Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 things you want for the holiday

For me to find 10 things is pushing it..... but if wishes were horses....

1. tensioned lazy kate
2. drum carder
3. Big external HD and time to organize the photos etc
4. External flash for Olympia
5. Wii and Wii fit (sh!)
6. Flip
7. Time alone
8. An extra week off from work

OK... that's really all I can think of. Can't even get to 10!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

where did the week go?

I started DH's vest. I have almost half of the back finished and am into my second skein. Holding it up to him, it seens it will fit. Miraculous if you ask me. I couldn't quite get gauge with my handspun. Sorry no pics yet.

DD and her third grade class ate lunch with the mayor on Friday. There is a HUGE tree downtown by the city center/public library. I'm talking like 30 or 40 feet tall. Her class (as well as classes at other schools in the area) made 'ornaments' to decorate the tree. I didn't get to go because it was during the school day. They ate lunch with the mayor. DH went and I think he took some pictures; I haven't checked the camera yet though.

I frogged that denim sweater. It yielded 1000 yards plus enough to swatch some. It's really nice yarn. Right now I'm working on the candy cane cotton,silk, lambswool blend. I've opted to keep the cashmere for me. Unless I wind up not using it, then to the frog pond it will go!

I was thrifting looking for a winter coat for DS2. He's growing incredibly fast. I can't believe it. No luck there, but I did find another chocolate cashmere sweater for me and some more green to make wreaths with as well as a linen/cotton blend that will become something in it's new life. It's in the deconstructed state right now.

I've almost finished another block of the lizard ridge as well.

And early early this morning, I took the pieces of felted sweaters that I cut out last weekend and during the week and did the sewing job on them. They're wearable in this state, but I'd like to finish the product by adding a lining. Even DH was impressed this morning before he left for work. I may give one a test run this week and I still have to find the right size for the boys. Sorry to be so cryptic, but it will be the gift of the year this year, which will cut down on my knitting considerably! Although my brothers may need something other than this gift. I have an idea for the middle child but not my oldest brother.

There's grocery shopping to do as well as coat shopping for the bookend kids. DS1 isn't happy with his coat but it's functional.. guess if he refuses to wear it it doesn't do much good though. I agreed to go to Burlington to look for coats since the chances of finding something there are really pretty good. I just hate paying retail.......

I'm cooking Thursday but only for 10. Niece and her DH are in France, my SIL is someplace outside of the US. She's hard to keep up with. Hopefully, I'll post again with pictures of progress on the vest before feast day. If not be thankful with someone you love!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

rainy saturdays = thrift shopping

and I came home with a bit of a haul
From top to bottom:
cezani 55% silk/45% cotton blend longsleeve crew to wear for 2.45
Neiman Marcus dark fuschia light fingering weight 100% cashmere short sleeve ladies XL for 4.94 (I may save this to wear or give it to my mom)
LLBean pink tweed 55% silk/30% cotton/15% lambswool blend ladies rib turtlenck in a DK weight for 2.60
Visions (never heard of it before) gray marl Longsleeve turtleneck in lookd to be DK 57% silk/25% nylon/13% angora rabbit/2% lambswool for 2.45
Calvin Klein mens XL blue tweed (kind of denimy color) pullover worsted 80% wool/20% nylon for 2.35

I also bought 3 longsleeved cotton T's. 2 were Gap and one Land's End for less than $2 each. (I really need these)

A VERY cute denim jumper with Christmas appliques from Quacker Co (QVC brand) that has 3 adorable wooden pins on it for $7. It's long and if mom wants it, she may have it, but if she doesn't I'll keep it for me. It'll be big but comfy!

The blade on the rotary cutter I had been using for making the wreaths broke this morning… and I found 2 replacement blades for 1.91 Now THAT was serendipitous!

And I bought a CD for school... alphabet with a song for each letter. Very useful for KDG.

I could have hit more stores, but didn't want to push my luck. It was heaven shopping alone. I think I'll go again next week!

This morning, I made another wreath, this time a little 8 incher. It's so cute! Also last night and this morning started cutting out pieces for the Christmas gifts... but I won't be mentioning those for a while.... sorry mom

Friday, November 14, 2008

going green

I've been doing much recycling of yarns lately.. more of that than knitting actually. This allows me to in the future knit with yarns that I could never afford to buy new from my LYS or online. I'll be very excited to try some of my new yarns, especially the cashmere and cashmere silk blends I've recently reclaimed.

As the internet allows us to though I've met a woman, mother of 7, who owns 2 etsy shops that deal with greening up our earth by recycling, both yarns and giving sweaters new life in a felted form. Her name is Julie and her two etsy stores, my 7 kids which sells reclaimed fiber from sweaters and Heart Felt Fun which sells really cute recycled felted and hand-knit items. She's also running a Go Green for the Holidays contest on her blog until December 1st. So go visit and enter!

We're going green in this house for Christmas.... I can't give any details, you never know who might be reading ;-)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

and this is what there is

This lovely orchid was from the parent's of one of DH's students. The student was giving a recital and his high school music teacher brought corsages for the important women in his life. (Her husband grows them... incredible I know) At any rate I was supposed to go, but DS2 came down with a fever, so I stayed home but was still gifted with this gorgeous flower.

We had our department meeting yesterday. I'm still waiting to see what comes of it. Lots of time and work over the weekend to get ready for it. I think it went OK, but we'll see if the little man keeps his job or if that wasn't the purpose. I like the new super though. My impression of her felt good!

On the home front...tonight we finished the wreath we started on Sunday. That included dyeing three sweaters to make it. It's the bottom one.

Combined with the other two it almost is reminiscent of Mickey Mouse.

It all started out like this. Quite the mess I know, but I think the result is really cool. I'm envisioning a bunch of these as teacher gifts!

Now the pictures are pretty heavy. Just so you have an idea of how much I've been deconstructing.

60% lambswool, 20% angora rabbit and 20% nylon

100% cashmere

100% cashmere

85% silk and 15% cashmere

85% silk and 15% cashmere

70% lambswool, 20% angora rabbit and 10% nylon

48% wool, 22% viscose, 16% nylon, 9% angora rabbit, 5% cashmere

75% merino and 25% angora rabbit

All of these with the exception of one were long sleeved women's sweaters so they've yielded quite a bit of yardage :-) Guess I better get busy knitting now!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

stitch or frog

I've been spending so much time unraveling thrift store finds lately that I was thinking/fearing I had lost my knitting mojo. That and the fact that all I can do lately it seems is sleep.....

But DH was at the NATS meeting yesterday (an all day event) so I had the 3 cherubs to tend to myself. And DS2 had gymnastics class in the AM... Off the 4 of us went the older to with their Nintendo DS in hand and me with something to frog and a project (with yarn and needles) in mind. A friend had a baby boy in May and I finally gifted her with a hat that I had knitted up during the ravelympics. There was yarn left and I was thinking a
nice pair of thumbless baby mittens would be a nice accompaniment. Never got to it.. until yesterday morning. Here they are with the pattern to follow. I think they may be a bit big, but the longer they'll last that way.


Pattern: my own - see below
Yarn: Paton's Rumor - alpaca blend
84% acrylic, 15% alpaca, 1% polyester
Weight: Bulky
Color: Halcyon Heather
Yarn Gauge: 12S x 17R = 4x4 inches on US 10.5 needles
My Pattern Gauge: 13S x 18R = 4x4 inches on US9 needles
Needle: US9 dpns (set of 5)
Recipient: art baby

NOTE: If choosing a worsted weight yarn, you'll have to do the math to get gauge.
CO 20 stitches with the longtail cast on.
Divide over 4 dpns 6, 4, 6, 4 (stitches per needle)
Mark beginning of round
Join in the round with K1P1 ribbing for 5 rows
Divide stitches evenly over the four needles (5 stitches per needle)
Knit even for 10 rows

Round 1:
  • Needle 1: SS k2 together then K remaining 3 stitches
  • Needle 2: K 3, K2tog
  • Needle 3: SS k2 together then K remaining 3 stitches
  • Needle 4: K 3, K2tog

Round 2: K even
Round 3:
  • Needle 1: SS k2 together then K remaining 2 stitches
  • Needle 2: K 2, K2tog
  • Needle 3: SS k2 together then K remaining 2 stitches
  • Needle 4: K 2, K2tog

Round 4:
  • Needle 1: SS k2 together then K remaining stitch
  • Needle 2: K 1, K2tog
  • Needle 3: SS k2 together then K remaining stitch
  • Needle 4: K 1, K2tog

Place the stitches from Needles 1 and 2 together on one needle
Place the stitches from Needles 3 and 4 together on one needle

Kitchener the 8 stitches (4 and 4) to close

Crochet a single chain to attach to the mittens or knit a single stitch i-cord (if there is such a thing)

I used less than 1/2 of the skein for these mitts, including the attached cord.

©Carole Burkhardt 2008. I retain all rights to this simple pattern.
Feel free to use this pattern, but please link to my page rather than repost it as your own. I hate that I would even have to add that
If you use this pattern, I'd love to see pictures! Enjoy

I found the yarn on sale at Michael's (perhaps a close-out) for $2 for the skein. There was only 1 skein in the bin. Maybe your local big box has some that they're still closing out!

OK... back to dyeing more sweaters green. So much to do, so little time!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

10 on Tuesday

10 things I like talking about:

1. Knitting
2. Spinning
3. Yarn
4. Felting
5. Sewing
6. Crafts
7. Music
8. School
9. My husband
10. My kids... don't get me started

hmmmm there's a theme there in the first 6. The rest just surround my life

Sunday, November 02, 2008

less important things

I've been harvesting yarn like crazy this weekend. Really feeling quite lazy of late. I have 100% cashmere, a blend of 85 silk/15 cashmere and 3 different blends of lambswool/angora rabbit hanging in the downstairs bathroom drying. lovely fibers reclaimed from thrift store sweaters :-)

So last night DD and I started the felted wool wreaths. I found the link here and decided to try ones that were all green. I'll decorate them with red felt flowers and a red ribbon. But that step has yet to come (stole the green idea from my cousin... thanks sarah!) I needed more green because I didn't care for the army green mixed in with the regular green, so we dyed some more sweaters today with food coloring.

All of the sweaters were purchased at thrift stores mostly on half price color days. I didn't get the steal on the rings from Joann's like Sarah did, but really, I can't complain about the cost of these gifts. DH says the jury's still out for him on whether or not he likes it. What do you think?

Just a word of caution. You need to be careful with those rotary cutters. I think this is the 3rd time I've rolled my finger as well. I also really can't be trusted with scissors of late. My poor fingers.

I leave you with the stack. That gives me another idea for a different twist with this idea! Hopefully we'll have enough for a smaller one yet. They are so fun and easy to make. Try it with your kids!


you right to vote!

The single most important right as an American citizen is the right to make your voice be heard. Speak out and vote this Tuesday, November 4. Polls are open from 7 AM until 8 PM. If you are in line when the polls close, don't leave. You are still allowed to cast your ballot. You cannot be denied this right as a registered voter even if you have unpaid bills, overdue taxes or a foreclosed home.

Please bring with you some sort if ID. This can be:
  • a photo ID
    • student ID
    • Driver's license
    • employee ID
    • US passport

  • non-photo ID
    • your paycheck
    • utility bill
    • bank statement that shows the address where you are registered

  • your voter registration card

I wish I knew how to embed a video from youtube into this page, but click this five friends link to see a great non-partisan video with a good messsage.

Oh, a just to help your vote count the way you intend it:
Click here: snopes.com: Voting a Straight Ticket

"Straight Party Voting" Trap. Here are the details and what to do about it:

THE PROBLEM: "Straight party voting" on voting machines is revealing
a bad pattern of miscounting and omitting your vote, especially if you are a Democrat. Most recently (Oct. 2008), a firm called Automated Election Services was found to have miscoded the system in heavily Democratic Santa Fe County, New Mexico such that straight party voters would not have their presidential votes counted.

STRAIGHT PARTY VOTING is allowed in 15 states. Basically, it means that you can take a shortcut to actually looking at who you are voting for and instead just select a party preference. Then the voting machine makes your candidate choices, supposedly for the party you requested.

HOW TO PROTECT THE COUNT against the Straight Party Vote trap:

NEVER CHOOSE THE STRAIGHT PARTY VOTE OPTION, because it alerts the computer as to your party preference and allows software code to trigger whatever function the programmer has designed.

SEND THIS INFORMATION OUT TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN, blog it, root n' toot it out there to get the word out.

ESPECIALLY GET THE WORD OUT TO PEOPLE IN THE FOLLOWING STATES, which have straight party voting options:

Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North
Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin


LOOK FOR UNDERVOTES (high profile races with lower-than-average number of votes cast) and flag them, post them, bring them to the attention of others for additional scrutiny.

Voting machine miscounts of straight party votes were proven by California researcher Judy Alter in the 2004 New Mexico presidential election; in Alabama Democrat straight party votes were caught going to a Republican, and Wisconsin a whole slew of straight party votes disappeared altogether. Both DRE and optical scan machines are vulnerable. Private contractors are involved; private firms like LHS Associates, Automated Election Services, Harp Enterprises, Casto & Harris and others will program almost all systems in the USA this November. ES&S scanners were involved in examples cited, but Diebold has also issued a cryptic Product Advisory Notice in 2006 about unexpected results from certain Straight Party option programming practices.

Where do I vote? Google has a US map to help you find out. You enter the address where you are registered and it gives the address of your polling place as well as a map of how to get there.