Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tag Your It!

I've been tagged by Dawn

Book Buzz Tag

Here are the instructions:
I am going to list three categories of books: 3 MUST Read Books, 3 Keep Your Eyes on These, and 3 Look for These Soon. Keeping with the theme, I am going to tag at least 3 bloggers. They should put these same lists on their blogs but SUBTRACT one book from each list and ADD one of their own. Then they should tag at least 3 more bloggers. It will be fun to see how the lists change as they go around the blogosphere. Please come back to this post and leave a comment so I can see how the lists are changing. Since this is Book Buzz...please keep your lists to titles released in 2007-2009.

3 MUST Read Books:

Without a Backward Glance by Kate Veitch
Mademoiselle Boleyn By Robin Maxwell
Eragon and Eldest By Chrisptopher Paolini ( Yes I know that is two but they must be read together!)

3 Keep Your Eyes on These:

Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer
Free Range Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond (Believe it or not I do read books other than SciFi...Riveting)

3 Look for These Soon:

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
The Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman
Brisinger by Christopher Paolini (Sequel to the first two I mention- I have been waiting with bated breath for this one)

For this I tag:
Charlotte who has been MIA for a while

(Please, don't feel obligated to play along!)
6 Quirky Things About Me TAG

Here are the rules:
1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

tagged me again with this one.

This actually took some thought on my part, it all seems very normal to me but my friends think otherwise - Here are my 6 quirky things:

1. I love bad B SciFi movies.
2. I put fries on my hamburgers and dip the rest of the fries in mayo.
3. I consider 13 my lucky number.
4. I read every historical romance I can get my hands on (especially the ones with a sexy man in a kilt on the cover)
5. I can knit in my sleep ( I have been caught doing this)
6. I watch scary movies through the holes of an afghan.

Again, you don't have to play along but TAG - YOUR IT!

For this one I tag the same three girlies plus three more:
George Ann

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ravelympics - The Thrill of Victory...


Yes that is right.... I did not make it across the finish line with my Vertigo scarf. If I had a month of Sundays I don't think I could have made it. This was most definitely a "What the hell were you thinking" project!

I did get to post it is the "Almost made it " thread. Hmmmm I wonder what Bobicus is going to give for the Booby Prize.

Here it is...still a long way from being finished. I think a worsted weight yarn would have been a much better choice.

Saturday was the Power Test for our PD. So I was up bright and early to be at work for this. Sgt Junior and I conducted the 1.5 mile run for the applicants. Usually it is the run and the sit up that knock people out of the running. We lost two people during sit-ups but every one of those prospectives were animals on the track! Most came in well above their allowed times. Several came in at just over 10 min. and one even ran it in 9.06. Amazing!! (they had 13.46 min to run it in.)

Thanks to all those quick runners, I was out of there by 10:30 and ready for a day at Stitches Midwest. Kelpy and I trucked our behinds to Schaumburg to the bright and shiny new
Renaissance Convention Center where we found these little goodies. Kel found this little gem for Brodie proofing my yarn. Pink of course to support Breast Cancer research, ( I do this always in loving memory of my mom). The Fibersphere comes in two sizes, they only had the 5 inch at the Market or I would have bought both.

Kelp and I both bought a kit from Philosophers Wool. I have been waiting for two years for them. Last year Fed Ex screwed up their shipment and sent it back to Canada instead of to Rosemont and when I made a beeline for their booth, it was very empty. I had spent some time talking to Eugene two years ago (he is an amazing knitter) and this year to Ann, who helped us choose our colorways. Kelpys kit has a huge shawl pattern as well as a crop top sweater.

We spent a good part of the evening winding the skeins from days purchases. Here is my future jacket and wrap from Philosophers Wool.

Kelpy found herself a GoKnit Pouch like mine, and we found they come in larger sizes now too.

And of course I had to buy some pretty yarn for no particular reason except that I liked it. That particular skein has 2500 yards of cobwebby lace took forever to wind it. Not a clue what I am going to make with it.

I met ChelseasMom working a booth (don't ask me which one) and we talked some about the never ending Vertigo scarf. She reminded me that sleep is over-rated. But when it came right down to it, I just could not pick up that scarf again knowing there was no hope of finishing it time. She was the only one that identified herself as a Ravelry member that I met.

Kelpy and I were disappointed overall in the Market this year. On Saturday there were not as many demos going on and the quantity of goods seemed much smaller. There were a number of vendors that were not present this year. I don't know it had to do with transportation costs since that is much higher this year or what. People I had looked forward to seeing again were not there this year. We missed the book signing too from Debbie Macomber by just minutes according to the sign. Last year I spent $300 on goodies this year I didn't even spend $200. There just didn't seem as much exciting stuff to pick from. Last year was waaay more fun!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Ravelympics Day...OMG it's almost over!

I made it across the finish line with my Tribbles! Yea!! (hearing the crowd roar in my head)

And...Since the event sign up was re-opened, my orange ballband dish cloth counted as a Ravelympic F/O so I was allowed to post it on the finish line. ;)

Well folks... this is my progress on the Vertigo. Not so very damn far in the Scarf Stroke. I am thinking I may not make it since it needs to be posted by Sunday at 10:59 am
I worked on this beast until 2 am and I am guessing I am about half way there.  I knitted and watched SG1 last night until I could no longer focus. I think at this point I am probably making up my own pattern. Rows 5 and 7 have been my nemisis! Oh Yeea...I can see the difference. 
Oh well... Next time I pick a slip stich pattern I am going to actually look at the chart first to see if my mind can comprehend it.

Brodie as been an absolutely terrific mascot during this event!! Just look at how he has helped his momma out.
Pretty much all I have is today to work on my scarf. In between doing laundry  of course and walking Brodie the dozen times a day he insists upon. Right now the landscapers ( I and I use this term loosely- more like lawn mower man) are out side and Brodie seems to think he needs to supervise and is now working my nerve by running from window to window whining. 

Tomorrow my day starts before any normal human would get up, so I can be at work bright and early to assist with the Police Officer testing. After that it is off to Stitches Midwest for a fun filled day of yarn shopping and yarn oogling. 
I am pretty sure I will be toast come evening, but I am going to stay up and work on that scarf until my eyes bleed... and hopefully cross the finish line with it.

Here is Mr. Crazy Ma nwith his favorite to his favorite bed (that he no longer fits in but insists on using.)

Usually pictures of Brodie turn out like this! I need a really high tech camera to keep up with him.
Note to self: Follow the Sheltie Diet for effective weight loss... Grab one piece of food... Run from kitchen to living room and eat. Run around livingroom, pounce on a toy and shake it to death... Run back to kitchen and grab another piece of food. Repeat until dish is 3/4 empty. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ravelympics Day 8

Eight days into the Ravelympics and I feel like I am nearly there. I still have a long way to go on my Vertigo scarf but I think I have made some good progress on it. The fine gauge of the yarn makes the progress slow, and reading the chart makes my eyes bleed after awhile. When I looked at this picture, it kinda looks like I messed up my repeats right in the middle. I think I'm gonna call that a design feature! I am starting to get the hang of the chart and it is starting to flow a little better.

I had to start another dishcloth to give my eyes and fingers a break from the Vertigo. I still had some yarn left from my torched Paintbox kit so I decided to use it up on another Ballband. This is not part of the Ravelympics but I enjoyed the pattern and it was east to memorize. I really like the feel of this yarn and the colors are so vibrant, it is almost a shame to waste it on something I am going to wash dishes with. I think I am going to look for some yarn like it when I go to Stitches next weekend.

I have three Tribbles down and two more to go. These really are mindless and take no time at all. I can do these when I am half asleep with no worries.

I made some really good headway while I was off those four days. Actually- really we can count only three days off because yesterday was a total bust as far as knitting is concerned.To start with I took Brodie to the vet, and since it is walk in vet (no appointments) you have to get there by 8 am to get on the list for when they open at 9 am and if your lucky you might be out of there by 10:30. I was so I considered my self lucky...LOL
He now has had the rest of his baby dog shots and is good to go and all nice and legal. Usually I would knit while I waited outside with Bingo ( he yowls so I could never take him in and wait-too embarrassing and annoying). But with Brodie I did not bring my knitting, I sat inside with him and we concentrated on being a quiet and well behaved doggie in a room full of other doggies that he wanted to play with. I think he did very well, only barked out twice and was fairly patient. He had some difficulty sitting still as it was all very exciting to him. But all in all he did very well!

After I dropped him off at home, I ended up grocery shopping (ugh). It is actually getting easier to shop for just myself. Other than fresh veggies, I should not have to make that trip for at least two months now...LOL
Not my favorite type of shopping, as you can guess. By the time I got done running around it was late and I was hungry. Culver's here I come!!! 1-Baconburger deluxe basket with a root beer float please.......errrkkkk Ok let's scratch root beer float off my list of things I can have. I am really not happy about it but, that along with the carbs and fat from a fast food burger (even though they are really really good ) was a not so good combo for my glucose levels, and then I passed out for the rest of the day. I consider sleeping a waste of time, and I always figure I can sleep when I am dead, but the body is weak and thinks otherwise.

Here are the current stats on Team TARDIS

233 members

600 projects
with 95 completed
It looks like we may have lost someone from our team because I was for sure the member count was 235... I will have to go back and have a look-see.

Ravelympic Stats:
16098 projects from 5619 Ravelers

Check out Ravelympics on YouTube!

Time to go update my side bar with some more medals. ;)

Knit on!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ravelympic Progress

What did I do on my day off??? Made my big butt bigger, that's what!! Two more dishcloths to pass the finish line. The first one was the Ballband dishcloth I really liked this pattern. It makes good use of those little partial skeins of yarn. I have some yellow and orange that is left over from my Paintbox kit that got torched that I plan on using up with this pattern. I like it has nubbies too. Nubbies make great face scrubbers too.
It turned out to be good training for my Vertigo Scarf, even though this pattern did not have a chart.

Now the Awareness Ribbon pattern was charted and spelled out, so in a sense - I cheated. I followed the spelled pattern instead of the chart.
Kellie came over and while I worked on my dishcloth, she worked on her multi-directional diagonal scarf. No she did not join Ravelympics...claimed she did not have time...what-ever!! I think I was the one with the 24 hours of overtime during the last two weeks!
I can't really say anything because she has been busy, her boss just had a baby and she crocheted a blanket for her, and Kel (Kelpy on Ravelry) has a brand new grandson that she has been trying to finish up a blanket for too. And yes I know there isn't a damn thing on her blog yet, that is because I have been trying to reel her into Bloggerland and she just is not quite there yet.

You can see where I discovered a boo boo and I had to ladder down several rows to turn three purls into knits. That's what I get for having a gab fest.

I think it turned out really well. The yarn is part of a left over cone of Lily cotton from when I made the bath mat. I had made that double stranded so I have two cones that are about half full to use up. That is alot of dishcloths!

I have my post it note marking the spot on my Vertigo pattern so I don't loose my place, and since Brodie is having a snooze, now might be a good time to work on it.

I have been doing a bit of blog-keeping. You might have noticed some of the changes, Dawn hooked me up with the code for the cool F/O slide show. I was being Wee Todd Did about the whole thing and had to ask for help. I added my Ravelympic Medals to the side bar too. ( No help needed for that one...LOL) Blogger has a new blog roll widget, very cool! It lets you know when the last updates are so it makes it easier for me to keep up with the news.

Oh and I played with this cool toy last night. This is a word cloud I made from my blog...ok I did not actually have to type all those words, I just RRS'd it and wtched it fill in. Go here and play for yourselves.

I do not expect to have another project finished by tomorrow, but I am now 4 down now with 3 more to go. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

RAVELYMPICS 2008 Continued

Not that I expect to beable to finish a project a day, it would be nice but I am a basicly realistic person. I know your all thinkin' Yah Right! Hey...I do not have as many projects planned as some out there for the Ravelympics. 

I do have a four dayer coming up starting tomorrow so that should help out. 
Here is my second project across the finish line!! Chinese Waves Dishcloth. Not a great feat but a useful one.  Anyone who has ever owned a cotton hand made dishcloth knows they are the best thing since sliced bread!  This was a very quickie pattern, a simple slip and knit. Definitely one I will make again.
A nice way to finish off a cone too. I had just enough to make this one from a leftover cone of cotton (Sugar n Cream). This is turning out to be a great stash burner.

Less guilt for when I am "replenishing" at Stitches on the 23rd.

I was able to cast on my Vertigo Scarf again, and again. Brodie did me a favor by making such a mess of the first ball of yarn. I set that one aside to deal with later and started with the second ball. I got up to the 4 row of the chart and took a good look at what I had done. I think I am getting the hang of this chart reading thing. This scarf called for 66 stitches in sock yarn. Waaay too wide for me!!! So I made an adjustment and I am making this a reasonable sized 42 stitch scarf. Pattern wise it is working out perfect.

Not to mention, it will go a hell of a lot quicker!

You can't really see much of it in this picture. but I was pretty pleased with my results so far. I should probably mention, the biggest challenge so far is trying to keep Brodie off of my needles while I am trying to knit!

I will have about an hour to do some more knitting before work. One more night of work and maybe I will be able to get some sleep. Talk about burning the candle at both ends.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ravelympics 2008 Commenced!

Clearly I am belonging to Team TARDIS!! For those of you who are not Doctor Who Junkies (Which just seems crazy to me)... TARDIS stands for Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space.

Here are some Team TARDIS stats for you:
Projects: 602
Completed as of this post: 34

That is absolutely AMAZING!! Who would have ever guessed that so many people could fit into one little blue Police Box!!!  I believe we are the Largest Team in the Ravelympics!

If your on Ravelry- this is me during the Ravelympics!

I did rise early for the start of the even.. I was going to start on my biggest project the Vertigo Scarf. As per usual... Nothing I ever plan goes the way I think it will....

Here I sit in my comfy recliner with woman's best friend lying peacefully (for a change) and my feet. I can feel his sweet puppy fur on my bare feet as I concentrate on my never before tried slip stitch pattern... When all of a sudden my mommy radar kicked in!

I should have known better!!! My little man had somehow gotten a hold of my nicely wound ball of yarn and was trying to rip it to shreds right at my very feet!  WTF!!!

"What Mom.... I don't know what your talking about."  How innocent he tries to look.

Alright... As I Was!.. I don't have time for this today, go I grab a ball of cotton and start on my petal dishcloth. Since work demands and early (and very long) day. I was only able to get about half done before I had to hoof it.
Brodie set the precedence for the day. I was busy at work from start to well past finished. One cluster case after another. 10-50 (that is a vehicle accident for you laymen), suspicious auto, suspicious person, oh yes, and lets not forget the man with a gun call at Chase Bank! Boy That was an adrenaline pumper!! Thankfully that turned out to be a man with a silver cell phone.  Follow that up with  woman with five children ages 2 1/5 through 6 that were homeless. 
Needless to say I did not get home on time. Nor did I get to watch any part of the Beijing Opening Ceremonies.

I did sit down to watch several SG 1 episodes that I had recorded and finished one project, all but the binding off at 0300 hours (again- that is 3 am for you laymen  ;).

Whoot!!!! First project across the finish line!! to work again I go.

How's that lace coming Dawn??

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Being Green

Dawn is right- my knitting mojo is off so I thought take a break from knitting this week and rest up for the Ravelympics and I would bring up the hottest topic of the net. Going Green... really, it is all about living free.

My parents were farmers from Tennessee so I was raised "green" so to speak. They wasted nothing. Workbasket and Pack O' Fun magazines were a staple in our house. My mother recycled everything!! We had tons of those Styrofoam trays mom reused for everything from bake sale trays to Christmas decorations. Nothing was ever thrown away (do you remember having a silver spray painted Christmas tree made from and old telephone book in your house?)

We grew our own vegetables , froze and canned them. There were never any instant dinner boxes in the cabinet and Chicken Pot Pie was Friday night's Creature Feature treat. The best is the homemade ice cream ( and snow cream too).

I can remember watching my brother's crank the ice cream maker for hours, and I would sit and it was going to freeze faster or something if I stared at it long enough. My brother still makes ice cream- albeit in an electric maker, and it still tastes better than Breyers. I don't think northern people really appreciate homemade ice cream like those of us with southern roots.

When my kids were growing up, the food dehydrator was in constant use. I made everything from beef jerky to trail mix. And "Homemade baby food" wasn't a fad in my house, it just made more sense.

I can remember when I was small, my middle brother Gary was already very conscious of the environment, even back then, and would only buy recycled stationary ( that was back in the days when people still hand wrote paper letters.) He was actually kind of a snob about it, infact he was a snob about a lot of things.

My mother knew things about household items that the net is all a-buzz about right now. Such as white vinegar... cleans everything, from windows to floors to toilets, how it deodorizes your laundry (great for stinky towels), and it rinses your hair squeaky clean and makes it shiny.

And how baking soda puts out fires, removes caked on burnt stuff on pans, freshens the fridge as well as the drain, and cleans your teeth.

(and for us fair skinned people, I always keep Apple Cider vinegar and aloe on hand for sunburns)

Doesn't it seem like the older we get the more we try to get back to our roots? And isn't it funny how now all the things our grandmothers did are no longer the old fashioned way, but the Green Way. The things I was scoffed at for (at home) and called hillbilly for, are now all the rage. Now I find that very ironic indeed.

I did buy some green cleaners when I moved, but unlike my usual self I did not do the research before I bought. So I am not really confident in the "green" quality yet. It is pet safe and that is the most important. Clorox is making a line called Green Works... kinda seems like an oxymoron doesn't it? Clorox / Green? sounds silly.

It does work pretty good, but I am not impressed with the smell. I would expect it to have a fresher cleaner smell and it doesn't smell like that to me. The cleaning power of the concentrate is pretty amazing. I have to watch that I don't get too much soap in the bucket, a little bit really goes a long way.

And ...I do have my own tote bags for groceries. This is becoming quite the vogue around here so I rarely get "the look" anymore when I tell clerks I have my own bags.

Now being a knitter/crocheter/sewer, one would think I would have made my own bags, but no... I was extravagant and bought the Flip n Tumble bags. Yes they were kinda pricey, but they are great!!! I love being able to wad it up into a little ball, and they do hold a ton of stuff!

I am pretty sure my very frugal mother would have kicked my butt for such an extravagance ...but well, that's just me ;) and I can be frugal somewhere else.

How cute are these!!! I am stylish when I shop and I am saving at least one dinosaur per shopping trip now I am thinking ;)

But see, I make it up by using knitted cloths for cleaning. That boy always said that knitted dish cloths was like washing dishes with an afghan (and would throw them out). Scandalous!! Well guess what dick moe.... I am using afghans to clean my dishes again!

I do use Bio-Degradable poopy bags (because I really don't want a poopy bucket by my patio.) And all of my light bulbs are cork screws!

Is that green enough do you think?? Pretty much, I have always tried to live life by the example my mom and brothers set before me. For me, they were the first "Green" people I ever knew. Since I had a hippy brother and step brother, some things just kinda come natural.
Not too long ago my niece asked " since when do you care about the environment?" and I answered "always", but then I realized that I had become a person of convinces, and it was time to get back to basics.

Of course this post would not be complete without a Brodie shot. The little terrorist has been trying to kill his bed for weeks and had moved his cage out of the corner. Think he was trying to tell me something?? He is graduating to being gated in the kitchen now. I had his Uncle Twiggy move him in there last night while I was at work, and he did very well.

Two more days and it will be the start of Ravelympics and back to knitting. My yarn is wound and patterns ready!

Friday, August 01, 2008

I must have a loose screw!

OK- here I go again on the Girlfriend's Best Sock. I had to borrow Kelpy's 0's because I couldn't find mine (which of course I now have located). I have frogged and frogged and frogged this sock so damn many times this week. Every time I get to the pretty diamond pattern and find I am off a stitch, or I just had a brain fart when I cast on and miss counted. It has been one thing or another with this one. So this is as far as I have gotten with it.

That is after I botched the Koolhaas! I think I zigged when I should have zagged, so yet another project to go into the frog pond for later review.

I have probably over-committed myself for the Ravelympics 2008!!! What the hell was I thinking???? Ravelympics starts at the beginning of the Bejing Games, and the point is to knit something that is a challenge for your and complete it by the end of the Summer Olympics.

To start with, I want to make a Vertigo scarf, so I entered the Scarf Stroke Event. This scarf is so pretty and I want it. I was all set to order some new yarn when I took a good look at my stash. It calls for sock yarn, and OH Boy do I have sock yarn. Not that I have a sock yarn that is rainbow flavored but I picked out this Lorna's Laces and I think it will turn out pretty cool.

I will have to order another 2 skeins of white, one more for the scarf and one for the project I earmarked for this skein.

And since my ego is clearly way too big....

I also decided enter the Home Stuff Hammer Throw Event. (This is where I decided I must be out of my ever-flippin' mind!) Four different dishcloth patterns and five Tribbles!! Tribbles, no big deal, but the dishcloths? I am not so swift with a graph and I have to work from a graph for three of them.

Again, I was going to buy more yarn (remember I am trying to Stash Down this year). I have two partial cones of cotton sitting idle and I also have this!!!

This was a great little project I picked up a couple of years ago at Stitches. Too cute of a hooded scarf that I was about a third finished with (cast on of 400 stitches), when I laid it down to yell and somebody else's dog that was taking a pee on my office door, when low and behold the smoke alarm went off... And guess what? It is not flame retardant! Yup, that's right, I accidentally set my knitting on fire!! Tip: Do not burn candles at the same table your knitting at!

Anyway- this very pretty yarn is a mercerized cotton so it should work well for all those dish cloths I plan to make. Why buy more yarn when I have all this to use up! Besides, I am saving my pennies for the 23rd when I go to Stitches!!

Brodie just turned 4 months old the other day!!! He is getting to be such a big boy! We are starting to come to an agreement about Momma's knitting time! He is no longer continuously trying to eat it while I knit, just part of the time, so I feel we are making progress.

I am positive he is going to grow up to be just as beautiful as these two little boys. the one in the frame is Kashmir (Kaz) and the other one is Eros (Kaz's daddy). They are both over the rainbow now :(
I hope I get all my stupidity out of my system before the games begin, because I am going to be doing some marathon knitting.

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