want More Cherries" but I was frightened at what kind of hits I would get. However, this is lovely yarn and the color is just gorgeous and it feels lovely even though it hasn't been washed yet. I expect that it will soften up alot.

Well, time to go and rouse the children and get them off to school. It is VERY cold today, Jack Frost has been here and everything. It is only 22 degrees.

I am considering making a goal next year: knit 11 pairs of socks. Let's see how that goes. One a month and I'll give myself a month off for vacation. It's fun, sock of the month club.

Stay tuned for info on the next project, an update on the iris afghan and tales of woe from my aquarium.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cross Stitch Suprise!

I promised a surprise and here it is:

So, what do you think? It's counted cross stitch that I finally had framed. The U isn't a mistake,there was no word "umbrella" stitched on the pattern, so I did it that way.

Now to find a place to hang it.

In other news, this is a quicky post so we need to cut to the chase:

1. Anyway, Stansfield #12 is nearly done and I will show them to you soon enough.

2. Work is still in the end of the year crazies but I have been able to come up for air every now and again.

3. I am frogging Stansfield #16. Two reasons: 1. I don't like what the pattern is doing to my lovely ruby slippers. 2. I needed the needle. That's right, I destroyed my 2.5 mm US Size 1 last night. Knitpicks is sending out a replacement. It's good that they replace them and it's good that I have two of each of the smaller sizes. The cable snapped at the join. The first one that broke (size 0) came unglued. This one just snapped at the join.

It's cold. Like 30 degrees. More bad things: the heater in my fish tank broke. I think it may've been broken for a few days. I am very unhappy about that because the heater is 16 months old and they last like, forever. I have to get a new one tomorrow and it's 22 degrees. I just boiled a pot of water on the stove and carefully added it to the tank. I also turned the heat in the room up a bit so they won't freeze to death tonight. I'll get them a heater in the morning.

Tomorrrow I am volunteering at the Church for the Christmas boutique. I have to help preschoolers select presents for their families. This will be from hopefully when I get there (7:50 AM? until 8:50AM) This isn't going to be easy work. One of the preschoolers is my own. I will also have DS there "helping" out. I have to drop DS off at school (across the street from the church where DD goes to school) at 9. Then, come home, work from home for a few hours, get DS from school at noon, take him to work with me, put him to work (child labor) and then DH will come and pick him up there. Somewhere in there, get the heater.

Should be an all around relaxing day, don't you think?

I know, all you mommies out there, this is the hard part about being a mommy. None of my time is my own. Even the fish need me.

Stay tuned, I think I'm going to flash my stash next. That'll make all of us feel better.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Stansfield #12 and the First Snowfall

Well, it is beginning to look alot like Christmas. This morning, I got out of bed and went into my bathroom and it was dark. I was thinking that maybe the inevitable happened. THE THING that will happen, some day, according to my DS who is only five years old and worldly. He often asks me, "Mom, when will the sun go out?". There was nothing coming through the skylight. I looked out my front door and saw it.
Frost on the pumpkin, snow on the grass. Oh my. Christmas is coming and I'm still doing Halloween.

Well, it's been a rough week. The Christmas HOLIDAY party was on Thursday night. That means that I missed knit night. I had not one drop of alcohol and was in bed by midnight. I had one of the worst hangovers that I can ever remember on Friday. Needless to say, we did not do alot of work that day. I went to bed at 5:30PM on Friday night and got up at 7:30 on Sat STILL with headache. By 11AM Saturday, I felt better. This is pitiful. My non-drinking ability is really slipping!

And, to get all that extra sleep Saturday night to 'catch up' really put the icing on the cake. I thought I would have Stansfield #12 done by now. Instead, I have a nice picture of the eye of partridge, nearly complete, heel to show you.
It is very lovely to look at, a treasure to behold. I am really liking this yarn but I wish that I made this sock a tad larger. Oh well, plenty of more chance to make socks, God willing. The heel isn't as durable as regular heel stitch but is IS pretty.

I'm going to get with the program and try and get this sock done within the next couple of days. I am thinking about sending Miss Ruby Slippers Stansfield #16 to the frog pond for being too big. We'll see.

Stay tuned, I have a special surprise FO to show you for my next post.

And, lurkers, you know who you are, I would be so happy if you would leave me a small comment. I like them, I get so excited, I jump up and down and say, "Ya hoo!" I know you're out there but you never say a thing. I want to know your thoughts, what you're thinking about my blog, all sorts of things!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stansfield #12 Sock Update

It's been a whirlwind! I was thinking last week that I would hit my 100th post by now but I didn't make it. This is 97 or so. I have been entirely overwhelmed with the usual suspects. Work, bill paying, work, kiddies, work, laundry, the puppy. So, for post 97, we'll show my sock. This is a snug fitting sock. I lied to you the other day, the gauge is on the Valley Yarns Franklin Sock label. Next time, I'll know better and use more stitches. It looks skinnier than it is, it DOES fit, albeit snug. The fabric is stretchy. Upload, crappy picture... I'll have to take a better one soon. As you can see, sock one is done and sock #2 is well on it's way. I'm getting up to the part that we all love the best, the gusset! Where one is obligated to pay attention.

I'll have to take a close up and show you the nice eye of partridge heel that I did on this. The color is beautiful and I get to enjoy it all day because it comes off on my fingers. I walk around and everyone thinks that I just ate pistachio nuts.

I just can't get any natural light this morning. The sky looks like this:

Ya know, that's what it looks like in northern Alaska for a very good part of the year. Actually, I like it, it's beautiful. Yesterday's was even better. Dark clouds with an edge of clearing and colors. A true fall sky. BUT, bad blogger that I am didn't have my camera. I will most certainly take it today!

Tonight is our department's (about 200 will go) Christmas "HOLIDAY" party. We are all working on Secret Santa ""WINTER WISHES" letters.

Politically correct, you know.

Well, it's still early enough to go knit . Wait, can't offend the other crafters out there!

Ugh..Do needlework?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

A little late but Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and all of your families!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Socks, Socks, Socks!

I am still sick. This is getting to be ridiculous.

Enough complaining, let's get to the meat of this post and play with my socks, socks, socks!!

TA DA!! Stuff that's DONE!

Anyway, I've got some nice pictures to show you. First up, FOs. The Jaywalkers! Pay no attention to the bathrobe covering the legs there. I told you I was sick. Also, I finished them around midnight so I was all set for bed! YAY! TWINS! Aren't they lovely? I liked them more after they were completed.

Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina!
Started: July 5, 2007
left to age properly for months
Completed: November 17, 2007
Magic Looped, two at once
Knitpicks - Size 1.5
84 sts casted on, I enlarged the pattern but didn't really need to-heels and toes reinforced wth wooly nylon. I used blue and you can see it a little around the heel. This stuff is great! I have enough to last my entire lifetime now.
Yarn: Austerman Step.

Next up, the Spindle socks for DH.

Pattern: Spindle from More Sensational Knitted Socks
Started: October 15, 2007
Completed: November 16, 2007
Magic Looped, two at once
Knitpicks - Size 1.5
70 sts casted on

Yarn: Dale of Norway, Baby Ull that I bought in Saratoga!
Heels and toes were reinforced with wooly nylon in black, can you see it?
Comments: ahh! Soft like a baby's ear!

Note on these: I had less than NINE YARDS left when I completed these. WHOA BABY! And they're not really that big. They're not snug, they're really just right. That lovely yarn went fast!

Oh, and what have we here? This is my latest endeavor, Stansfield #16 from More Sensational Knitted Socks, Knitpicks Options size 1.5 (that would be a 1 but I call them 1.5, they're the 2.50 mm ones.) 64 sts cast on, STR in Ruby Slippers. I started these on November 19th. I love the colors but I am not crazy about the striping of this yarn. Being anal, I divided the ball and made it match.. somewhat...

Well, it's Thanksgiving Eve, time to pack up the kiddies and take them to work with me for a special event!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Update

Still sick, went to a baptism today.

For those of you paying attention, Jaywalkers AND Spindle Socks are done, see sidebar!

Pictures coming shortly.

This wouldn't be interesting without a picture! Here's one taken nearly a full year ago! That's Elizzabetty and my children, winding the yarn for the hooded Danbury.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Myths & Legends

To get the flu shot or not? Every year, I get a flu shot. DS and I have asthma. I do not want to get the flu. Having had the flu in the past, it is truly an unpleasant experience. So, I get the shot.

I will not bore you with the controversy but everyone has their opinion on this. "My wife got the flu shot and died that night" "I got mono from the flu shot" "The flu shot nearly killed me". But seriously, it is hard to link the flu shot to these things in most cases.

I got the flu shot Thursday at 4PM. I got a sore throat at 5:30 PM. On Friday, cold symptoms, feeling ok, runny nose. Friday night at 9PM, congested, badly congested. This morning, worse.

Coincidence? Myth or Legend?

In any event, DD and DS are at karate. I have exactly 30 minutes of sanctuary. DH is off teaching music lessons for the next 5 hrs. I am going to have to entertain the children in a little while. I think we'll make cookies or an apple pie or more soap.

I should be napping. Or knitting.

Onward to other things. This morning, I read some blogs, finally. I am happy that the harlot has some nice sweater pictures amont the little snowflakes. Ah, beauty of nature. I am sad that Grumperina has to rip out those lovely Bavarian socks. They're gorgeous! I am proud of Elizzabetty for posting everyday, even if it gives all of her readers a beautiful shot of my triple chin. It's called a 'waddle', isn't that what a turkey has? My mother had it and even my little daughter has it. We're fat necks. I wonder what Katherine Hepburn was hiding under that scarf? I suppose I could have it sucked out with liposuction but that's not something I would do. I remember when someone I worked with did it though and it looked great, after a month. She came back to work 10 days after the procedure and looked like she went 10 rounds with Sonny Liston.
In addition to feeling crappy, I got my braces tightened and three braces replaced. The two front teeth and one tooth are killing me. I am sneezing, have sore teeth and tired. A perfect day to knit!

Well, thank you everyone for listening to my complaints. Now, let me show you my stuff! My currently unfinished objects. Socks without toes! First up, Jaywalkers. Nearly done. Twins. Need toes. I have been working on these for months. I have recently unknit the toes and need to fix them and finish these once and for all.

Ah, the lovely spindle socks. So, what do they need? To be kitched. You'd think that I would finish them?

The lovely and beautiful Iris Afghan. Photographed for you in natural light in my messy room. You can see DD's little sweater in the pile of junk behind my glider. I love this afghan. I am sure that baby-to-be will like it very much as well.

Elizzabetty on the LIRR, fall leaves whizzing by. (she has one of me and I have one of her. The other riders thought we were tourists instead of seasoned commuters.) Below, Stansfield #12, commuting to NYC, with train ticket!

Stay tuned for more exciting pictures tomorrow in which I flash my stash and complain some more!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

In a funk? Make Soap!

CHEESE!! No, it's soap!

Today is Sunday. I have the kids all by myself today while DH goes way out to Eastern Long Island with his string quartet to play a wedding. They didn't feel like knitting or making pot holders and we need to get started on Christmas gifts to their relatives. So, we made soap.

No, silly, not with lye. We did simple melt and pour. I picked up some clear glycerin and some white soap base at Michael's yesterday. I also bought three scents and some soap color. We made 21st century soap. This was a really, really fun project for them and it'll probably get them to wash their hands. We are going to make more for some teacher gifts, too.

The little girl made purple turtles and frogs and scented them with cucumber melon. The little boy made cherubs and scented them with vanilla. I used the leftovers to make some layered soaps. You can see the big bar on the right has an ugly air bubble in it. I think the soap wasn't heated all the way through. We then made some marbleized and some orange pumpkins. This was a trial, I have some nice ideas for some upcoming soap making so stay tuned!

Homemade Soap - Our first attempt.

There is still homework to be done. Last week, we had to do a Family Turkey for DS's Kindergarten class. I put my crafting skills to the test and we all got together and worked on it.
Then we were rewarded with the finished product! He was very excited over his turkey.
Now, we have to do one for DD's pre-K class. Her project is a little different. We have to dress her turkey up in a disguise so no one will catch him for thanksgiving!
Wait'll you see what the little one has dreamed up. I am helping her put her vision to the test here and we'll have something nice by this evening.
Well, time to do some more ho-hum housework so I'll have time for the turkey and for watching Planet Earth tonight on the Discovery Channel while I knit!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

100 Things About Me!

No knitting to show you tonight so let's do this. I've been working on this post for awhile and it's time to hit the blog.

Enter and sign in, please...

1. I can type really fast and learned to type on an old keypunch machine when I was very young. By the time I was in high school, I was easily typing 45 wpm in beginning typing class.

2. I am right-handed but can do alot of things lefty. My mother was a lefty, as was her father and my cousins. In fact, when we used to have holiday meals, we had a lefty side and a righty side so no one banged elbows. I can print lefty..possibly due to my DNA.

3. I often bake bread.

4. My favorite foods are Asian, Italian and nice prime rib meals.

5. I learned to crochet when I was in second grade and made a twin sized bed afghan before my 10th birthday. I have crochetted probably more than 40 afghans since then.

6. I learned to knit when I was 9 or 10 but was never really as good a knitter as a crochetter. Still, even now! I'm working on this.

7. When I was single and riding the train to NYC every day, I would read 40 novels a year.

8. I married someone who I had met 15 years prior. We dated for 6 of those years and then got married.

9. I took 8 years of French and went to Paris and used it.

10. I can play violin and have performed in numerous community orchestras all over Long Island. I have put my violin on the shelf pretty much for the past 5 years in order to raise children. Children who might break it if I take it out.

11. I have never been to a Major League Baseball game.

12. I have been to only one NFL game. Jets and Miami and it was more than 25 years ago.

13. I have attended many, many Belmont Stakes and spent much time in Saratoga but have never been to the Kentucky Derby.

14. I used to be a quality control inspector in a plastics manufacturing plant.

15. I have TMJ and I wear braces. Silver railroad tracks on the bottom and ceramic on the top.

16. I also wear glasses. Many different pairs for each of the activities that I do.

17. I love classic TV, for the most part. Flying Nun, Brady Bunch, F-Troop. All of that brings me back to happy childhood times.

18. I have lived my entire life within a 40 mile radius and have only moved three times.

19. I don't dance.

20. Alot of my friends have been my friends since my school days or childhood.

21. I read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy three times but have not yet seen the movie, "Return of the King". Furthermore, I own it on DVD!

22. I really like Harry Potter and want to do some knits from Charmed Knits.

23. I hate talking on the telephone.

24. I like tedious busywork. (Kinda like knitting, something repetitive!)

25. I cannot sew a lick but I can do crewel embroidery, counted cross stitch and needlepoint.

26. I have been to the Louvre and I photographed the Mona Lisa.

27. I was at the racetrack for "The Great Match" and cried.

28. I was proofed for 21 when I ordered a drink at my sister's wedding. I was 33.

29. I had not been in an airplane until I was in my early 30s.

30. Until this year, I had never been west of Pigeon Forge, TN. (I went to Las Vegas for work).

31. I did not go away to college and I almost regret it.

32. One of my goals is to become financially fit and to buy a vacation house.

33. I sniff yarn and so does my daughter.

34. My other favorite smells are gunpowder, school paste, salt air, Crayola crayons, coffee beans and colorforms.

35. I don't really care for heights and worked in a high rise building with windows to the floor. I kept the blinds closed very often.

36. I have been to the top of the Empire State Building, the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty (the crown, not the torch).

37. I saved many things from my childhood, movie tickets, coins, jewelry and other personal memorabilia.

38. I like things that are historical. I look up old things on the internet all the time.

39. I used to love Fudgetown Cookies and miss them alot. I also miss Oysterettes, the original ones with the homeless looking guy on the box and Pepperidge Farms Orleans Cookies.

40. I often think that I live my life in the past. I don' t like present day things as much as past things. I think about making my own butter, the Beatles, the Age of Jazz and what it must've been like to live through Prohibition and the Great Depression.

41. I feel old every time a celebrity from my childhood passes on.

42. I didn't wear glasses until I was 21 (to see far away). Now I can't see anything no matter where it is.

43. I don't like candy, other than chocolate. (That being Smarties, candy corn, fruit roll ups, things that go Brach) Maybe a tic tac or a something like that once in awhile.

44. I scored a 790 out of 800 on the math section of the SAT and to this very day can't imagine which question I got wrong.

45. I did not do as well on the English portion. Too excited over thinking that I got an 800 on the math portion and took the English portion very distracted. I know I got "Tantamount" wrong and remember it to this very day.

46. I can crochet blindfolded if using worsted weight yarn and a real hook, none of that doily stuff for me!

47. I like ice cream cake but I hate butter cream. I love real whipped cream.. "Chantilly" as they say in France.

48. I like to drink tea. I like to drink coffee but only hot, normal coffee. I hate coffee flavored anything. (such as ice cream, candy, etc.) I could live without Lattes and iced coffee.

49. I have been to Ellis Island, the top of the World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. That is not something that the majority of New Yorkers can say. We don't visit our own landmarks and tourist sites.

50. I have met alot of famous people. (I am employed in the entertainment field, sorta.) Among them, Tina Turner, Davy Jones, Frankie Valli, Harry Connick Jr., Gilligan and Mary Ann. And you know what, they can say they met me on their blogs! :)

51. I like to play board games and I'm so glad that my children are nearly old enough to actively partake in this activity.

52. I remember "Christmas with the King Family" and often think about them around the holidays. There were so many of them, where did they go? There were so many Vanderbilts, where did they go?

53. Very soon, I am going to try to make soap. It will be a nice addition to the Christmas Knitted Socks Recipient present. Handmade socks and handmade soap. Maybe some homemade bread or cake, too.

54. I live about 40 miles from Manhattan and commuted to work there for over 20 years. Other than on the Cross Bronx Expressway, I have never driven a car in Manhattan. I have been in a car but someone else always drove.

55. My favorite color is green. My favorite yarn color is off-white/ecru/French Vanilla/Fisherman.

56. I don't like cinnamon smell. Dentyne. Yuck.

57. I am somewhat sensitive to noise.

58. I get motion sickness. I got seasick on a ferry (in an ice storm!) I can't read in a car. I really prefer to sit in the front on short trips and have to if its a long trip.

59. I had "all day sickness" for my entire pregnancy with DS. Right up to the day he was born. The only day he skipped making me very ill was my birthday.

60. I had morning sickness for only seven months with DD.

61. I had hair down to the middle of my back and have also had it as short as Demi Moore in Ghost. Not sure which way I like better. I also had the Paint Can Dutch Boy Do.

62. I thought Dippity Doo was a good product. Can't believe it costs that much nowadays. That stuff was cheap!

63. Burger King has a better product than McDonalds - except for the fries, they suck. Burger King has awful service. This 'Have it Your Way" nonsense made them the second rate hamburger place because it takes forever to get your food. I am so glad that I can solve the problems of the world here on my blog.

64. I have never had a taco from Taco Bell. In fact, I don't like that kind of food. I probably have only had a taco once or twice in my life. That word "refried" gets to me.

65. I thought the IBM Selectric was one of the centuries greatest inventions and loved that I could type in 'pica' font.

66. My favorite type of sushi roll is tuna and avocado. I also like it with crunchies.

67. I have almost never had 10 beautiful fingernails at the same time. Once, quite recently, when I did, I french manicured them myself and admired them all day.

68. My shoe size is 7.75 EEEEE, according to the store and the podiatrist who measured them for my special shoes. (Bearfoot!) I spend a fortune on shoes that fit them. Alot of wide shoes don't even accommodate them and that means alot of stitches have to be casted on for socks!

69. I don't think I have any food allergies.

70. Favorite fruits: Avocado, cantaloupe, orange, banana, strawberry.

71. Favorite veggies: brussel sprouts, asparagus, fresh green beans, carrots.

72. Least favorite fruits and veggies: Spinach. I don't think there is a fruit hat I can say that I really detest, I just don't prefer it.

73. Favorite season: Fall.

74. Least favorite season: Summer. I hate being HOT. It's changing now that I am not on the Long Island Railroad any more.

75. Horse smell and hay sets off my allergies and asthma. Flowers usually don't put me over the edge, perfume and hairspray can.

76. All of my grandparents are first generation Americans. All of my great grandparents were born in Europe.

77. I had the youngest parents out of my first and second grade class. My dad and I were 23 years apart. In third grade, this girl Marie was only 16 years younger than her mother.

78. In my first grade class, all but one of us had stay at home moms. There was one other girl who's mom worked at the school in the office but that didn't really count.

79. I have owned 6 dogs in my life. The present one is making me like dogs less.

80. I like to do jigsaw and crossword puzzles and hardly ever do them now.

81. Favorite cookie: Homemade oatmeal raisin chocolate chip.

82. Least favorite food: Legumes! I don't like peas.

83. I have been to three countries: Canada, US of course, France.

84. I have been to the following states: Maine, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, NH, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, PA, Virginia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, NC, SC, TN, Nevada and if you want to count this: Washington, DC. Even though I've been down the entire East Coast, it was never all on one trip. I didn't drive to FL.

85. I have an accent?! Whatta ya mean? Ya kiddin' me, right? Find out if you do here. My result:

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central


Alot of the questions were "Do they sound the same". If you think that merry, marry and mary sound the same then obviously you're reading them wrong. They're completely different words. I wonder how you folks in other parts of the country understand each other if everything sounds like that.

86. I have some gray hair now. My mother had alot of gray hair and my father had almost none. Less than I have now when he was in his 60s. I wonder when I'll look like Dumbledore.

87. Least favorite color: Blue. (ok blue lovers, don't pick on me! I did make nice blue socks!)

88. I live in this house 7 years and have never completely unpacked but I try not to think that I am a packrat. If we decide to move, I'll be ready.

89. Goal in life: To have a cleared off kitchen counter.

90. I don't like whitebread. I like hard, crusty Italian bread..with seeds...made in a brick Brooklyn. (I can actually buy that here, it's imported once a day to our town!)

91. I have always thought about being an entrepreneur but will never become one because I don't take any risks.

92. I like nature. I like to look at the sky, the flowers, the trees, the changing of the seasons, the beach.

93. I have never littered. That's disgusting. I think about the Indian crying in that commercial. He wasn't really an Indian, you know. He was Italian. His name was Iron Eyes Cody. He has since passed on. I guess CNN didn't know anything about him at that time.

94. I learned to crochet from my grandmother and from this book. I never attempted tatting. Talk about TINY STITCHES. I did look through the entire book and may still have my copy around here somewhere. Great book!

95. I have had only three jobs in my whole life.

96. I get migraine headaches.

97. I am somewhat well organized but still can't get the house under control. Too much 'stuff'.

98. I am always relieved when the holiday season is over.

99. I can remember the names of all my teachers.

100. I am a morning person. I guess you already knew that.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Punkinhead and the Three Socks

Once upon a time, deep in the forests of suburban Long Island, lived a little knitter. Her name was Punkinhead. Now, one day, she wanted to knit a pair of red socks. Her pal, Elizzabetty, who spent a lot of time in the far reaches of the northlands, got her some nice sock yarn from Webs. It was magic sock yarn, as it had been dyed by a lady who also dyes kangaroos. This magic allowed the sock yarn to possess strange powers. It was Valley Yarns Franklin and the color was Cherries. Click here for illustration.

This being special sock yarn, Punkinhead decided to do something special with it. She decided to do a picot hem. Now the kangaroo lady didn't have enough time to recommend a needle size or give a hint as to the gauge on this sock yarn, so, Punkin knitted a small swatch. 8 sts per inch. She decided to try a picot hem and casted on 72 sts for a sock. A nice knitted cast-on to start.

That looked about right. And she set on her way..It was a nice sunny day and everyone was out of the house. A good time to knit and enjoy the beautiful natural light streaming from the windows.

By and by, the sock was joined to knit in the round and 4 rows were knit and the picots were made and all was well in Punkin's World. However, this sock looked MUCH TOO BIG. So, she continued on her way to see if she liked the picot hem top and knit some more. After all, this was a 450 yard batch of yarn and a Christmas Stocking it could be...

The bottom stitches were picked up onto a DPN and then the cast on edge was knit together with the live sts and voila, a gorgeous, albeit large picot hem cast on. "Lovely", she exclaimed.

Just then, the knitting fairy appeared. The knitting fairy told her that this sock wasn't ever going to be loved. It would live its life at the bottom of the sock draw. Destined for a life of slouching and bunching up in her arch. So, she ripped it out....

She decided that she still wanted 72 sts cast-on sock so she casted on using her size 0 needle instead of the 1.5 one. "That should be just right!".

Well on her way, the size zero seemed to be making a sock that was also too big but less big then the first one. She decided to continue. Then, two inches into the sock, magic looping along, she tugged on the cable to start the next row and lo and behold, only the cable was in her hand. "It is an omen", she thought, "this sock is just not meant to be. So, she ripped it out.... The next day will be better...

The very next day, she cast on using the 1.5 needle and only 56 sts and started a new sock. Thinking that this was going to be the exact size she needed, she used the magic yarn. The knitting fairy had cast a spell on this yarn and gave it the strange powers to magically change gauge. This was unbenknownst to Punkin.

She knit and knit and knit. Soon the sock looked like this, a little tight.

The sky looked like this and it was getting to be bedtime.
So she went to bed and soon she was fast asleep. That night, the knitting fairy returned. She saw how Punkin had worked so hard on this sock and felt sorry for her. She whipped out her fairy dust and sprinkled it on the sock and the yarn. The gauge changed back to 8 sts per inch.
The next morning, Punkin awoke and tried on the sock. "It fits, it fits", she exclaimed, "although a little snug, this sock will work". "I'll block it on sock blockers and love it just as I would had it been a 72 inch sock". And she was very happy. And the sun shone brightly in the forest that day and all the knitters were very, very happy.
Sock stats: Valley Yarns Franklin in "Cherries". Stansfield #12 from More Sensational Knitted Socks, 56 sts cast on.
Editor's Note: Knitpicks Options needle size 0 is a very small needle indeed yet the cable is joined well. After a phone call to customer service, Knitpicks has sent off a new needle, not a problem and free of charge. Excellent needle and excellent customer service. These needles are highly recommended for their price, durability and performance.