Friday, August 28, 2009

"The Joy of Sox" - PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!!

I'm very excited to share with you the newest sock book in the knitting world...



This sock book (which is a play on the book, "The Joy of Sex"...with lots of innuendo and flirty sock names) is very special to me - I have 2 sock designs in this book!

"A Roll in the Hay"



and

"Rock-A-Bye"



And, not only that, but "A Roll in the Hay" is the very FIRST pattern in the book and a picture of it is on the back cover. (On the front cover, is the gorgeous pair of socks ("Takeout for Two") by one of my favorite designers, Cathy Carron.)

AND, not only that...but both of the socks that I designed were knit using the beautiful and amazingly dyed Sereknity yarns by my very talented friend, Heather. She donated both skeins for these designs - Pharoah's Gold in Shimmer for "A Roll in the Hay" and Blue Hawaii in Satin. If you haven't tried knitting with her yarns, please try them now - and with my pattern (he he). Once you try one of her yarns, you will be totally addicted. Her yarns are available on her etsy shop, at The Yarn and Fiber Company in Derry, NH (and online) and also at many other online and New England yarn stores - including The Loopy Ewe and The Yarn Sellar.

AND, not only that...but THIS:

I'm having a prize giveaway that includes:

GRAND PRIZE



A FREE copy of the book, "The Joy of Sox" with patterns signed by me (if you are inclined to want such a thing!)
and
A FREE skein of Sereknity sock yarn in colorway, "Pharoah's Gold"

What do you think of that???

SECOND PRIZE

A FREE skein of Sereknity sock yarn in a surprise colorway!

THIRD PRIZE

A FREE copy of my "Lisha Lace Scarf" pattern
and
Small Secret Goodie Item

And, now you're asking..."What do I have to do to win these prizes?"

Simple!

RULES of GIVEAWAY

1. Read this blog post. If you want to be included in this giveaway, comment on this post with a joy that you get out of sock knitting or handknit socks.
2. Watch out for a new podcast ("The Joy of Sox") link on my blog or iTunes. (Check Wed or Thursday of next week)
3. Download and listen this podcast (Sleepy Eyes Knits).
4. I will give a codeword on the podcast that you will email to me (link for emailing on right on homepage of blog) and I'll enter you into the drawing.
5. Check out the blog on the following Monday to hear who won!
(Winners will be chosen by a random number generator)

Comment..NOW! Good luck!!!

(entries accepted until 10 pm of Sunday, 9/6/09)

P.S. If you'd like to see more pics and read more details of my sock patterns, please check out these Ravelry pages:

A Roll in the Hay and Rock-A-Bye (feel free to favorite them if you want...lol!)

I forgot! Lark Books sent the results to their Sock Questionnaire and here are the results...very interesting!

1. Do you wear socks to bed?
A) Yes 49.38%
B) No 50.62%

2. Do you have a yarn addiction?
A) Yes: big time! 64.32%
B) Maybe, although I'm working on controlling it. 31.95%
C) No--I can quit anytime I want. 3.73%

3. How often do you look at pictures of socks online?
A) 1-3 times per month 14.52%
B) 1-3 times per week 37.34%
C) 1-3 times per day 29.88%
D) More than 3 times a day 18.26%

4. What kind of music do you like to listen to while knitting socks?
A) Rock—It’s perfect for keeping a good pace. 16.96%
B) Classical—I’m classy like that. 9.57%
C) Heavy Metal—The rough stuff is always better. 1.74%
D) Jazz—Perfect for improvisations! 1.30%
E) Country—Laid back makes for smooth knitting. 5.22%
F) Audiobooks—My fingers work best on autopilot. 29.13%
G) Knitting Podcasts—All knitting, all the time. 13.91%
H) None—Silent and devotional! 22.17%

5. Do you prefer playing footsy:
A) Besocked 47.83%
B) Bare-toed 52.17%

6. Be honest, now. How large is your sock stash?
A) One medium-sized rubber storage bin 48.52%
B) Three shelves in my closet 31.65%
C) My stash has its own room! 19.83%

7. What’s your favorite post-sock activity?
A) Posting picks of your creation online 14.64%
B) Getting a hand massage 0.84%
C) Wearing your socks somewhere public 30.13%
D) Starting another pair (of course!) 54.39%

8. How many pairs of hand knit socks do you own?
A) 1–5 29.05%
B) 6–15 39.00%
C) 16–30 21.99%
D) An uncountable mass 9.96%

9. What's your favorite kind of sock yarn?
A) Wool 94.19%
B) Bamboo 3.73%
C) Cotton 1.66%
D) Acrylic 0.41%

10. Which is your most productive sock knitting season?
A) Spring—fresh breezes and pretty flowers are all the inspiration you
need. 9.44%
B) Summer—those lazy days are perfect for sippin' lemonade and
making socks, too. 24.89%
C) Fall—from Labor Day to the holiday rush, there's no better time to
add to your sock pile. 19.74%
D) Winter—you love to cozy up with a pair of needles and yarn. Let it
snow! 45.92%

11. Do you paint your toe nails?
A) Yes 43.28%
B) Why bother, I’m always wearing socks! 56.72%

12. What’s the most you’ve ever paid for sock yarn?
A) less than $10 1.66%
B) $10--$20 24.48%
C) more than $20 73.86%

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy Bee (Part II)


With the kiddies starting school again in two days and many household events the past couple of weekends, I feel a bit frazzled, overwhelmed and tuckered out. Not in a bad way, though. I like to stay busy. (Ask my hubby...he knows how hard it is for me to relax....)

If you don't mind, I want to chat a little before sharing my list (I love lists...) of finished/in progress knitted objects. If I could get off of my butt and make myself a cup of tea right now, I would....but, I'm so damn hot and sticky that I don't think I could really drink anything warm at the moment...even some tasty, slightly sweet Country Peach herbal tea. (My favorite next to Peppermint).

We had some guests over this weekend...my sister, Kim, visited on Sat- Sun and we had a great time. We don't get to see her very often and it's always a nice treat when she can drive up and sleep over. We got Chinese take out for lunch (I made a change from my usual Spicy Stir Fried Green Beans to Green Jade), went in the pool and then off to the Derry Flea Market. That was incredibly interesting...I've never seen so many "hot", brand named purses in my life. Whoa. Needless to say, my sister had a blast and found, what she thought, were some fantastic buys. The kids and Ian were more interested in going over to Clam Haven and having some creamy, tasty ice cream. I loved how Ian's chocolate dipped soft serve was melting all over his face, hands and lap onto the ground. Niiiice!

Yesterday, Ian invited some friends over from work for a BBQ, swim in the pool and night of furious Wii Sports playing. It was hilarious watching the guys compete over who could do the best dives/jumps off of the diving board. I wish I'd taken pictures!! (or videos) I think Ian truly beat them all - he's goood! It was a bit of a fight to get Ben to leave all of the activity, but I lured him upstairs with baby carrots and whole grain goldfish - and the new Sesame Street podcast to watch on my iPhone. It was really nice to get into our air conditioned bedroom after the day was over.

The best part of the whole weekend (I know this will sound crazy) was that our house is looking so nice and clean and organized. Ian did A LOT of yard work in the front and back and it looks pretty good - we need some more pretty colored plants (maybe some geraniums would look nice...) and mulch under some bushes but, all in all, it's much more attractive. We spent time cleaning up the "playroom" which is a completely white room (walls, curtains, and tile floor -what the heck were the previous owners thinking??!!!??) and, as you can imagine, gets dirty (and looks dirty) within literal seconds after having cleaned it. With a bunny, cat, and 2 kids in the mix, it's truly a nightmare and sometimes I can't even bear to clean it out one-more-time. It should be o-kay for at least one more day - I hope. Having everything clean and organized is essential to my well-being. Anyone else like that? I feel like I can't sit and relax for a second if I know there's any kind of mess somewhere in the house waiting for me to clean it up. Maybe I'm just weird.

I'm both not looking forward to the kiddies going back to school and also looking forward to it at the same time. I'll be happy (and relieved) to have some peace and quiet (no bickering or fighting!!!), but I'll miss them a lot. Especially Ben - who'll be going into 1st grade this year. And that means he'll be gone ALL DAY! (excuse me while I cry a little) Tim's starting his Junior year in high school and has some great classes - AP Java (which he's getting college credit for), as well as French 4 and other interesting classes. He's excited that this will be the first year that he'll have a study period and, though I hope he'll use it to get some homework done, I'm not counting on it. LOL!

I'm going to use my free time to try and teach more yoga classes and organize the house. I have these things in mind:

1. Clean out Ben's closet - get rid of old baby toys, clothes and donate old baby books.

2. Clean out art cabinet- it's currently filled to the top with Ben's artwork and art supplies thrown in everywhere. You can't even open it without everything falling out. That will change and I will organize and catagorize everthing to the DEATH!

3. Donate more old clothes and books from the rest of the house.

4. Fill boxes with things to donate or sell at yard sale - anyone interested in 3/4 full bottles of perfume? I have many. I always change my mind about what fragrance I like. You can have them for free. Just let me know.

5. Get my sewing area ready - I haven't decided yet where to set up my new sewing machine (and sewing basket, fabric, pattern books, etc.) yet. It's a choice between a corner in the kitchen or a corner in the living room. Both would work out (outlet-wise), though I think the kitchen would get more sunlight/light. But, the living room would be more out of the way of traffic. Any suggestions?

6. THE BIG CHORE - cleaning out MY walk in closet, which is currently full to brim (Ian, don't read this part) with yarn, fiber and books. This might take a few days. (gulp)

Well, I think that's it for now. I will follow up all of this talk with a picture of my one finished object and a knitted project-in-progress.

Buttercup



Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in colorway #70
Needle: Size US 6 and 5
Size: Large (though it came out to the correct measurements for the size, it was much too big for me...and I'm holding it to the side with my hand. I'm thinking of trying to wash and dry it so it'll shrink a little)
Details: You can see more pics and read more about my experience with this pattern HERE on Ravelry.

Lizard Ridge Afghan



Yarn: Noro Kureyon
Needle: Size US 8
Size: I'm making 5 vertical strips, each 10.5" by 74" and each using 6 full skeins of Noro Kureyon. So far, I've made 3 full strips plus almost done with 1/3 of another.
Details: You can see more pics and read more about my experience with this pattern HERE on Ravelry.

WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE:

I'm up to over 85 pounds lost and I have only 19 pounds to go. Or a little less. I feel like I'm getting closer and I'm trying VERY VERY HARD so that I can reach my goal by the end of the year. Thanks to everyone for always encouraging me and cheering me on. You're wonderful! I keep trying to re-motivate myself, which is not always easy to be sure....and I truly could NOT do it without my husband. He's been my number 1 supporter and daily compliments me, helps me and keeps me on track. I think Weight Watchers needs to give HIM and award! : )

Have a great night and hope that you're all doing well...big hugs from me!

P.S. The top picture is of the newly acquired yarn that I bought (and was gifted) from Heather of Sereknity. The top pic is of a new skein of Malabrigo Worsted that I'll use for a new Amanda Hat for myself for the winter and the others (in the "Perfect" yarn base) are: Alyssa, Indigo-go and Posy - all new and simply gorgeous colorways that Heather has created. I can't wait to knit them up!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Almost there....kinda.

I thought it was about time that I did a "BEFORE" and "AFTER" picture - just to motivate myself. This month has been good and not so good, very difficult and exhausting, but also sometimes pretty smooth. I'm up to 83 pounds lost since October 15 and I'm hoping to reach my goal, if not by October 15th of this year, then definitely by December 31st. I have about 20 or so pounds to go.

Can I do it??? I sincerely hope so!!

So, here is a picture of me while knitting on my Swallowtail Shawl in Kauni around about the beginning of October. (This is the closest I could get to a truthful picture...the rest have been de-let-ed!)

BEFORE:



Now, here is the most recent picture of me from Monday at Hampton Beach. (Oh, the boobs!!! Why can't I get better support??)

ALMOST AFTER:



Also, a few other pics of me and Ian while on our anniversary vacation to Mystic, CT - we had such a relaxing and wonderful time! (and no kiddies - just us!)

Ian and I at the Stonington Lighthouse Museum "beach" area:



Just me with my knitting bag (see the purple Namaste bag with blue knitting in it on the left???):



And, now, I'll share some of my newest FOs and progress on the Lizard Ridge Afghan -which is close to halfway done!!

1. Quant from the newest Spin-Off Magazine and also Knitty.com:



Super quick and fun to knit with my own Rambouillet handspun!
(See details and more pictures on my Ravelry page here.)

2. Mousie from Ysolda Teague's "Whimsical Little Knits":



and, Mousie loves Ben...and Ben loves Mousie....



Ben loves this toy and it only took me a few hours - it's extremely fun and quick to knit using just a little bit of yarn (Katia Mississippi 3 Solids in gray and bright pink).
(See details and more pictures on my Ravelry page here.)

3. Icing Swirl Hat from Ysolda's book, "Whimsical Little Knits" (I've almost done half of the projects in the book!)



Super, super fast and very soft and warm. I loved using the Misti Alpaca Chunky for this- gorgeous. I wish the store had the Lipstick colorway, though...that one is awesome!
(See details and more pictures on my Ravelry page here.)

4. Sea Urchin from Ilga Leja Designs:



This top didn't take long at all and was enjoyable from start to finish. Very light, very airy and so comfortable to wear. I used the Katia Mississippi 3 Solids again in the bright pink and I was really happy with how it came out.
(See details and more pictures on my Ravelry page here.)

5. Lizard Ridge Afghan from Knitty.com:



I've got 2 full panels done now and will be knitting at least 2 more, probably 3. I love using the Noro Kureyon - the colors just make this blanket so impressive and stunning. Plus, it's not that scratchy and will be soo warm!
(See details and more pictures on my Ravelry page here.)

Whew! That's a LOT of damn knitting...LOL!

I'm also working on my October Frost Cardigan, my mom's Fudge Swirl Mock Cable Pullover and the Buttercup knitted top in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in a bright blue, which is coming out awesome.

Do you think I'm slacking???

(Hugs to all....thank you so much for your comments and constant support!)