Monday, February 25, 2008

wordy, wordy, wordy

Still no pictures. We had a busy weekend of early spring cleaning. This is my slow time of year work wise so I'm finally getting a chance to catch back up on the much neglected house work and organizing. We spent most of the weekend sorting, moving things, re-organizing, cleaning and hanging pictures on the walls. In December we moved our oldest girl into a room of her very own. But in order to do that we had to clean out all the stuff that was in there since the room was basically storage space. So all of that junk has been sitting in the hallway waiting for me to have the time to find permanent homes for it all. It took some work but we waded through about half of the stuff. I then went through the middle daughter's room and cleaned/organized it as well. It is soo nice to finally have things back in order. I can't stand clutter and we've been wading through it for about a year now. I'm finally, FINALLY, caught up with my business work and I'm soooo happy. I know I'm stressed when I'm in the middle of it all but I don't realize how stressed I am until I finally get a breather. I told my husband that for the first time in two years I feel like I'm standing on the ground instead of holding onto the out of control spinning carousel of life. I always feel like I'm just holding on by my fingertips with my body flying around parallel to the ground. There's still work to be done on the house to get it whipped back into shape and what I consider an acceptable state but we're steadily on the way. Thank Heavens!!

In knitting news I've been busy every evening working on knitting since I don't have to be strapped to my computer every waking moment. I've knit several dish cloths which have been fun to do. I love how quick and easy they are. And as an added bonus they really are pretty awesome in the kitchen. I made my first three from cotton dishcloth yarn I picked up at Twist. The next several ones I did I grabbed at Wal-Mart. The colors were pretty from Twist but on my last trip to Wal-Mart they had even more variety than they usually do and had some pretty good colors too. I've made several patterns so far. I enjoy knitting the Chinese Waves dish cloth since there is no purling but I don't think I like it as well for actual use in the kitchen. When it comes to using it in the kitchen though my favorite right now is the Lion Brand free dishcloth pattern. I had to try the obligatory Grandma's Dish Cloth Pattern which was super easy and works very well in the kitchen as well. I grabbed a ball of red cotton to make a Valentine's day dishcloth but I wasn't very happy with the results. It was easy to do but didn't look all that great. Here's the pattern for it. My review--eh.

In between the dishcloth knitting I finished my first Sweet Mary Jane slipper (minus the crochet edging, I'll do that last on both of them). Today I finally managed to get the second one started. I don't know what my problem is with these but I'm having the worst time casting on for them. I've done a provisional cast on in the past without any problems but these have been a huge pain to cast on. I spent a couple of hours this weekend trying to cast on for it and finally gave up and made a couple of dishcloths instead. Thankfully I managed it this morning and am through the toe portion and ready to bind off and begin working back and forth for the mid-foot portion of it. That being said I'm still going to have to do some creative weaving in of the beginning since no matter what I did I had a small hole there. Didn't have that problem with the first one although I bet it has to do with my increases. I knit into the front and back to increase on the first one and my stitch count was off so I winged it and it turned out ok. I actually followed the instructions on the second one and did a M1 and had nothing but grief. Go figure.

Should finish it up tonight and then I can start on the crochet edging. I do virtually no crochet at all so I'll have to have my mom help me with that. My grandmother was an expert with crochet and made the most beautiful doilies and afghans. I miss her so much. She passed away from lung cancer while I was pregnant with my oldest. She would get such a kick out of my knitting and would have loved to teach me anything I needed to know. She taught me to crochet as a child but all I ever really mastered where endless single chains and granny squares. Every time I try to read a crochet pattern it looks like trying to read German which is frustrating. Of course that's how knitting patterns used to look to me at one time and I managed to stick with it and decipher them.

I think after I finish up the slippers I'll work on a scarf. I bought the yarn and pattern several years ago on a trip I made out to Seattle to visit my sister. We took the ferry to the San Juan Islands for the day and drove all over the island exploring. At one point we came across an alpaca farm, Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm. We stopped in and they had beautiful, soft hand-dyed alpaca yarn. I picked up a skein (or 2?) to make a scarf. They had a pattern with tiny glass beads that matched so I purchased it as a little kit. I haven't looked at it in a while so I need to refresh my memory as to what it looks like and see if I need to get a tiny crochet hook to put the beads on the stitches. I do remember the yarn was super soft and beautifully colored. They even had skeins that had pictures of which alpaca it came from and their name. Very cute. I loved the San Juan Islands. I am a Kansas girl through and through, wouldn't want to live anywhere else--except for the San Juan Islands. I absolutely loved it and could absolutely live there. Which is saying quite a bit since I'm such a flatlander. I want to take the family on a vacation up there sometime. It's a bit of a pain/expense to get to but so worth it. Just stunning. Every type of terrain you can imagine--flat valleys, ocean coasts, woods, hills, ocean. Beautiful.

I don't keep a big "stash" of yarn at all but I'm glad I had a few projects purchased and set aside to go for now. It's great having a slow time of year business wise to get caught up on things but it definitely puts a damper on the old finances! I think after I finish my scarf I'll have to actually go purchase yarn for the next projects. I found a darling cabled purse on Ravelry that I've added to my to do list and I'd like to make some preemie and chemo caps for charity as well.

Hopefully tomorrow I can take some pictures. My Ravelry page is so plain jane, no pics at all. I've definitely got to take care of that! Can't stand seeing those empty boxes...

Geesh, I am perhaps the wordiest most sporadically posting blogger ever....

Back to work!!!

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