Another Hobby Blog

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Can't Believe They WORKED!!

Footwear might well be the hardest part of a costume to find or put together! In my experience, the right footwear is almost impossible, especially if you also want it to fit properly and comfortably!

Halloween is right around the corner (3 sewing days left! YIPE!) and I don't currently fit into any of my previous costumes.. something about those extra pounds I've put on this year.

Plus, I need to do something that accommodates my injury.

So! I am planning to be an injured fairy.. with splinted leg and wings.

(This plan relies heavily on my getting the sewing done this weekend! YIPE I say!!)

Two weeks out, I realized that one of the make-or-break pieces of costumery for this endeavor would be the footwear! and that I would not be likely to find appropriate footwear at a second-hand store or costume shop or ..really.. anywhere! at least, not for a reasonable price for a costume piece! that would also be comfortable and fit properly!


I decided to knit-and-felt a pair of fancy slippers for myself!

I approached this task the way I do most of my design work.. with a prayer to the appropriate deity and a Hope-this-works enthusiasm. Fortunately, this is an approach with which I have had more success than failure, and here is the most recent result!

(knitted up large on the left, felted on the right)

They fit!! It worked!!!!! OMG it worked.

Next step: (after felting the second boot and letting it dry) smear the soles with caulk and let dry. The caulk will increase the water-resistance and traction and will help keep the felt from abrading too quickly on the Seattle streets. :)

caulk needs about 48 hours to dry properly. .. I have almost that much time left!

Oh, just in case you'd like to make your own pair, I've included an image of my notes. Good luck deciphering them!! .. If there is sufficient interest, I may be willing to do the clean-up work necessary to make a pattern for sale.

Things I've Made To Send Out...

I'm barely keeping up with the exchange deadlines! yipes!! signed up for too many, I think.. especially since my physical therapy hitch got solved and I'm out of the house far more than I was when I made the exchange commitment!

Some of the things that are ready to go out (or have already been put in the post!):

The fabric postcard I made and sent out! .. I hope the beadwork survives the mail!

The handmade pincushion prototype for the handmade pincushion exchange. He's not quite the right shape, so I made some adjustments to the pattern before using the real fabric.

one of the three ATC whatnot bags I put together (and still need to send)

and two pair of "Things With Wings" ATCs ... my first ever ATCs, and thank goodness they can only get better! It might be difficult to tell from the picture what they are: there are two firebirds and two dragons. I painted them with acrylic paints, and have mixed feelings about the results. One neat thing, though! The dragons' wings are fabric! I like that touch, anyway.

So you can see I have been busy! very busy. .. but not too busy to appreciate the wonderful things that have been arriving in my mailbox lately!! Thank you all! :)

Other Things That Arrived Last Week!

One pair of ATCs (artist trading cards) from the "Time ATCs" swap-bot exchange!! I love them! :) .. I always wish I could do something this simple and fabulous!!

A bunch of odds and ends and whatnots for making ATCs and other art collage projects!

More odds and ends and whatnots!

handmade postcards!! including one hand-drawn, and one made of fabric!


Thank You Hot Socks!!

(again, I am going to prioritize getting this post saved over digging out the necessary links. .. I'll add them in later.)

I got the most wonderful spoiler in Indie's Swap-Bot Hot Socks swap!!

The requirements for the swap were to send "recipient's favorite hot drink" (I chose cocoa), "enough sock yarn for a pair of adult socks," and "something extra."

What a lot of extra!!

Not only are there three flavors of hot cocoa, there are three bars of really good chocolate, too! and a package of some really fascinating snack-mix with peppered pecans and dried cranberries! --very rich, and I can only nibble a tiny bit at a time--but a flavor blend I have never tasted before! sweet and spicy all at once. :)

There are three balls of Patons Wool-Soy yarn (dk weight! perfect for those size 3 bryspuns!!) and two balls of funky novelty yarn to go along as a fanciful cuff! .. and a pattern to that effect! (plus two other patterns that look like quite a lot of fun too.)

There are also a wonderful blue ball of bamboo yarn! so silky and lovely! I think it might be beautiful as a spring handbag? a ball of sparkly special yarn in blues and greens that I could use as an accent for the bamboo, or perhaps on its own, or maybe even paired with: the ball of green linen yarn! which seems far too special to turn into a washcloth (but oh so luxurious if I did..) .. so maybe I will use it as part of my costume for Rennaisance faire somehow? .. and there is even a partial ball of pink cotton! So fun!! So many guilt-free choices!! (I just *adore* partial skeins of yarn because I don't have to worry about choosing the "right" project-- partial skeins and short ends are permission to experiment and play! .. a little bit of this, a smidge of that.. and all of a sudden there are color connections occurring I never would have planned if I'd had enough of one color to begin with! ;) ) .. and there are a couple of odds and ends from someone's sewing/craft basket-- several tiny sparkle-pom-poms!! They're maybe 1/2 inch diameter, and they are so cute! .. I saw some for sale in the pet store last week (would you believe it!) for adding "bling" to your hermit crab! (can you believe it. hmpf!) No hermit crab here, and the bunny won't hold still, so I will have to figure out what else I can do with them.

..and a couple ounces of mauve-ish fleece! (It's really quite a nice color.. very earthy and warm) I will have much fun spinning the fleece into yarn. .. Oh! and a bag full of feathers!! chicken feathers in lots of different patterns and colors! so fun!! I am toying with the idea of adding the feathers to the fleece as I spin the yarn and see what happens!

And a card (with a wonderful note!) featuring a picture of one of her roosters!

Does it get any better than this??

(before you answer that, remember: Flash was a fluke! ;) a really wonderful, very appreciated, unlikely to ever re-occur fluke! .. you can't count him--he's on the far end of the bell curve. ;)

Thank you, Hot Socks Spoiler!! (link will get added later)

Speaking of My Anniversary...

I thought I'd share the beauty!

This lovely bouquet is what my husband brought for me!! :)

And thank you also to my mother for the gift card. :)

Oh Good! I Think I Can Write A Thank-You Note!!

The first one to my SP9!!

Wonderful wonderful person that she is (I am assuming female, in part because statistically it is most likely)!!

Two of the packages that arrived in my mailbox on the 17th were from my wonderful new SP9 spoiler!! She has amazing taste. :)

One of the packages was drop-shipped from a nearby yarn store, and I'd been told that the package would contain "something to hopefully help your wrists from aching" (paraphrased), so I was suspecting a pair of the Hand-eeze compression wristlets (which I have used in quilting before I learned to knit, and have loved for years!! .. and which are elastic and lycra and tend to wear out over time, so even though I currently have a pair, I was delighted at the thought that a new pair might arrive in the post!) ... but no! Even better!! Three different sizes of Bryspun sock needles! I have heard many good things about Bryspun needles before, and yet these are the first sets I have owned or even worked with! I am delighted. :) They are sizes 1, 2, and 3 (I think--from memory, as I am too intent on getting this post written and saved to spend the time to go check!), and I can hardly wait to try them! They are highly reccommended for persons with wrist strain or arthritis as they are a moderately flexible plastic (casein, I think.. from milk proteins).. and they are highly reccommended for lace knitters as they have a really nice long tapered point that makes K3TOGs much easier than the standard short tapers found on most needles! And it came with an oh-so-cute sheep and lamb card! Spectacular! :)

And on the same day (actually, I think it was Monday, the 16th instead of part of the Tuesday windfall) a second package arrived, also from my wonderful new SP9 spoiler!

I love the wrapping paper with the bugs and the butterflies! .. Just in time to use for an upcoming ATC swap, perhaps? .. and the card that came with everything features an Art Deco window! one of my favorite artistic periods, and one of my favorite artistic mediums! very cool.

And a nice warm collar! Hand knit by my spoiler herself!! It is oh-so-cozy! and I can wear it as a headband when my hair is wet to keep my ears warm! Bring on the cold weather! I have hand-knit garments and accessories to protect me this year!! ;)

And a package of Jasmine tea! I am saving it for a quiet afternoon in which I can steep my pot multiple times and just *savor* the moment. (I have been much too hectic this week: the glitch with physical therapy finally got corrected, so now I have appointments out of the house almost every day again, and I discovered Swap-Bot (and immediately signed up for too many.. like filling one's plate at a smorgasboard) so I am trying to make sure that I get the projects I committed to completed and mailed on time. .. and last time I had a cup of tea sitting beside me while I worked, I made the mistake of rinsing my paintbrush in it. EWWWWW! .. must not let *that* happen to my wonderful yummy Jasmine tea!

And last (but far from least) the most amazing (so amazing, it's just plain eerie!) anniversary present! (My 5th year wedding anniversary was this year, on the 13th, and it was....mmm...much less than what I had been hoping for back at the start of the year before I realized the extent of my injury and its repercussions.)

A framed picture of a wedding cake decorated with a peacock!! .. Yes, that's right, a framed picture of **MY** wedding cake! Mine! Yipes!! That is some extremely impressive sleuth work, there, SP9!! I am duly impressed!

Thank you so very much! I love it all. :) Thank you.

Oh! and the chocolate!! GOOD chocolate!!! Yummy! ... I'm savoring it slowly. Now that I don't have to fear losing it to Beth anymore, I finally get to nibble away at it one bite at a time! :)

The 17th Was Overflowing Mailbox Day....

Since then, Blogger has eaten 5 thank-you posts that I have written, and been unavailable to login at least that many times more!

Today I will try again.

But first, I will post this note, just so y'all know what has been going on.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Let Me Introduce You to FLASH!

This is the very last thing from my SP8's reveal package.. and it rocks the house. It is one of *THE* best presents I have *ever* received!! (right up there with the Isis shawl from Zann! and... the unexpected get well yarn from Mia! and ... okay, so every little thing I get is "the best!" for at least it's own brief shining moment.. but... how do you pick favorites, anyway?? Is it possible to say this is "the best!" without hurting someone else's feelings or putting extra pressure on someone trying to pick something "perfect" in the future??)

It's taken me a long long time to find the words to say Thank You for this one.. and I think I'm still tonghue-tied!

I followed the instructions provided, and let my husband do the work of lifting and assembly:

Ohmigosh!! I forgot to say Thank you for the 4 fabulous pairs of (storebought and oh-so-cute!) socks that Flash was wearing!!! I absolutely love them! I've already worn each of them more than once and I am just so happy with the way they fit! and with the fabulously fun colors and patterns!! Thank You!

The first thing Flash did was introduce himself to his cousin-- a little (as yet unnamed) brass peacock I made in a metal-working class during my pursuit of my art degree at UW! I really love the way the makers of Flash solved the challenge of getting his tail feathers to spread and stay spread! --there is a little dowel that slips through all the feathers in their spread position!! .. My own little flashette critter solves the same challenge by spreading like a fan, with a string running through the feather spread. (unfortunately, the thread wears out and needs to be replaced much too frequently. .. also, if I made my little peacock again, I'd put him onto a base to help him stand in all of his positions (his tail goes up into a spread or stays down in either a half-spread or collected position. I'll have to take better pictures of him to share with you.)

My SP8 spoiler *DEFINITELY* went over-budget with this one! Ohmigosh!!! Thank you *SO* very very much!! .. Beth had shown me the link to Flash about a year ago, but she had absolutely no intention of splurging on him for me.. and for that matter, I hadn't yet brought *myself* around to splurging on him, even though I fell in love with him on first sight!! .. I CAN'T BELIEVE HE CAME TO LIVE WITH ME!!!! ... (and I can't *believe* you splurged on him for me, Lacy!! ... I just can't believe it. You did so very very much for me over the three months you were my spoiler, and I am still in shock from your over-the-top reveal!!! I look forward to staying in touch with you-- you have been so incredibly thoughtful with your emails and notes and amazing gifts! You made such a HUGE difference in my life! HUGE!! .. You were an unbelievably generous and compassionate spoiler during three most-difficult months of my life, and I really can't thank you enough! Thank you for geing so kind and generous! I look forward to a long friendship (the next move of which rests on my own shoulders.. like visiting your blog and making comments, writing you emails, sending a proper thank you... all that wonderful stuff!) with you!

ThankyouThankyouTHANKYOU!!! he really is the best present Ever!!! :)

And one last thank you! -- Flash, sitting in his pride-of-place perch on my fireplace hearth, dressed up in three of my Spectrum colorway socks! and the pair of socks from my SockapalOOOza Angel!! (look! the carpet is even clean for this picture!! no dust and fur-balls along the edge of the brick!!)

Thank you, Lacy!! and thank you Spectrum sock yarn pals!! and thank you SockapalOOOza angel! and thank you everyone who has been kind and generous in all your assorted ways!!!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Today Was Overflowing Mailbox Day...

Thanks to Indieknits' Hot Socks swap, I got sucked into Swap-Bot! Yipe!! ... lots of fun swaps to take part in! I may have gotten into more than I can keep up with....

Today I went out early in the morning (not so early as you might think from the word "early", or even from the word "morning" really, but earlier than the postman comes by) on my way to physical therapy and I stopped at my mailbox to drop a newly-completed Fabric Postcard into the outgoing mail slot for one of my new swap-bot pals, and when I opened my (incoming) mail box, I found no less than 3 packages just for me! My mail box was jammed so full (the packages were sizeable, but there was also a whole slew of upcoming election junk mail flyers) that I'm quite sure nothing else would be able to fit!

It's a good thing I checked on the way out, because on the way back the postman had been by and there were 2 MORE packages for me!! (definitely would not have fit if I hadn't cleared out the prior mail!)

I am so used to getting nothing but Junk! (store flyers, political brochures, bills, adverts, JUNK!) so today's mail (which definitely includes yesterday's mail and might even include Monday's) was a much-appreciated boost!

I'm not at home this evening, so I can't take pictures, so I haven't even opened most of the packages yet. (I did open one package--it was one of my ATC Ephemera ziplock baggies! fun stuff.)

I can tell you for sure that two of the packages are from my wonderful new SP9 spoiler!! (they both arrived today, and we'll see how they travelled when I open them tomorrow!)

And I think that one of the packages is from my Hot Socks Swap pal! (sock yarn and hot chocolate! Yum!!)

The other (two? three?) packages are from a couple of the Swap-Bot exchanges I joined, and I can hardly wait to see what is in all of them!!

Thank you everyone!!

One Final SP8 Thank-You!!

I finally have time to sit at a computer and write my final thank-you note for the Over-The-TOP final SP8 gift!!

I've shown you most of the gifties already, but I saved the very best for last!
This is such an *amazing* giftiee that I can hardly believe it is true, even though I walk past it every single day! (It now rests in a prominent pride-of-place location in my living room!)
It is without a doubt one of the *alltime* best gifties ever!!! EVER, I say! .. right up there with my very own horse when I was 13, and the tickets to see Cats when I was 16, and... well, it is just The BOMB!!

... ... ...

Unfortunately, I am not at my own computer, and I have forgotten what I called the pictures, so I cannot finish this post just yet, darnit!!

Just wait til you see this thing!! It is the BEST!!

Thank you, Lacy!!

Thank You, Dishcloth Swap Pal!

Cindy sent me this absolutely wonderful dishcloth-shuffle package!

3 purple handmade dishcloths!! fudge! tingle candies! (multi-colored!!) organic cotton yarn! a postcard of baby Tasmanian devils (so cute!) another postcard with scenic views from Australia! a little tack-pin from Tasmania that will be perfect on my cork board! (I seem to collect fancy little tack-pins.. I like to use them instead of standard office-type thumbtacks.) a cute card with a picture of a labrador retrievier puppy and a nice note inside! Fabulous wrapping paper!! (I unwrapped everything very carefully so that I could save the paper!)

And the sweetest little handbag that *she made*!! purple and gold! and beads and hand stitching!! the perfect size for one small knitting project (like a dishcloth, or a pair of socks!) and my ID on halloween!! Perfect timing! .. and the color will go splendidly with my costume!! (if I get my costume made, that is...) How did you know?! ;)

Thank you, Cindy!!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

SP9 Questionnaire

Most of the answers stay the same...

Welcome to SP9!

Below is the questionnaire for this round. Please post your answers to your blog before October 15th. Be sure you post the questionnaire where your pal can easily find it. :-)

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I really do not like acrylics or polyesters-- but that said, novelty fibers/yarns are growing on me lately..

My favorites are still the natural fibers: wool and cotton and silk and linen, some of the newer modified natural fibers like ingeo and bamboo, and blends that are primarily natural (wool-nylon sock yarns, for example)

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

anywhere handy. On my bookshelf I have a clear plastic shoebox, and in that shoebox I have some accordion-pleat file folders with one pleat per needle size for my circulars. .. My DPs I keep in old button-tubes (one tube per needles size) in an empty Quik container. My straights are in a large seasonal Popcorn tin, sharing space with my weaving shuttles. :) ... and those are just the places I keep my needles so that I can Find them again! .. as often as not, my needles are running around in project bags or shoved through my hair as a makeshift hair-pin, or fallen into the couch cushions...

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I first started knitting when I was about six (hated it! .. liked crochet, though) ... but I didn't really start knitting until 2003. My grandmother (the Knitter of the family) died that year.. and somehow I started knitting.. and started Understanding it, and Liking it! ... I think perhaps my grandmother is helping from the Great Beyond... ;)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

I like really light scents. .. most scented candles are much too overpowering, regardless of the scent they are aiming for!
... I like lilacs and vanilla and strawberry... fresh clean wool, of course.. ;) ... the scent of fresh baked-goods... apple cider, a recent rainstorm, lemons...

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

sweet tooth--definitely. :) favorite candy? hmmm... good chocolate, divinity, marshmallows... creme brulee! (oops, not a candy) .. cookies and baked goods!

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I spin, knit, weave, dye, crochet, scrapbook, photograph, build things (wood), make garments and costumes, quilt, do puzzles (word puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, I do them all)... bead, calligraphy, painting, ... oh, and I do tat after all! .. I figured out last month what I'd been doing wrong, and it turns out that tatting really isn't all that bad after all. :)

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like all sorts of music, very ecclectic collection. Yes, I can play MP3s. :)

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I can't think of a color that I really don't like.. every color has merit in the right context. :) ... I do adore just about any color you can find on a Peacock.. but really..bright, muted, grey, browns, jewel tones, neons, jarring, gentle, subtle, bold.. I like them all. :)

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

My husband and I have a new Angora bunny (born in May, and oh-so-cute!) .. I got him at the end of September, and he will probably live with us for the next dozen years or so, assuming a long and happy, healthy life. ... at some point I will also get a new puppy, but not yet. Right now I am still getting used to the absence of my Zhenya, who got taken to Virginia by my once-best-friend, Elizabeth. The pain is a little too recent.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear anything that keeps me warm! (winter's coming...) .. I've fallen in love with the shawl that Zann sent--it goes almost everywhere with me these days! .. and I love scarves! (can't have too many, I think...) .. Hats are great.. especially ones that keep my ears warm! .. for that matter, ear-bands are great, too! It's often too rainy to wear a hat that doesn't repel water, but even so, I can always wear one indoors--especially once I get back on the ice rink again. (maybe by February, if I'm lucky. ) ... I haven't had a poncho in years, but I loved the ones I did have way back when... and I think they'd be really fun if they were styled so that they could be worn as either a poncho or an over-skirt... ... it's not cold enough here to require mittens, but wrist warmers come in really handy! especially on cold mornings when I'm trying to type or knit. :)

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I'm not sure I have a "favorite" .. I almost always have a pair of simple socks on needles so that I have a small easy project to go everywhere with me... I almost always have some sort of lace in progress... and I almost always have something that requires shaping/fitting.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Right now? well, I haven't mastered the ability to type and knit at the same time.... ;)
On the needles right now (and currently progressing): two pair socks, one beaded scarf, one worsted-weight lace scarf, my Noro shawl (which might be finished, or might get an attatched capelet added on..), the Fiber Trends "spirals" hat (if I can make gauge)...

also on the needles (but not currently progressing): mystery stole lace project, baby alpaca lace scarf, pop-up paws for my husband, Shapely Tee for myself, felted mittens (may become an abandoned project or might get finished.. either way its fate will be decided by the end of the year), Fiber Trends shrug (or did I pull that one already?) which didn't look like it was going to fit right so go shoved away into a corner for awhile, the second sock to match the over-the-top SockapalOOOza colorwork socks that don't quite fit me right so I need to pull back the first sock and re-knit the foot anyway, two dishcloths, a pair of knee socks (set aside for the priviledge of working with my very special swap partners' Get Well yarns instead!), and maybe a few others that I'm forgetting at the moment..

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I *love* receiving handmade gifts!! (and baked goods! ;)

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I'll work with all of them these days. :) My absolute favorites these days are Addi Turbos (the longer the better) and Addi Naturas.. (Addis have a really nice cord that doesn't get kinked or cause the yarn to get caught at the connection points.) I also love DPs of almost all description.. and as for straights, I have a mild preference for the shorter lengths (long straights can cause problems with the person in the next seat over at the theater or on an airplane.. ;)

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I do own a ball winder and a swift! I can't imagine trying to get by without them!

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Oldest UFO? hmmm.... maybe that little beaded crochet bag? (I ran out of beads)... maybe the hairpin lace I started a couple of years ago? ..
I have a tendency to continue to work on old projects at least once a year, and if I don't work on them, I rip them back out and reclaim the yarn. :)

18. What is your favorite holiday?

My longtime favorite has been Valentine's day.. but this year has left me a little cynical and wary, so maybe for this year it'll be Halloween instead: masks and costumes and being someone archetypical.. a theatrical presentation instead of a vulnerable human soul...

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Is there anything I don't? ..hmm... I have a large and treasured collection of knitting and fiber craft books (yet still somehow I have a wishlist!) .. I collect stone globes (orbs, not eggs... though I think that my orbs are collecting eggs because I seem to have quite a few of them even though I've never really asked for any! ;) ... peacocks (of course!!), hedgehogs, and jellyfish... yarn..., fiber craft tools!! (like shuttles and lucets and knitting needles and tatting shuttles!), ... that's what comes to mind today, anyway..

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I don't yet have subscriptions to any magazines! (can you believe it?) .. I've been thinking I should get some this year, maybe.. Vogue Knitting, Spin-Off, InKnitters, Ornament, and FiberCraft are all magazines I pick up regularly from the stores and should really think about getting subscriptions for! (I'd probably save money..)

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

.. techniques that are still on my to-do list: entrelac, domino knitting, shadow-knitting, further exploration in hairpin lace crochet, making a sweater (that not only fits but flatters), more experience with cable knitting, really intense lace work (maybe the Peacock Feathers shawl from Fiddlesticks?), and combining knitting with other fiber techniques

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I am definitely a sock knitter. My feet are about an 8-1/2 US. I used to be really specific about what I liked in a sock, but that definition is ever-expanding these days... I haven't made any lace socks yet, so I'm not sure whether I'd like them (it seems to me they'd let the cold in. ... but then.. perhaps I'd wear them over a contrasting color nylon?) ... and I haven't made any cabled socks yet, but I have a plan to! .. I am absolutely in love with every pair of hand-knit socks I own--especially the ones that have been knitted for me by othe people! (as a sock knitter, I understand the value of every single stitch that goes into a pair of hand-knit socks!)

I'm thinking that I need a pair of leg-warmers this year, specifically to keep my injured knee warm (and hopefully then it will quit complaining so much about the weather changes and the cold!)

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

My birthday comes around in January. the 12th. Capricorn. Did you know that the Capricorn sign is connected to the Knees? .. fascinating tidbit, that.. I've always had really wonderful knees until this injury.. I'm hoping that when the healing is done I'll have wonderful knees again.. (miserable ankles, but wonderful knees!)

SP9 First Challenge!

(I'm too late to win, but that's no reason not to play!)

Actor - Johnny Depp, Michael Caine, Rutger Hauer
Actress - Meryl Streep
Animal - Peacock! (also Jellyfish, Hedgehog, Platypus)
Band - Rockapella, Irish Rovers
Book - _Anubis Gates_ by Tim Powers (unless you count fiber art technique books!)
Bubble Bath - ?? not so much. I take showers, usually.
Candy - Cow Tales (creme filled caramel chew)
Color - irridescent, purple, blue, green...
Flower - Roses
Food - Creme Brulee, artichokes, beef stroganoff
Lip Balm - Crabtree & Evelynn lip balm (I think I got it from a fancy hotel?)
Lotion - unscented shea butter
Movie - Pirates of the Carribean, Shrek
Song - I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You (my wedding song!)
TV Show - CSI (the original is best), NCIS, Junk Brothers, Project Runway
Vacation Spot - Hawaii

Friday, October 06, 2006

Freebie: Growing Fast!

One last update for the evening.. this one because it is timely, and if I let the picture sit too long it might not be accurate anymore!

My bunny is eating everything in sight. A week or so ago he was 3-1/2 pounds. This week he is 4 pounds!! His fur is growing a little, and he seems to be Always Hungry!! .. he eats two big hoppers of Timothy hay, a sprig of parsley, and 1 whole Cup of alfalfa pellets Every DAY!

He's also well on his way to being litter-box trained! Yay!! ... after a brief mis-adventure with the World's Best Cat Litter (made from corn cob, I think and great for his under-tray.. but not good for his litter-box inside his pen, as he thinks it's the greatest dessert ever and ate so much the day he had access to it that I worried he was going to get an impacted gut!) we've settled on Arm-and-Hammer unscented cat litter for his litterbox, and the World's Best (compostable!) litter for his under-tray. :)

Still More To Say...

Sorry for the post-heavy day!! (I hope you'll agree that (at least for the moment) a post-heavy day is much better than a post-empty day!)

Believe it or not, I still have thigs on the overdue list to write about!! ... I probably even still have some thank-you notes to write, but this batch of posts should take care of a huge chunk of overdue thank-yous!

Thank you to everyone who has been so very patient and understanding while I've been struggling just to get through the basics of life, and have let the niceties slip...

I'm still having more bad days than good, but hopefully the good days will start to increase at some point. .. and getting the good days to co-incide with times that I can be on the computer for long enough to type up proper posts has been an additional challenge (and probably will continue to be, sadly enough) ... so thank you. Thank you for your patience and understanding. I'll keep putting up posts as I can, and eventually I may even get back up-to-date again!!

Surgeon's Socks.. and Belated Sockapaloooza Thank You!!!

WAAAaaaaay back in the dark recesses of time, I joined the SockapalOOOza exchange (and knitted up some quite-fancy socks, the pattern of which I promised to share (but haven't yet.. but also haven't forgotten.. but have probably misplaced by now)) and I was a Bad swap participant!! I didn't give a proper Thank-You for the wonderful pair of socks that eventually did arrive! (my original swap partner bailed, but I was matched up with a really wonderful angel who sent not only a pair of socks that fit *perfectly!* (better than the socks I make for myself!) but also a ball of sock yarn and a pattern too!!)

Thank You, (oh gosh!! I've forgotten, and it's not in my email folder!!) thank you, sock saviour, wherever, whomever you are!! (I will find the postcard (someday?) and post your name then!) thank you so very much for the socks and the sock yarn and the pattern!!! Thank you so muh for stepping in to take care of me when my original partner bailed!! Please forgive me for such a late thank-you! (I didn't get your package until after things had started to go Really Downhill, and...well... I've not had a very easy time catching up again with everything that got displaced during that Very Difficult Time...)

But I LOVE the socks! they truly are a perfect fit!! I've worn them several times.. it's hard to pick favorites anymore now that I have so many wonderful hand-knit socks.. but I sure do smile every time I see that Your pair is in my clean socks drawer!! (they don't stay there long, mind you!)

.... .... .....

and I fell in love with the sock yarn you sent! (I haven't tried the pattern yet, but it does look like fun!) ... I almost wish I'd kept the yarn for myself!! (I'm so very greedy, y'know... ;) ) ... but when I realized that my knee surgeon is a secret Sock Connoisseur with a fondness for wild and crazy colors...well... I realized that this sock yarn, sent by my very wonderful Sockapal Saviour, would be *perfect*! .. wild, bright, vibrant colors... but able to carry off masculine, too!!

(I'm still jealous that I'm giving this sock yarn away!! The more I work with it, the more in love with it I'm falling!)

I knitted them up on size 1-1/2 Crystal Palace bamboo DPs, with a 1x1 rib cuff, a 3x1 rib riser and upper instep, and a stockinette heel, sole, and toe. :)

Since I'm not sure that the socks will be a proper fit, I did a 3-needle bind-off on the first sock, and knitted a few extra rows beyond that (rather than butterfly-ing the extra thread (which has a tendency to get tangled sometimes)) so that I would have extra yarn in case I need to pull back and lengthen or shorten the sock for an optimal fit. (I know no one who has feet of the same size to be my test-fitter! ... thank goodness for that sock-size chart that Lacy sent!)

I've cast on for the second sock, and it's progressing nicely. I should be able to finish the pair in plenty of time for my next check-up (in about 4 more weeks!)

Thank you for the perfect sock yarn, oh wonderful sock saviour!! My surgeon has seen the colorway in progress (I had to show him I already had socks on the needle before he would confess to his footsize!) and he loves it!! I think it may already be his favorite pair of socks and he hasn't even tried them on yet! .... ... and if they really don't fit (like if I did something wrong all the way back at the heel, maybe?) .. perhaps I'll suggest he turn them into sock-puppets. ;)


I've mentioned the Flash-Feathers pair of socks (you'll find out what that means soon enough...) at least a couple of times now, so maybe I'd better just share a picture or two of how they're coming along:

I'm working on a size 1 Addi turbo, in a 1x1 rib. This is a really cushy sock so far! .. I can hardly wait until it grows up!

August Spectrum Sock Yarn!

But the sock yarn for August (I got re-enrolled just in time!) is stunning!

It even came with it's own matching drawstring bag! (the polar fleece blanket backdrop is my own.) The colorway is "Leopard" (if I'm remembering right), and it is *perfect!* .. the colors remind me of the couple of weeks I got to spend in Tanzania a couple of years ago! We saw a jaguar, several lions, some cheetah, endless Serengetti plains grasses, wildebeeste, dik-diks, zebra, elephants... and the colorway of this sock yarn captures that color palette perfectly! .. As I'm knitting the socks that are currently on my needles (the surgeon's socks, and my stripy Trekking Flash-feathers), I am dreaming up the socks that will be made from this fabulous August colorway!

My August swap partner was Penny, and I think she did the most amazing job! don't you?

July Spectrum Sock Yarn Swap...

Unfortunately, I missed the memo that must have been posted somewhere covering the change of format for the Spectrum Sock Yarn Swap from an "enroll for the whole set" system to an "enroll each month if you want to stay in the swap" system. I missed out on July's sock-yarn swap (which was the purple-violet month, durnit!) ... so I have no overdue thank-you note.

Sadly enough, I also have no purple sock yarn! argh!! (I did dye some to ship out--it's a really lovely wool-mohair blend...) would someone like to dye up a purple/violet skein of merino sock yarn for me in exchange for the wool-mohair blend I dyed for the exchange? Not only would I really like to have a pair of purple socks to go with the whole spectrum theme, but I also had a plan in mind for the leftovers!

I'll leave this query open for awhile in the hopes that I get someone willing. If that doesn't happen, I guess I will have to just dye up my own skein of sock yarn.. which would fill in the color gap, but wouldn't be as completely awesome as a skein dyed up by someone else!

Also, the sock yarn swap didn't start with the first month-- March was Red-Pink month, and I'd love to get a swap partner willing to fill in that gap as well!

Thanks in advance...

Which Means, Naturally....

That my May Spectrum Socks are also finished! (This doesn't need to be the case, but I've been working each month before the next.)

Spring green socks, a natural for tennis anklets! .. and then (just a week ago, actually) I finally found my perfect Ladybug buttons to circle the cuff!! (I still need to sew them on, though. ... and they are glass, so that will mean hand-wash only to prevent the buttons from breaking. It's all worth it, though!)

Thank you so much, Staralee!

(I love these socks!! the color is wonderful, and the've knitted up so nice and comfortable!!!)

Long Lost Thank You Note!!

Way back in early July (in the heart of The Great Difficulties), a wonderful package arrived from my July Spectrum Sock Yarn swap partner, Marg. She was not my original swap partner (that person dropped out), but I'm so glad that she was my eventual swap partner, because I just love the robin's-egg blue (dyed with Kool-Aid packets, I believe!) yarn that she dyed up! .. and not only did this lovely yarn arrive, but in the same package were three oh-so-wonderful posters!!

I *love* them!! Especially the fire-retardant sheep. :)

As you can tell from the fact that the socks are already finished (except for the kitchnering of the the second toe and the working in of all the ends), this is a truly late thank you note!! ... but a MUCH appreciated swap gift!

Thank you, Marg!!

SP8 Goodies!

So I've been pondering for the last couple of weeks, trying to figure out which of my SP8 Reveal goodies is my second-favorite! (the absolute favorite is just so far out there that there's not even a close runner-up.. not sure there ever will be, actually... my SP8 spoiler went so far beyond Generous, that it should be legendary!)

First off, there's the reveal card!

Now, my SP8 spoiler has sent the most fabulous fun cards throughout the three months of spoiling me, but this one outdoes all the rest! She made it herself!! (I'm sure of it... it's an SP8 card done in a wonderful scrapbooking style... and looke at the adorable little skeins of yarn and knitting needles!!!! OMG! SO fab!) .. her name is Lacy Zigzag! (at least, that's her blog-name), and you should all go over there and thank her for me!! She's been absolutely wonderful!! .. not only does she send Great gift packages, but she's been truly supportive when I really needed support. :)

I've been really selfish in keeping her oh-so-wonderful Reveal package contents to myself for the past month, but I think I'm ready to share today, and I just *know* you're dying to find out what they are!

Another favorite, if for nothing more than the *cool* factor:

Light-Up knitting needles!! Purple light-up knitting needles! size 10.5! Awesome. :) ... I've been having fun this past week trying them out under all sorts of circumstances.. they are very bright, so if you're going to use them in a moving vehicle, try sitting in the back seat so you don't blind the driver! ... They're really great for that twilight-time of evening when the light is starting to fail but you don't want to turn on extra room lights yet! ... or I could imagine having fun with them at a campfire (but I will need to wait for Spring before the weather is right for that attempt! .... or a rave party?? Definitely useful at a dance club nowdays when my knee prevents me from dancing... a good conversation starter. ;)

And these!

Halloween is almost here! and I have some stickers and some paper cut-outs for a scrapbook page!! :) How cool is that? two pumpkins, a witch, and a haunted house! all I need is some pictures of my costume for the year... I'm thinking I'll go as an injured fairy... leg and wing in splints, all wrapped up with ivy leaves...

And this!!

I'm not sure you can read the packaging, but it's a bag of walnuts! from Peacock Farms!!! ... I've already eaten two batches of banana bread with walnuts, and am looking forward to a batch of chocolate-chip-walnut cookies next week for my husband's birthday! (It's an annual tradition to bake cookies for his birthday. :) .. I get the batch with the nuts in it. He gets the butterscotch-chip cookies.) ... (I didn't bake the banana bread-- my mother did. Turned out absolutely yummy!)
..(If they'd been pecans, I'd've made a pecan pie. .. but they were walnuts, so I didn't. ;)

Another knitting magazine!!!

with some great ideas to try.. but my attention was drawn to this fab advertisement in the back pages! Adriondack yarns is using a peacock's tail as their advertising logo!! :) ... I've seen some of their yarns, and I'm absolutely drooling over them. .. they are on the expensive end, though, so I'm waiting to indulge. Maybe a sock yarn or two for my birthday in January? .. and their silk-ribbon yarns are even more pricey!! but oh how gorgeous!!! Thank you for noticing them, Lacy!

Then there's this guy...

A cute little brass-and-enamel Peacock for my holiday tree!! ... for year-round decoration for that matter!!! So Sweet!!! .. maybe I will figure out a way he can live on my spinning wheel so that when I go to spin-ins, people will know right away I'm "Peacock"!

And Earrings!!!

Perfect to go with my fairy costume this Halloween!

Oh, and did THIS ever come in useful!!

My surgeon, who just happens to adore fanciful colorful wild socks, also just happens to have size 12 feet!! I don't know anyone else with size 12 feet, so I don't have a foot-model to work with! My own feet are ladies' size 8-1/2, my husband's are mens' size 9 or 10... but thanks to this handy little chart, I think I can make the pair of socks that are on my needles fit my surgeon's feet! I showed him the sock-in-progress last checkup (I had to, because he wouldn't admit to his foot-size without the leverage of telling him it was already too late to stop me from knitting him a pair of socks...) and he just adores them!! After this post, I will write another to show you the Surgeon's Socks in progress! I used my Sockapaloooza Angel's gift yarn to make them, and I almost don't want to give them away!! (except that at a size 12, they'd never fit my feet... ;)

Then there's *this*, of course....

.. new feathers for Flash! ... I started this ball of yarn last week when I got to the toe decreases for my surgeon's socks and needed a simple-knit project for the theater.. I love the way it's knitting up!! (you'll have to wait until I get pictures) ... The stripe pattern is a really long sequence before repeat, so it's really been fun to watch it work up... but it might be a challenge to get the second one to match--I might do them without worrying about the matching stripes thing. ;)

And this one!!

which for some reason reminds me of spring rains and water droplets on a lake and all sorts of fun ideas! .. I'm saving it until I find (create?) just the right sock pattern to echo the watery concept.

Isn't this the Most Fab reveal box ever???? I think so!! (of course, I think that about every single package that arrives! .. but I think in this case it might be doubly-deserved!!)

Can you see why I've been in shock?!

.... and I haven't even shared the coup-de-grace yet!! You'll have to wait just a little longer to meet Flash! ;)

(Happy dance!!)

Thank you, Lacy!!! You're the BEST! :)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Another Sneak Preview!!

Of the package contents from my wonderful SP8 spoiler!!

(yes, I'm milking this for all it's worth. ;) can you blame me?)

Every single one of the little packages inside that big huge box had its very own handwritten note!! :)