Friday, January 30, 2009

I knew that being patient would come in handy someday....and an FO.

Guess what??



BEN CAN KNIT!!!!



And I didn't help him at all....which I did before...I used to hold his hands while I explained what to do. But, today, as I was finishing up Tim's Felted Clogs - he wanted to do it on his own!!



I can't tell you how excited I am. I've always wanted to be the one to teach my children "crafty" things...like painting, drawing, sewing, knitting, etc. But, so far, Tim has only been interested in drawing and painting. (It also helps that both Ian's mother and sister are professional artists!)

Finally, one of my sons has taken up knitting! (Though, I can only hope that his interest will continue to grow...) Yippppeeeee.......!

And, now for the long awaited FO:

Tim's Felted Clogs

Yarn: Cascade 220 in black and two shades of red (colors #8414, 8895 and 8555), 4 skeins total
Pattern: Fiber Trends' "Felted Clogs"
Size: Men's medium
Needle: US 13 (20 and 32" circ - I used Addi Turbos)
Time: Took about 4.5-5 hours (of actual knitting time) per slipper and I'm not sure if I'll be adding the full suede soles this time because of how irritating it was to sew them on the last time. I'm thinking of trying those suede pieces, instead. Started on 1/20/09 and finished (with knitting, felting and felting more) 1/30/09.
Fun Level: B+ (I liked this pattern very much. It was clearly written, even though it was a bit complicated at parts. Once you make one slipper, the next one is a breeze. I was having trouble knitting the toe/instep part at around row 38/39, but I finally figured out that it's not the pattern that's wrong - it was me thinking that I could talk or listen to someone while doing those short rows. He he)

Slippers Unfelted:


Slippers Felted:


Sooo glad that I'm done with these because I'm about to start a new baby outfit in a beautiful white DK wool for a gift. Once this outfit is done, I can work on finishing GiGi's socks - and then there will be no more knitting for anyone else but MEEEE! (think horrible, horrible cackling here....)

I also wanted to share with you the absolutely COOLEST thing that I bought about a month ago. If you're on Flickr, you might have already seen the MOO printing services. If not, go check them out. I ordered a pack of stickers and a pack of mini cards, which were printed with pictures from my Flickr account. I haven't gotten the mini cards yet, but the stickers came today, and THEY ARE TOO TOO AWESOME AND ADORABLE!!!

Look at this!


And this!


And this!! (a few free ones on the front page)


I have no idea what I'll do with these yet, but my Moleskine journal is begging to be decorated!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Oh, p.s.....I'm up to just about 40 pounds lost in 16 weeks (on Wed) and I'm feeling really great. Will try to get Ian to take a pic of me so I can post it. I've dropped about 20 inches from my thighs, arms, waist and hips and a couple of clothes sizes. I'm doing Wii Fit pretty much every day for at least 30-40 minutes and doing yoga every single day. It's soo exciting and I hope to get to a 50 pound weight loss by my birthday in May. Wish me luck!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When is it MY turn???

Hi you! I know...I've been pretty lazy about blogging lately.

I feel as if there are these weird excuses priorities for knitting, like:

ONE: Find pattern
TWO: Find yarn
THREE: Knit item
FOUR: Admire/wear/share item
FIVE: Find time to take pictures of item
SIX: Swear profusely when you can't get a good picture of item. (Apologize to children for swearing)
SEVEN: Remember to load pictures of item to computer, once you find your camera AND camera cord (This sometimes takes days)
EIGHT: Post item on Ravelry...after many side-tracked hours of pattern-surfing.
NINE: Go to Blogger and attempt to finally share a new blog post (which is usually at least 1-2 weeks behind), but get side-tracked (AGAIN!) in reading friends blogs.
TEN: After much effort, getting to the "Create New Post" area and listing 10 reasons why you haven't posted until now.

Pretty clever, huh?

So, now that I've done my necessary blabbering, I will show you a new FO (woo-hoo!!) and share some other stuff, too. Most of it is pretty interesting, too! Imagine that!

Ian's Felted Clogs

Yarn: Cascade 220 in a dark gray #8400
Pattern: Fiber Trends' "Felted Clogs"
Needle: US 13 (20 and 32" circ - I used Addi Turbos)
Time: Took about 4.5-5 hours (of actual knitting time) per slipper, not counting the sewing on of the suede sole (which took 1 hour total for both). Started on 1/ 06/09 and finished (with knitting, felting, felting more, and sewing up of both) 1/17/09.
Fun Level: B+ (I liked this pattern very much. It was clearly written, even though it was a bit complicated at parts. Once you make one slipper, the next one is a breeze. The only two things I didn't like were making 2 soles and sewing on of the suede sole - that was a pain in the a**!)

Picture of the slipper in progress:



Picture of the unfelted slipper on my hubby:



Pictures of the slippers on him:



He really loves them and has been wearing them since I finished them. They're a little big in the toe area (a little too wide) but, other than that, perfect!



Now...I'm working on a pair for Tim! (Black with red trim)

I just bought a number of skeins of yarn this week...I know, I know...I don't need them! But, I've had more requests for knitted items and I just can't say "no". (This is a weak point of mine.)

Let me share with you my yummy yarns:

1. 2 Skeins of Malabrigo (for Armando and Amanda Hats!) and 1 skein of Berroco Comfort in red.



2. 1 skein of Berroco Comfort in teal and 1 skein of Jojoland 100% cashmere laceweight in the most beautiful blue in the world!!



The Comfort yarn is for this: Hai-Riyo Dragon! (Rav link) One for each of my boys- and I bought some matching Berroco Lumina (sparkle, sparkle!) yarn for the dragon-y accents.

Since the beginning of December 2008 (so...about a month), I've been working on a number of items of other people:

-The "Branching Out" scarf for my mom's boss
-My dad's crocheted (acrylic!!) blanket
-Felted Tote for Felice
-Knitted Flower washcloth for Tim's piano teacher
-Felted Clogs for Ian and Tim
-Knitted socks using Sereknity yarn for Gigi (in exchange for a gorgeous pink, angora crocheted scarf!)
-Lace sample for the yarn store

And, I'm asking myself...."When is it MY turn???" When will I finally be done knitting things for others so I can knit for me??? I know this sounds horribly selfish, but knitting starts to become more like a chore than fun at some point. I DID get to knit a couple of things that I wanted to since December...like:

-My Mr. Flurry snowman (Rav link)
-A design item that I sent in
-Bella's Mittens (Rav link....oooh, see pics below -these were VERY fun!!)



AND...I have a baby sweater to knit (which I'm actually kinda excited about because it's soo cute!) for my mom's boss' daughter's baby-to-be - which is due late Feb.

Will I finish everything?? Will I end up having a nervous breakdown before then? Stay tuned for the results.... (he he)

P.S. Weight Watchers Update: 37.5 pounds total in 14 weeks!! I'm very excited. I've been doing yoga every day and also working out on the Wii Fit 5-6 times a week for at least 30 minutes. I'm trying not to eat too many snacks in between meals and still following some of the Flat Belly Diet rules along with my WW rules and points. I'm drinking TONS of water and eating TONS of vegetables -which, to me, is hard to do in the winter. Must-keep-gooooooiiiinnnng!!!!!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Picture Tagged!

Caroline tagged me!

Here are the rules:

* go to your 4th picture folder
* go to the 4th picture in the folder
* tell everyone 4 things about that picture
* tag 4 more people

My 4th Picture Folder: Ben's Baby Pictures

4th Picture in Folder:



4 Things about this Picture:

1. This is a picture of Ben when he was not quite 4 months old (very fitting!). He was such a cuddly, chubby little guy.

2. He loved to recline in his blue (his fav color, even now) Boppy Pillow.

3. He's holding a platypus stuffed animal, named Platy, that is actually Tim's (which Ian brought back with him as a gift when he was working in Australia).

4. He's giving everyone the middle finger, which was completely coincidental and VERY funny!

Okay....my turn to tag:

Tag 4 People:

Julie, KImberly, Cayli and Gigi.

BTW, weight loss update: 32.6 pounds in 11 weeks (or is it 12?)....woo-hoo!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!!



(Here is my family and I at Christmas....Back L-R: Ian, my mom, my sister, my dad and me. Front L-R: Ben and Tim)

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I've blogged!!! Between shopping, wrapping, holiday parties and cleaning, I think I got completely overwhelmed with time - and blogging has suffered. Sometimes, I feel like making sure that my Ravelry is updated is more important than blogging. What do you think? Have you felt this way, too??

Anyway, Happy New Year!!

I usually try to do this blog post on New Year's Eve, but we got home pretty late (details on what the heck happened next) so this was the very first year that we missed watching the ball drop in NYC and I forgot to blog somewhere near the end of the year. Ugh.

Christmas Vacation and Pics

Our trip to visit Ian's parents' new house in SC was pretty crazy. House is very nice, though.....huge ceilings, great big yard and the kitchen is amazing....here's a somewhat obscured view of the outside.



The trip there started with us leaving the house at 4 am to get to Boston. Even though we had 1.5 hours before our flight boarded (and had no bags to check in), we got on the plane with 5 minutes to spare. Although, we managed to get to D.C. with no trouble (it was Ben's 1st time on a plane and he loved it!), our connecting flight was cancelled and Ian had to scream and yell to get United to pay for our hotel room for the night (we'd been waiting in the airport for 5 hours at that point). The hotel was beautiful and the amenities fantastic (Holiday Inn in Dulles....AWE-SOME!) - here is the pool area with Tim waving to me- so it actually worked out for the best.



We had a nice visit, like I said...Ian's sister, Felice (see her pic below with the Felted Tote that I made for her) and his grandmother were there, too...and the weather was gorgeous - warm and sunny. A nice change from the freezing cold. Took lots of walks, went shopping, and Ian and I got to stay at ANOTHER beautiful hotel at the Clemson University (where Ian's dad is Head of the Graphics department) - it had a dining room, kitchen, living room, 3 sinks!! and the most comfortable beds/pillows that I've ever slept on in a hotel. It's called the James F. Martin Inn. I totally recommend this place!



The phone reception in that area wasn't great (no reception in their house) so I was lucky to be able to use my iPhone (a Christmas gift from Ian!!!) to check Ravelry and my email while I was there. Really - it was SO cool! (Jackie was so sweet and checked on Cocoa the Bunny and Jack the Cat while we were gone-thanks so much!!)

The trip home was pretty interesting. We left the hotel at 7:30 am and didn't get home until 7:30 pm. (It was supposed to be a 2 hour direct flight) Come to find out, the airport was 2.5 hours away, the flight was slightly delayed, the flight (once we got on) couldn't land in Boston due to the snow, we had to detour to Albany for a while and then we were finally back in Boston. The ride home in the snow was v-e-r-y slow going. We were soo glad to be home last night. But, then, as I said, we were too tired to stay up to see the New Year. At about 9 pm, I poured seltzer water in 4 fancy glasses (didn't have anything else in the house except water) and we clinked glasses....and fell asleep. ZZzzzzzzzzzz...

How was YOUR night??? Hope it was more exciting than mine! LOL

To end this very lengthy and blabbering blog post, I wanted to share some of my finished projects/handspun/books read for the year...with pics sprinkled here and there.

Knitting Projects Finished in 2008

Click here for Ravelry link to all of my projects....

1. The Amanda Hat (3...and pattern) by me
2. Squarey by Jess Hutchinson
3. Icarus by Miriam Felton
4. Christmas Eve Mitts (in pink) by me
5. Hello Kitty Monster Hat by Insubordiknit
6. Wavy (pink) by Sarah Smith
7. Spherey by Jess Hutchinson
8. Lobster Claw Mitts by Morehouse Merino
9. Moose Hat by Bea Ellis
10. Dragon Scarf (Puff) by Morehouse Merino
11. Phiaro Scarf by Katie Himmelberg
12. Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Lawrence
13. Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark
14. Mountain Scarf by Amy King of Spunky Eclectic
15. Cocoon Lace Scarf by Evelyn A. Clark
16. Lisha Lace Scarf by me
17. Kirby by me/Jess Hutchinson design- inspired
18. Meta Knight by me/Jess Hutchinson design-inspired
19. 1 Poseidon Sock by Tsarina of Socks
20. Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
21. Sarena Cashmere Cowl by Tonia Barry
22. Felted Tote by Two Old Bags
23. Armando Hat (3...Tim wearing his below...and pattern) by me

24. Presto Chango by Valerie Wallis (buttons to be changed to wooden ones)

25. Reverse-Bloom Flower Washcloth by Cindy Taylor

26. Branching Out Scarf by Susan Lawrence

27. Mr. Frosty by Michele Wilcox


Completed Handspun Yarn Created in 2008

1. "Cantaloupe-I'm Already Married" (Globe Mallow by Spritely Goods)
2. "Dragon Flames" (Smouldering Embers by Sereknity)
3. Random handspun (Rolags from different colored corriedale by Halcyon Yarn)
4. "Sexy Silk Bamboo" (Bali Hai bamboo by HollyEqq)

Books Read in 2008

1. Firebird by Janice Graham
2. Child Goddess by Louise Marley
3. Secret Garden by Frances H. Burnett
4. The Little Princess by Frances H. Burnett*
5. Mandy by Julie Andrews
6. Bridge to Terabithia by Katharine Peterson
7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte*
8. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse*
9. True Confessions of C. Doyle by Avi
10. Witch of Blackbird Pondy by E.G. Speare
11. The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (strangely enough the name of the woman who owned this house before us)
12. Ann of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
13. Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
14. Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
15. Down the Garden Path by Beverly Nichols
16. A Thatched Roof by Beverly Nichols*
17. A Village in a Valley by Beverly Nichols
18. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
19. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini*
20. The Age of Innocence by Edith Warton
21. Kissing Christmas Goodbye by Mary Higgens Clark
22. My Antonia by Willa Cather
23. My Life in France by Julia Child*
24. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
25. The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
26. Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert
27. An Innocent Gentleman by Elizabeth Jolley
28. The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber
29. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
30. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
31. An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
32. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
33. New Day Revolution by Sam Davidson
34. The Velvet Room by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
35. The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
36. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
37. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
38. Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander
39. The Castle of Lyr by Lloyd Alexander
40. Tender to the Bone by Ruth Reichl
41. Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl
42. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
43. The Clue in the Old Album by Carolyn Keene
44. The Mystery at Larkspur Lane by Carolyn Keene
45. What Tarot Can Do for You by Barbara Moore
46. Tarot Tips by Ruth and Wald Amberstone
47. The Host by Stephenie Meyer*
48 Twilight by Stephenie Meyer*
49. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
50. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
51. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
52. The Mystic Faerie Tarot by Barbara Moore
53. Strawberry Girl by Lois Lowry
54. Shoo Fly Girl by Lois Lowry
55. The Curse as Dark as Gold by E. Bunce
56. The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
57. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
58. Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier*
59. Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano
60. The Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes
61. Miss Happiness and Miss Flower by Rumer Godden
62. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
63. A Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
64. Heidi by Joanna Spyri*
65. Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann
66. A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch
67. Out by Natsuo Kirino
68. The Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez
69. The Painted Veil by A.S. Maugham
70. The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket
71. The Magicians and Mrs. Quent by Galen Beckett
72. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson
73. Mason Dixon Knitting II by Kay Gardener and Ann Shayne
74. Mah-Jong, Anyone? by Kitty Strauser
75. French Milk by Lucy Knisley
76. Candy Freak by Steven Almond
77. Cat Among Pigeons by Agatha Christie
78. Destination Unknown by Agatha Christie
79. The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith
80. The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth
81. Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLaughlin
82. The Midwife's Apprentice by Karen Cushman
83. Miracles on Maple Hill by Joan M. Blos
84. General Winston's Daughter by Sharon Shinn
85. The Conjurer by Cordelia F. Biddle
86. Watership Down by Richard Adams

(*denote my favorite books of the year. I wasn't able to finish 2 of the books I planned on finishing (Animal, Vegetable Mineral and Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver) and didn't get to the other 6 books on my list for the year (Treasure Island, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Tombs of Atrean by Ursula LeGuin, Fire Study and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte), but I think I did pretty well for attempting my book goal. I'll add these books to next year's list...which has 25 books on it so far.

Have a wonderful New Year's Day and hope this year is EXTRA good to you ; )