Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In the middle

uh, we'll get to that subject in a second but first, this important stuff...

A couple of really nice people have given me an award and I'd like to say a big THANK YOU to The Fairy Godknitter and Clarabelle.

Two very interesting and inspiring women who's blogs I've been reading since I started blogging myself. When I'm done with my Knit Michigan hats I'll get to what I am supposed to do as a result of receiving such an award. In the meantime, like, til tomorrow evening after The Saint retires for the night, please know how honored I am, I never got a blogging award before *blushing profusely*.

Yes, it's the middle of the week...Wednesday...but it has, for some unknown reason, felt like Friday all day.

Perhaps it was the giddiness of the sales staff at work anticipating this evening's big gala,

or maybe it was the blizzard-like weather we had overnight giving everything a white/shiny/festive appearance this morning (and freezing everything shut that was doors, storm doors, windows that need to go down so I can stick my access card out to get into the parking ramp)

or maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part...ya think?!

Well, anyway, by the end of the day I came to the realization that tomorrow would be Thursday and not Saturday so we still have a ways to go on this week. eh

Here's some nice yarn to look at...

a different pose of my Scout's Swag in Kill Bill colorway. Cool huh? I still can't believe I won something from Scout who I think totally rocks the yarn dying world! Go check out her store and see all the great stuff she has to offer. I absolutely want that Haiku-Grab Bag...I might even have to slip my credit card out of my wallet real sneaky-like and buy it for myself, lol. But, do I want chocolate or nightshade? Oh, the decisions that have to be made, hahaha.

And here we have ...yet another hat! It's made with James C Brett "Marble". 100% acrylic and is oh, so soft. It'll fool ya! I know you're tired of looking at my hats, aren't you? This is the second of three hats that I've made for Lorilee to take to Knit Michigan this weekend. I think I'm gonna make one of these hats for me, but with a solid color yarn so the cable rim will show better. Self-striping, heathered yarn isn't good for least not for photographing.

I'm within a gnat's hair, oh, btw, hey Gnat! of having the 3rd one done . I have to drop it off tomorrow so I'd better get busy!

Have a great day! Git ta knittin!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's finally finished...

Yes, the infamous EZ ASJ is finally done! No words can describe the thrill I got as I was sewing the last few stitches on the last arm seam. It's been in the works since, let's see, I think October 1st. So a few months and about 6 skeins of Cascade 220 later in assorted colors I give you "My Office Sweater".

It's toasty-warm and very comfy. In calculating the size I made a small error. EZ suggests that you measure your favorite sweater to get the measurement you want...I measured my favorite pullover sweater instead of my favorite cardigan sweater, gah! Therefore, no room to overlap for the problemo...I purchased a beautiful button at my favorite LYS, City Knitting and I'll just put one button at the top and let it hang open.

If, someday, I make another one of these I'll use the lessons I learned making this one. I will use self-striping yarn, measure allowing for the overlap and be sure to pick up the stitches on the front in a way that one side doesn't look like the in-side of the sweater at the color transition. Lorilee, at City Knitting told me yesterday that I could have picked up the stitches on the one side pearl-wise and that would have solved that design issue. Ah,'s done and now I can enjoy it's warmth and style. Thanks for hangin in with me on the long journey.

One more shot, from a different angle, ignore the ugly seam, it needs some work. There's just no good way to seam garter stitch.

And how do you like my new "do"? It felt so good to get my hairs cut the other day. I've been holding out trying to get it all long enough to be the one length for the next cutting. When Carol at Design 1 my most favorite stylist of all time cut it on Friday I think we have finally achieved single-length heaven! Now if I can live through my bangs growing out I'll have it made. LOL

Looky what the mail carrier delivered to Chez B yesterday! Yep, that's my 1st ever contest prize "Kill Bill" from Scout J. She was seeking donations for a friends vet clinic and had a little contest in connection and I won! I like helping out the little animals. Thanks Scout! The yarn is fabulous and I can't wait to start a pair of socks with this amazing yarn. Here it is still in the skein...I'll be winding it up this afternoon after I get my granola cooked up.

The picture doesn't do it justice. The photos on her website are much better. A winter day in Michigan isn't great for taking photos and I'm still not too good with the new camera. Rena did a pretty good job of taking the ASJ photos though, don't you think?

I got a meme from Alana over at Strings and Purls...I'll have to do that sometime soon. Thanks Alana, for visiting my blog and saying hey!

I see that about a bazillion people have stopped by Cass' blog and entered her contest. Go girl! I knew her when...hahaha! I hear she's busy workin on some kinda list, hehehe. I guess we all got 'em, some are longer than others, but we all have to face stuff we don't want to do once in awhile. Like clean the bathroom my least favorite activity or Swiffing the dog-hair tumbleweeds.

Well, I better get busy with the granola making. I decided it would be more cost effective to make my own. Since I eat it with yogurt every morning for breakfast it gets a bit expensive buying ready made. I found this yummy sounding recipe and thought I'd give it a try. I'll let ya know how it turns out.

And a big THANK YOU to everyone for their thoughts and prayers in the past weeks. The Saint is almost 100% again and our friend Ronnie is home, holding his own and dealing with Hospice. We really appreciate all the nice comments.

Have a great week and for those for which it applies...git to knittin!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Shameless cross-promotion

Okay, so I do work in the advertising business after all...

Cass is having a contest!

Get over there and enter quick, the list it's gettin ridiculously crowded over there but fab-u-lous prizes are to be had.

It's her 444th post and she's giving cool stuff away. And don't forget to tell her I sent you over there, you can never have too many entries in one of Cass' contests. ;-)

ahem, making a little curtsy, so how was that, Cass? xxxooo

Sunday, January 20, 2008

the road to recovery

Yay! The Saint is feeling better although it is so bitter cold outside he still can't leave the house and that's makin him a bit cranky. I guess he's going back to work tomorrow. It's been a long week.

I did get the jigsaw puzzle finished.

One of the most difficult puzzles I've ever done. If it wasn't for Rena helping I'd still be swearing under my breath at it, LOL.

And I whipped up this hat for the Knit Michigan, the pattern is the Helping Hat by CanKnitian and it's made of James C Brett Marble. I have this same yarn in the light blue shade that I'll be working on this week during lunch. The hats are being collected and displayed at City Knitting.

It looks better on a model's Lorilee owner of City Knitting...hey Lorilee!

Don't you just love her sweater? She made it with yarn scraps and it's fabulous! She's on Ravelry and I'll bet if you go over there and ask she'll tell you how she made it and while you're there you should ask her about the Lyra Hat kit she's put together too. It's pretty cool and I saw her putting together several kits yesterday while I was in the shop in different colors, oooo pretty...

My EZ ASJ is within a couple hours of finished. I've done the dusting and read the paper so I can sit down and work on it until it's done. Yeah, after I do a bit of surfing to find a Crosby Stills Nash and Young disc...they were doing a retrospective on David Crosby this morning on CBS Sunday Morning and it reminded me how much I like their music. Ah, those were the days...

Thanks everyone for stopping in and wishing The Saint a speedy recovery. Thanks too for your sympathy on my part, hehehe. It's a relief to have him feeling better. This past week has made me focus on how spoiled we are and how much we take for granted our good health and relatively non-dramatic life. I want to send some special good vibes to Nichole for her Mom and her good friend's Dad. Who are battling illness. Also to The Fairy GodKnitter who amazes me daily with her determination and positive attitude in the face of adversity. And a super special wish for a safe and injury free week for Cass, lol.

Have a great week. I'll check back in when the ASJ is finished. I'm hoping you'll see me again yet today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Chez B under quarantine...

These have been the tools of my trade the past couple of days...

The Saint has the flu. All together now...awwww, poor Saint! He's a wreck. But today he is less of a wreck than yesterday and we have hope for better things tomorrow. A large man with a hundred and two fever is not a pretty sight. (think 280 lb 8 year old) I'm glad that the fever broke about 10 this morning and he could at least sleep all afternoon while I snuck off to the office to get a bit of work done.

I'm hoping I won't have to sleep on the sofa again tonight. Guess I could wear some you think that's cold?

I bet he won't be whining next year when I tell him he should get a flu shot...

Well, I know you're probably sick and tired of looking at my EZ ASJ but here's another shot of it, off the needles - for a moment - the body is done, now I have to pick up the stitches at the end of the stumpy arms and make them long enough. I'm thinkin it shouldn't take me long to get them done. Certainly not as long as it has taken to get it this far, lol.

Here's a closer-up shot of the beau-ti-ful miter I did on the front, just don't be lookin at the neck miter, not so good...

Now that it's almost finished what do you think of the colors we chose?

Well, I didn't get 3rd place in the Knitting Daily drawing, drat! There's still 2 places left though. I'm keepin my fingers crossed.

Thanks everybody for stoppin in to say hey. You know I love havin comp'nee. I even had a visit from someone I've never heard from before. Yay!

I really appreciate all the nice comments about my sock bag. Yep, Rena wanted it, real bad, but she's not gettin it! I'll have to show her how to make her own, yeah, in her spare time, ROFL.

I'm off to say hey to a few of my blogging friends. Now don't be rushin around cleanin're family...

Hope you all have a great week.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Brief Intermission...

from knitting for a bit of sewing. I'm amazed I remember how...

Whipped up this new sock bag last night with some left over fabric from Rena's wedding quilt. I finally got tired of that crinkly sounding plastic bag, lol.

How do you like it?

It's a bit clashy with my new Amy Butler bag but that's ok. Maybe Rena will be jealous and want one and I can pass this one on to her when I make another one with a fabric that is more complimentary to the Amy Butler. *devious snickering goes here*

Hey Rena, love you!

Here's an inside view...That's the mate to my Neopolitan Monkey languishing in the bottom of my new bag. Maybe this will motivate me to get it done - after the EZ Adult Surprise comes off the needles...maybe.

Howdy and thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hey this past week. It's so great to hear from everyone. Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Conspicuous Consumption

One last look at the tree before disassembly...

Am I spoiled?

Every year when Christmas has passed and the tree is out in the back yard serving it's next life as a bird haven for the winter I assess the holiday bounty.

As in past years The Saint went totally overboard in my opinion with the gift giving. This whole issue makes me crazy. I have so much and yet he insists on adding to it every year. Don't get me wrong here, I do enjoy the gifts and no one else goes without in the family as a result of his giving to me, but I still think it is too much.

Here's the list this year:

Canon camera
Zen mp3 player
diamond earrings
Amy Butler knitting bag

Maybe if I weigh these gifts against the loads of laundry washed, dried and folded, sinks full of dishes washed, toilets scrubbed and toe nails trimmed, yes, I trim his toe nails *shrugs a shoulder* that I aka Gretchen rack up during the year it equals out. Doesn't it?

I try to be a good wife, mother, step-mother and grandmother to all. I know I have my days just like anyone else but I put a lot of effort into having a positive attitude in general. Guess it's paying off. I am thankful every day for the loving and caring family I find myself surrounded by. Love you all! Thank you for loving me back in a big way!

I remember many years in my previous life that I prayed for strength to get through to a better place. I promised that if I didn't have to be afraid everyday and hold my breath waiting for the next disaster that I would be a better person. I stand before you as hopefully the better person I promised to be. Thanks to everybody that stuck by and helped me to get there. I think that blogging has made me more acutely aware of myself and more willing to assess my mental "place". Nothing like a little additional accountability, eh?

Today, after The Saint took the tree out, I was trying to figure out why the vacuum didn't work worth a crap anymore...opened it up to check the bag - which was full - took that out and found a filter inside the cleaner that I don't believe I've cleaned since I've had it which is probably two or three or 6 years, lol...keeping in mind that we have 2, sometimes 3 dogs here that made for a lot of crap caked on that little filter. ewww

I scraped off the bulk of the dirt then washed the filter out and voila! the cleaner works like new again. Who knew?! Maybe I should get out the instructions for that thing and read through them again to see what else I've missed in the routine maintenance of a vacuum cleaner...nah, we're good for now...we don't need no stinking instructions! hahaha

Tomorrow I'll be heading over to the "Y" for my first official exercise of the new year. I think I'll start with a tour and a good walk on the track. I need some exercise so bad! Winter just isn't conducive to outdoor fitness activities. Since I quit walking everyday I've noticed the pants are getting a wee bit snug, lol. Or maybe it's the cookies and chocolate candies that are everywhere this time of year. Out damn goodies! I'm back to my good eating habits starting tomorrow! Anyone want to join me? I believe that if I work now to get that extra 5 off it won't be as big a deal as getting 44 off was.

Our friend Ronnie was taken off the ventilator on a few days ago and was able to breath on his own. They moved him out of intensive care, where he had been for 9 weeks, and into a regular room. We got word yesterday that they may be sending him home today but haven't gotten an update on that yet. Thanks for all your good thoughts on his behalf.

Here is the obligatory knitting content...

I am actually making progress, maybe by next weekend I'll be on the last leg of this project.
So, I'm off to work on the ASJ and/or my puzzle for a bit. This is how I have to work a puzzle in the office/sewing is limited in here, lol. Hope nobody wants any fresh-baked cookies, hahaha!

Have a great day. See ya!