Friday, January 29, 2010

Are we ready for this???

So in less than 3 days there will be construction in our home. I'm terribly excited but about to break out in hives too. But in a good way. Spending lots of $$ and large projects give me the heebie jeebies while they are in progress. Needless to say, this is the largest project that we have taken on in the history of our relationship.

This is our basement. Currently home to a large punching bag, 2 kitty litter boxes (yeah 2 for 1 cat because that's how she rolls!), a makeshift beer pong table (only gets used once a year- SWEAR! at least it looks nice with the flower centerpiece ;) right?) and a bunch of random stuff in storage.

from walking down the steps... yes, we have a walkout. and it. is. awesome.

from the corner you were just looking at

standing in the same spot but looking right. This is "storage"

You can't really see all the crap that is in there because P's dad built us these totally awesome shelves that hold everything! and then some! They are kind of lilke Mary Poppin's Carpet bag, only bigger, and in our basement.

So it's pretty much a giant square. We hope to transform it into our favorite place in the house.

Accessories for the basement include-
Big Screen TV (I refuse to buy another one larger than what we have. We will need to do some TV moving in the house but yeah- not buying another one)
Big Comfy L shaped Couch or Couch and Loveseat
Bar- fully stocked with sink and mini-fridge
1/2 bathroom- we are still going back and forth on the "urinal" situation. I feel it's unneccesary but he really wants one. Fine with me, but I'm not touching urinal cakes. Period. Gross.
Pool Table

Do you see why I'm breaking out in hives? We were looking at Watson's the other day and found a $40,000 pool table. Seriously? It was uglier than sin and belonged in a brothel.

Have no fear I'll be documenting the whole experience starting Monday. And of course I'll be looking to you, my lovely readers, (Hello? Anybody out there?) to help me with some decisions.

But in the mean time, stay warm. It's frickin' 20* in Cinci today.

Maybe we need to add a hot tub/ spa to that list...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Charming? Darling?

So apparently I am getting really good at changing and adapting patterns - not designing...I don't even want to open the can of worms that is copyright and "original" designs. That just makes my brain hurt!

Remember those adorable fingerless mittens I finished yesterday? Well, I wanted a pair for myself. Only I wanted to change things up a bit. So I decided to take 2 great patterns- the construction of Fetching is amazingly simple and lovely and Dashing which I love the large 8 stitch cable- and sort of merge them together and I came up with what I think turned out to be a really cute variation! I knit this up yesterday and I'm really pleased with how it came out. I'll be making the other one tonight. Then perhaps my fingers won't freeze to my keyboard at work anymore.

I have written the cable placement up but I need to look into the rules and such for sharing that pattern. I am in no way claiming ownership of the construction of the mitten (That would be Cheryl Niamath!) or developing the cables. I merely used what I thought was a fantasticly written pattern and put my own little twist on the cables. (haha twist- cable! haha. okay not funny.)
Now I just need to name my fabulous mitt.
Should it be Charming? or Darling?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I wish I could tell you about my amazing, productive, exciting! night at home. But alas, I can't.

I can't tell you that I stopped at the grocery store after work to pick up some things for lunch and somehow a bag of Totino's pizza rolls ended up in my cart.

And they ended up in my oven and in my belly within hours of getting home.

I also can't tell you that our tv schedule is so jam packed that I was forced to go upstairs to watch The Biggest Loser while sitcoms and American Idol were being recorded on our lovely 52'' Sony downstairs.

Could I tell you that I sat in bed watching Biggest Loser while improvising a new knitting project and knitting away till 11:30 only to have it be too large and therefore I have to resize it? No I can't.

Oh wait. Yes I can tell you all of that stuff. Because yep. That's what I did last night. Sounds fun huh? You bet!

On a positive note. I finished these beauties on Monday night :)
They are fingerless gloves. And they are going to be gifted to Tracy as soon as I see her. She has been waiting not so patiently for about 6 months now. I'd say it's time I gave them up.
Pattern is Fetching
Yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in Holly Hock

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snow? Again?

We got about .5-1'' of snow last night. Just when you think the sun may peek through the cover of clouds we get covered again. Blah.

Oh well. I'm relishing in the fact that I am not on a deadline anymore, I finished yet another outstanding project last night that was long overdue, I watched an amazing episode of House while eating a Richard's Steak Sandwich, and we are starting the basement on Monday!

Even though the weather may not be cooperating, the stars seem to be aligning and hopefully this turns out to be a pretty good week!

Do you remember when I was knitting my lace and I got terrible Eye Strain and had to work on something else? Well that something else was a pair of Longies. Or Baby Sized Pants if you will. Well, they made their way to their recipient last week and she was awesome and posted some photos! Go check her out!

But please come back eventually...

Monday, January 25, 2010

At last! The Reveal!

I know you have all been on pins and needles this morning awaiting the seveal of the Secret Project! Well, wait no longer my friends.

I give you the source of my agony and stress these last 2 weeks:

That would be Flutter Scarf. Knit in lovely Bably Alpaca lace on size US3 Needles.

A fabulous scarf for a fabulous woman.

My Mama.

Yesterday we celebrated her 76th birthday.

I just love her to pieces. She opened her scarf and immediately put it on and wore it the entire party and bragged about me to all of her church friends. She is just sweet as sugar and I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful inspiring woman as my grandmother.
Home project 2010 has been announced. We are finishing our basement! That little bit I shared last week was in fact a ceiling tile :) Construction begins in T-Minus 7 days! We can't wait!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Toot Toot!

Since this is my blog I'll toot my horn if I want to and you had better believe that I'll be toot tooting my happy little self the rest of the day.

My Secret Project is off the needles. And not just off the needles- the ends have been woven in. And not only have the ends been woven in but I've soaked it in a nice warm wool wash bath. And if that wasn't awesome enough, it is now laying out to dry with approx 75 pins holding it into shape.

Yeah that's right. I FINISHED MY SECRET PROJECT!!!

I am beyond over the moon right now. No more charts, no more small yarn, no more going cross-eyed and cursing the skys that I was an idiot and didn't follow the directions.

Have no fear, Photo reveal on Monday!

And announcement of home project that I've been keeping secret!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Vacation Plans 2010

Obviously I was knitting my heart out last night so I won't bore you with that again. (even though I did get 40 rows done- only 68 left! I'm in the double digits!!!)

The most exciting thing that we did yesterday though was book our flights to Vegas and Cali! We have a yearly trip to Vegas with friends and this year was going to be a little bit different. We decided to go to Cali instead for a friend's super big (30th) birthday bash. Well lo and behold we are now doing both! Flying to Vegas on Wednesday, Cali on Friday, and back home on Sunday. It's sure to be a whirlwind of a weekend but we are so excited to get to one of our favorite places in the world and visit with some of our bestest friends in the entire world.

I'm so ready for this:

I took this pic in Vegas last year while IN the pool at Monte Carlo :)

Instead of this rain we are getting.
(Mother Nature- Vegas and Cali better be warm and sunny when we get there!!!)

PS- We also placed our first order for the home project. Pretty exciting!

Do you know what it is?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Secret Project Update

GAH! It's coming down to the wire and I'm freaking out. I only got 24 rows done yesterday- and that was during lunch. The rest of my night was booked because said gift recipient was with me and I couldn't just pull it out and start working right in front of them! So sadly I'm going to be (hopefully) knitting like the wind tonight and tomorrow. I can only hope that this will travel well though because Patrick and I are working on a secret project of our own. (Let me stop you right there before your mind starts wandering- it does not involve wine and canoodleing- think more along the lines of a couple trips to the lumber yard and home depot.) But more on this later. With Pictures. I promise.

Anyways, here is the breakdown of my progress thus far:

Day 1: 8 repeats
Day 2: 10 repeats
Day 3: 10 repeats
Day 4: 2 repeats (went to sweater class)
Day 5: 8 repeats (would have been more but I had to use my lifeline and rip back 2 repeats because I messed up royally- no way to save)
Day 6: 2 Repeats (major eye strain so I finished another worsted project instead of straining further)
Day 7: No repeats (I was quilting!)
Day 8: 5 repeats of chart 1 (finished with chart 1!) Chart 2 (14 rows) Chart 3 (22 rows) and bound off! Picked up provisional cast on stitches. I’m ready to begin side 2.
Day 9: Screwed yet again. I started knitting on the wrong side and didn’t notice for 3 repeats. Rather than frogging back it will now be a “stripe” at the middle of the scarf. Meaning I am now doing 93 repeats instead of 90. Grrrr. Can’t get a break. 13 repeats done total today. 35 repeats left of chart 1, chart 2, and chart 3. 4 days left!
Day 10: 11 Repeats
Day 11: 6 Repeats

So let's review- 336 rows complete. 108 rows remain. I have to have this thing cast off, soaked, pinned, and dryed by Sunday afternoon. That gives me 2.5 days. Pretty much if I don't get at least 44 rows knit both today and tomorrow there will be no way for me to finish and I'll be a giant ball of failure. I can't let this happen.

I need to adopt the mantra of Dory- Just keep swimming knitting, Just keep swimming knitting.

I can do this!

(And after Monday, no more talk of secret projects... it's killing me that I can't just show you!)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So Proud!

One of my great high school friend's was on American Idol.

I'm sure you remember Amy Lang!

Yes, she is really like this IRL. Girl is crazy hilarious!

I'm so proud!

ETA: Fixed the video. It works now :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Can't catch a break

Seriously. I screwed up again. Luckily between me and the knit night ladies, we made it work. Too bad it has increased the number of rows I am doing... AGAIN!

Getting down to the wire.

176 rows left to finish. 4 days left to finish. Do the math- I need to do 44 rows every day till I'm done. It takes approx 15 minutes to do 4 rows. Looks like I'll be knitting for at least 2.75 hours every night this week- Provided I don't have any other royal screwups. After this project, it's back to no deadlines and ME! knitting. I'm serious this time.

I may or may not be cross-eyed the next time you see me. Oh why would I be crosseyed you say? Well, here is a hint regarding the secret project. I'm knitting on really really small needles, with really really thin yarn.

Doesn't look like a huge difference in size but it is!

this is the actual yarn I'm using. It's a pretty blue gray baby alpace and it is divine. But too tiny!

If I am cross-eyed when you see me, please don't stare.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

Yet another uneventful but semi-productive weekend.

Friday night was spent finishing a separate project that was overdue. I had a massive headache for approx 12 hours on Friday and I think it was due to eye strain from dealing with this blasted secret project. I decided I needed a break and went to some mindless knitting. And what do you know. I ended up with a finished project. And I mean finished! Soaked and blocked, and wrapped and ready to be sent. So even though I felt guilt about not working on the secret project I always feel such a sense of accomplishment when I fnish an outstanding project.

Saturday I spent quilting. Yes quilting. Another crafty project to add to the list. I successfully made my first quilt square. In 1 class. It was fun and yet frustrating at the same time dealing with all those little squares and such. But it did spark the inner 4 year old in my because it was like working with Colorforms all over again. Remember those? They are the greatest. Saturday night ended with an impromtu Battle of the Bands with P and myself. I'd say we were equal but I will toot my own horn because I did score 100% on the microphone during Eye of the Tiger. Yeah that is right. I rock.

Sunday was back to knitting. Secret Project is officially half way done. It took 7 days for the first half and I have 5 days left to finish so no more wasting time and no more other projects till Sunday! It is absolutely gorgeous though and there is lots of love knit into this thing. I hope the recipient is just tickled to pieces and appreciates all the hard work I've put into it.

Happy Monday ya'll!

Friday, January 15, 2010

1,000 Years Old

Apparently yesterday was my birthday because I was declared to be 1,000 years old last night by my husband. Why you ask? I went to a Knitting Guild Meeting. At a Retirement Community Center.

Go ahead. Chuckle. I'll wait.

Yes, I went to a knitting guild meeting. Some local knitters and long time guild members are wanting to start a local chapter and I decided to go see what it was about. I have volunteered to teach some of the residents at the Village to knit. I figure 1 hour a month isn't going to kill me to share my love of knitting with someone else. Should be fun and nice to do something for someone else.

I have to say it was a little uncomfortable when I first arrived before I walked in as I have not been to a Nursing Home/Assisted Living Facility in the area since my Papa passed. And I was terrified that I might have a breakdown or something. This place was so insane that I didn't even have time to think about having a panic attack. I swear to you- I walked into this place and it reminded me of NYNY in Vegas. a Cobblestone "main street" a big marquis movie theater, a pet shop, ice cream store... I could go on. And they don't have rooms. They have "Suites" and Garden Apartments.

Everyone was incredibly welcoming and I had a nice time. It was more of an informational meeting and some great knitting and show and tell time.

I'm running a little behind on my secret project right now. This is going to probably cause me tears at some point since I've probably spent a total of 4-5 hours knitting back and fizing mistakes than actually knitting. But i'm pressing on. I've left some mistakes as they are hardly noticeable to anyone but me, and I'm considering them little bits of love that I'm putting in.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pants on the Ground

Pants on the ground.

Pants on the ground.

Lookin' like a FOOL wit yo pants on the ground!

Gold in yo mouth, hat turned side-ways...

BWAHAHAHA That was by far the highlight of my night.

Okay, back to work. Crazy busy.

PS- I hate knitting.

That is all.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pardon the Interruption

Sorry blogosphere. It's that time of the month for reporting. All my monthly reports for my bigtime awesome job are dur tomorrow. No time to tell you about my fabulous evening spent on the couch screaming at knitting while watching Hoarders and Biggest Loser. Wow, I really sound like a loser don't I? But for reals, I spent more time fighting with my project than progressing so I had to stay up late to get caught up. But all is well now- I'm still on schedule (maybe ahead of schedule depending on how I finish)- 36 rows done yesterday.

Now I get to fight with computer data and programs to get it to spit out the info that I want. Then it's home to yell at yarn again.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Secret Project Update

Last night went well at knit night. I buckled down and really got into my project. The pattern for the most part is memorized so it should be smooth sailing for at least another 128ish rows.

I have put together a bit of a timeline for myself in order to make my deadline. It varies depending on the number of days I am allowing myself for finishing and blocking (typically 1 full day to dry) as well as the total number of rows to be completed. The 11 days and 12 days column is for how many rows I need to complete per day in order to finish on time. I hate to be so detailed like this as it is less enjoyable on a timeline but this is really important for me to finish.

Total Repeats/ Total Rows/ Completed/ 11 days/ 12 days
100 Repeats (as written)/ 472/ 72/ 36/ 33
90 repeats/ 432/ 72/ 32/ 30
80 Repeats/ 392/ 72/ 29 /26

Wish me luck! I need to cheering squad for this one!

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Frickin Freezing!

Seriously. Once again we are excepting to be well below freezing. But luckily a something or other is coming later in the week to pull us from this frosty hell- for a little bit at least.

Of course the weekend wasn't nearly long enough as always. Friday night was relaxing with a fire, pizza, movie, knitting. Sounds fabulous doesn't it? Well let me tell you, it was!

Saturday was a bit sad as we took down the Christmas stuff, with the exception of the lights and wreaths outside. Still a bit too much snow to get out on the roof. Maybe next week. Certainly before Easter.

Sunday was another knitting day. I finally got started on a surprise bday gift (shhh!) and it almost killed me. In all honesty, I probably spent more time ripping back and fixing mistakes than I did actually knitting. It's going to be a stretch to get this done on time. But I'm still hopeful as the pattern is fairly simple. It's just the sheer size that will be an issue. Not size as in fill up a room, size as in number of rows. The whole thing is approx 472 rows. GAH! I got about 28 rows done yesterday and I'm hoping it goes quicker since I spent so much time fixing issues. I may even shorten it by 80 rows though- not sure. But if I do that then I need to ensure that I do at least 28 rows every day until it is finished and I should be fine. At least once this is done I will be done with gift knitting and it will be back to ME! knitting. Sorry for the secrecy but I really want this to be a surprise for someone and who knows who is out there that may know them.

I may need to create a countdown or something to keep me on track!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby it's cold outside!

Yes, the white death did come. And in fact is still coming. I'm typing up this lovely post a day early (it's currently 6:00 on Thursday) since I got to leave work at 1:30. The roads weren't as treacherous as I had imagined but only because I was north of the city. I heard on the news of a bad accident that backed traffic up and was adding over an hour to the commute just on that highway. Of course the back roads were a hot mess and I love that the snow plow will come down the hill through our neighborhood only to take a big left before they hit the caul-de-sac so it's like a big black (white) hole that wants to gobble up my car.

photo taken at 2:00pm

But since I had some time on my hands I decided to organize! My stash that is. My yarn stash. Online. On Ravelry! I set up a photo studio in my craft room (which is totally cleaned up and put together! A before and after post at some point but I'm still picking a paint color and I don't know that I want to embarrass myself with the before photos- it was atrocious in there!) based on a tutorial I saw here. And I snapped away! I'll be sharing those photos at some point but I'll spread out for more posts and to keep you in suspense. I know you can hardly resist photos of projects and yarn! But hey this is my joint and I'll post what I want. (but please don't leave. I love you my readers!)

Looks simple but it worked!

And since I have a great friend, (and fellow Cookie!) who is dying to see what I've got in the works for her, I'll share just this one photo from my impromtu shoot yesterday.

Yes, those are pants. For a little boy named B. Who turned 1 on Saturday. They are far from perfect but I hope they will be darling on his little tooshie! (and keep those buns warm over there in IL!)
Alright, I'm going to go make dinner and turn the fireplace on and hunker down in my Snuggie with my knitting. I'm hoping that when this posts in the morning I'll still be at home in said position with a snow day from work!

Update: Unfortunately, I am at work today. But at least it is Friday!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

It's Coming!

The "white death" that is.

It has slowly begun to turn white outside but the snow has yet to really fall. We are expecting it to happen some time between now and noon. Something like an hour an inch for at least 5 hours? Great. The commute home should be fabulous. My normally lovely 15 minute drive will take me at least an hour. Fantastic.

291 Closings so far. A local school had called a 2 hour delay last night before 6:00pm. That is just ridiculous. And of course, they are closed today- 2nd time this week. I remember waiting up as late as I could the night before and sitting in front of the tv in the morning as long as possible before I had to get ready in hopes I would see on the bottom line that school will be delayed, or even better- cancelled. Now it's as if there may be a possibility of a little but of snow then all hell breaks loose and schools call off.

Call me crazy but I think it's just absurd.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 In Stitches

WOW! I counted up as many finished projects as I could and I've come through 2009 with 32+ completed projects. It's amazing to see my progress over the year. I've moved on from mostly crochet to mostly knit. I've gone from simple basic squares and dishcloths to hat, baby jackets, sweaters, slippers, and much much more! This is truly an amazing hobby that I'm so thankful I have the passion and patience for!

I made a mosaic of sorts from my Flickr project photos of 30 of those aforementioned projects. Let's just ignore the fact that some of these projects did dive head first into frog pond and are no longer in existence, but bottom line is I finished them! (or 1 of the 2 in the case of the rainbow colored socks, pink baby socks, and pinky purple fingerless gloves)

At some point I'll try to make a breakdown of how many of what I did and new techniques I attempted during the year but let's be realistic- probably not going to happen for a while. I will however, keep track of it throughout this year so that it is ready and waiting for me at the end of next year!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Knit Night

I just want to reiterate again how much I love knit night at Lambikin's Hideaway. It could be a table full of women or only 3 of us and we still have a blast. They are the most amazing talented women I have ever met and I am so blessed to be a part of the group. In a way I feel like I'm living a little part of The Friday Night Knitting Club. Only we aren't in NY, and I don't make pocketbooks, and someone isn't getting married. But really. It's kind of like the book. and I like it.

I finished a present last night but I can't share until after it is gifted. (it's impressive though!) and started another gift last night as well. Crossing my fingers it will be finished in time for their birthday. I'll just have to set aside my other 10284628 projects and get to work! I'll give you a hint though- it is lace! I've only done 1 other lace project and I'm in need of some small needles and yarn- though I'll be cursing it by the end I'm sure!

Hopefully Father Winter will ease up a bit after work, I need to do a serious grocery binge and I'd rather do it now before the big storm comes on Thursday! Schools were already closed today and it wasn't even that bad. So I'm sure they are going to be making up days in the summer if they are already out on Jan 5!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to Work 2010

It took everything I had not to throw my alarm across the room and stay snuggled up under the goosedown comforter this morning. The 20* reading on the weather channel certainly didn't help much either.

But it's back to work. Another 50 weeks in the office with some time off in between. Luckily I am some what looking forward to getting back on a schedule. Time off is great but I need structure.

At least I was productive while away. The house is spic and span (I LOVE the new Dyson!) and I finally got my craft room in order. Before and After pics will be up this week. I'm still deciding on paint colors but at least I went through everything and it is organized. This is a HUGE feat. Ask any crafter.

OH and might I mention that I love The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook? I have only made Egg in the Hole, Pie Crust, and Chicken Pot Pie thus far (all with incredible success!) and I love love love this cookbook. The Chicken Pot Pie will be a repeat performer but if I want P to eat it again I need to cook the bejeebus out of the carrots and celery. Apparently they were "too crunchy" for his liking- but he agrees the flavor was incredible. Cheers to the Pioneer Woman!!!

Okay, back to work.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, it's my last day off. I don't know how I'm going to wake up and get moving so early tomorrow. Seriously, here I sit in my bog comfy chair, wrapped in my Snuggie, watching a marathon of Secret Life of the American Teenager.... and it is 9:45am. I'm worthless :)

The motivation is trying to sneak out. Really, it is. I've thought about getting up and going to the gym, I've thought about making breakfast, I've thought about going to IKEA to get some more boxes for my craft room and getting that organized. But that's it, I've only thought about it. Tomorrow, I'm doomed.

Christmas and New Years was here and gone in a flash. I'm thankful that I got to spend time with all our wonderful family and friends, but I'm even more thankful to leave 2009 behind me. It was a rough year, and from what I gather I'm not in the minority on that one. Looking towards 2010 it already looks better. We've got plans in the works for trips, parties, and the like and so far it is mostly sunshine and daisies. Bring it on 2010, I'm ready for you.
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