Monday, January 29, 2007

Dirty Knitter Package and Avalon KAL

Hooray! I received my package from my Dirty Knitter swap partner and this is what I found when I opened the box:




...a pair of funky little socks that say Cocktail Hour on them, A cosmo drink kit (because I aspire to be THE entertainer extraordinaire someday :), a gorgeous lace wrap and scarf patern called Estonian Garden Wrap & Scarf by Fiber Trends...and...a GORGEOUS 1460 yard skein of eggplant lace weight Cashwool by Baruffa! Wow!! Enough for the wrap and the scarf! Thanks so much Heatherly for making this such a fun swap! I hope you enjoy your package just as much!

I've been doing a bit of sewing over the past few days...

















I also ordered some new fabric with wicked cool prints off of eBay: mystical horses, tattoed girls, drinking ghouls and Our Lady of Gaudalupe...sound interesting? I can't wait for them to arrive. I'll be sure to post them when they do.

I've also done some dyeing. Here's a new colorway called Rainbow Sprinkles. I simply adore it! It looks like a party! I have no idea what that means, but hey, that's what it feels like to me.



One more bit of IMPORTANT info, Em has been working hard getting the Knitters of Avalon KAL blog up and running. What is it, you ask? Well, why don't ya step on over and check it out...It's a work in progress, but I do know there will be some great prizes and it sure does look to be alot of fun. How can you go wrong: knitting, reading and prizes! You don't want to miss it!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Day at the Zoo

We went to the zoo yesterday and saw elephants:




...and monkeys...




...and alligators...




...and a rather angry Asian Bear (note the cloud of dust he kicked up)...




...and a tiger (isn't she pretty?)...




...and an octopus...no, wait...that's Eli's head!... Looking at this photo, one can't help but notice why the mullet was never a very popular Victorian hairstyle...makes a terrible sillouhette!)




...and Meerkats...all these guys need are blindfolds and cigarettes...




...we were in the petting zoo and Eli had a staredown with a turkey...




...then he made friends with a cute little black pig...




...and we ended the day in the playground area. It was a good day :)


Thursday, January 25, 2007

My SP9 revealed!!

Cue in dramatic music please...my SP9 has revealed herself, and let me tell ya, she was good at keeping her identity under wraps!! Her name is Dawn, she resides in New Jersey and you can find her here. She is responsible for my latest lace shawl, and I am so thankful that she introduced me to this fiber!! It is absolutely heavenly to work with. Thanks for being such a great Secret Pal and making my first Secret Pal swap enjoyable! Three cheers for Dawn!! I'll definitely be signing up if there's an SP10.

I also wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone for all of the wonderful birthday greetings! It was a lovely day- I think the nicest gift of all was the inpouring of birthday wishes- If I could count my blessings through birthday wishes, I would be considered a very wealthy woman. Thank you again for making me feel so special :) ...*tear*

I ended the day by meeting up with some wonderful individuals at Panera's for dinner and knitting afterwards. It was our first meeting. There were three of us and we were joined shortly by my neighbor, which if I might add, was very nice of her to stop in. I'm thinking (and hoping) that it will become a regular occurance, because it's so nice to find other people of like-minds. Very hard to do in this city. There's a different kind of vibe to this place...

Anyway, I've finished the lace panel for my pillowcase and have blocked it. I think I'm going to starch it a bit before I pull it off of the super expeeeeensive piece of cardboard. You know, the kind that only us professionals use...*schnort* haha!! Yeah, right...All kidding aside, I'm super happy with the results so far and hope to attach it to the pillowcase this weekend.






One more thing: Virgin births...very interesting...you should click here...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Blah-blah-ing

Thanks to everyone for some great slow cooker recipes. I think I'm going to try Cary's (who just had a big cashmere score:) suggestion next week. Sounds interesting. I also found a recipe for meatloaf in a slow cooker- sounds so weird, I just have to try it! I'll let you know how sci-fi it gets :)

Not alot going on. I've been dyeing some new fibers and having a blast. I am reaaaaally loving cashmere...I just want to sleep on it, wear it, rub it against my face...I've been considering being overindulgent and making a cashmere eye pillow filled with lavender and flax seeds. Doesn't that sound divine?

This is the latest cashmere colorway called Seashell. I took a little inspiration from Miz Knotty's suggestion and added a little citrus to it.



I also came up with a new sock yarn colorway called Cinder...totally loving it- It's very bold, spicy, daring...ooh-la-la-ish.




I'm very close to finishing my project for the Knit the Classics KAL. It's been kind of secret, but I'm going to post some pics tomorrow of the progress, because I finally have the pillowcase to go with it (good guess Meg!).

Not much more going on. Looks like we'll be moving at the end of February, so I think I'll get a jumpstart on packing today. Weeeee!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Cashmere and Chili...but NOT at the same time!

The great cashmere experiment is successful! I am soooo pleased with the results :) I wish the photo could really show how luminescent it is. It practically glows in your hand...sigh...




Also thought I'd post this photo for Em...Eli is a big fan of Sweet Tart, too!




The bulk of this post belongs to a slow cooker recipe that I'd really like to share. I've made it before and am making it as we speak, for tonight's fiesta. It doesn't have a super fancy title, Slow Cooker Chili, but is tastes soooo good. It isn't very spicy hot (which is perfect for me), so I keep some tobasco on hand for the spicy fans. This recipe feeds 4 with not alot for leftovers, so if you want more, just double up on the recipe. It says it feeds 8, but not in our family!

Ingredients:
1 pound beef boneless round steak, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 large onion chopped (1 cup)
2 medium celery stalks, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces (one cup)
1 can kidney beans (15-16 ounces), rinsed and drained
Shredded cheddar cheese if desired

1) Mix all ingredients except bell pepper, beans and cheese in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker.

2) Cover and cook on Low setting for 6-7 hours or until beef and veggies are tender.

3) Stir in bell peppers and beans. Uncover and cook on High for about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve with cheese.

prep time: 15 minutes

Tips:
Add corn for chili con carne (mom's suggestion)
Serve with saltines or Tortilla chips
Serve with Mexican beer or margueritas
Buy steak that is cut in thin slices for nice bite size pieces
Only speak Spanish when eating it... hola!!

Holy yummy! Can't wait until later tonight! If anyone has any great slow cooker recipes that they have already tested, I would love to try them. I'm a big slow cooker fan. They make life so much easier AND portray you as a culinary genius :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Moody and Haunting...

That is the best description I've heard for yarn lately!! Em, you're too funny! I thought I'd reveal what moody and haunting yarn knits up like...




Wait!! Come back! Where are you going?! I know you've been subjected to two posts with pictures of my strange toes and now my crooked thumb, but look at the knitting, I beg of you :) I know we can all move past calling me a freak, a circus sideshow, and wondering if the carnival came to town the night I was conceived...I have feelings too, darnit! *sniff- sniff* .....Ahhhhh TOTALLY kidding, but I'm sure you knew that.

Seriously though, I'm loving this cotton yarn and am really happy with the results so far. I love the lace pattern, too. It's called Love Braid- can you see the hearts? Kind of looks like I'm making gloves, doesn't it? I think two people know what it's going to be...still keeping it a surprise!

I've recently been asked where I get my ideas for some of the colorways I do. I would love to say that I've studied at the finest dye pots in France, spent years slaving over boiling cauldrons in Tibet, but alas, the only thing I can come up with is that maybe the circus really does come to town everyday...in my head!! When I start envisioning the colors swirling together, I know I've got something. I look to nature alot and my dreams. I find the best colors there!

Ever since I read Ann's comment to my last post, I've been envisioning a colorway called "Zombie." (love the comment by the way! Total global domination- woo-hoo!) I am being totally serious here regarding the colorway, though. I don't think it will appeal to the masses, but I'm sure someone out there will appreciate it. I think it will be great for horror fans and movie monster fanatics (I have one in my house, so he'll be the guinea pig:), and of course, zombies. Just picture a zombie foot, and there you have the colors. Hmmmm...do I need to get out more? *grin*

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Finally, A Use For My Helmet!

Let me just say how much I love this colorway!! I can't stop looking at it! It's called Alice's Garden, but I should have named it Distracted or Insomniac, because I can't put it down! Please disregard my crazy E.T-like toes, that are painted red for the occasion. I also finally found a use for my motorcycle helmet...




As promised to Em, this is a pic of the yarn I picked up at my LYS yesterday. It's a pretty mercerized cotton that I'm using for my lace panel inset on a pillowcase I am making. It's still kind of a secret project, for what reasons, I don't know, so I' ll probably do the unveiling at the end of the month...that is, if it works out as planned. I haven't even seen the pillowcase in person, so I guessed on the matching yarn...daring...


Saturday, January 13, 2007

Show and Tell Day

I'm not feeling to very vocal today, but I do have some pics to share!

Here's my first FO of the year. Nothing fancy-schmancy. Utilitarian at best, but hey...I finished it :) It goes great with the soap Cary sent my way. It was the first dishcloth of the year in the Monthly Dishcloth KAL.




Here's some of my lovely ladies that I am saying good-bye to. They will be making their way across the pond to England on Monday.




I've also worked a bit on my lace shawl and am sooooo loving the pattern. It looks like falling leaves. You can't really see the detail in the photo, because it's bunched together, but trust me, it's wicked cool!




I just received this GORGEOUS, heavenly, dreamy, holy shit this stuff is soft, cashmere yarn in the mail. 800 splendid yards of laceweight yarn. I can't decide what color this will become, but I sure am open to suggestions! This stuff is so soft, you can see it's halo in the pic. Wow...




Last but not least, we have a new blogger in the land and she has recently purchased the coolest, most craziest handspun I have even seen!! You must go check it out :) I can't wait to see what she does with it :)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Package For Me...ooh-la-la!!

In the midst of my dyeing frenzy yesterday, I heard a rat-a-tat-tat on the ol' front door..."Who could it be," says one blue fingered, scrunchie wearing, mad scientist, cleverly disguised as a stay-at-home mom...

...It was none other than one of my favorite people in the whole wide world- the postman with packages for me!! I have so many going out, that it sure is nice to have a few coming in :) I immediately threw my dye against the wall and put my child in the basement...what?! TOTALLY kidding...about the dye...OK, and the basement...

Anyways, I opened up my box, which was from my Sock-ret Pal Cary, and it made me oh so very happy :)

This is what I found inside:




A really cool card made by Tree-Free Greetings (good call Cary!), an adorable pair of holiday socks with little blue sweaters on them, a divine bar of Lavender Shea soap which was made right on Cary's farm, by her own two hands- how cool is that? There was also a Co-edikit Calender that cracked me up, a skein of yummy Light Sage Green Flake Cotton made by Ironstone Warehouse (I love the texture of it), and last but certainly not least...the thing I've been petting all last night...no not that, you pervs...*grin* ...a gift from Cary's most thoughtful sheep, whom I also share a name with...roving from Brooke the black sheep!! It is GORGEOUS. It is called "Midnight Tapestry" and is a combo of wool, alpaca, angora & silk. I can't wait to spin this up. I only wish I could give Brooke a hug right now (The sheep, not myself :)




Eli also got excited when I showed him what was in the package, and made an immediate bee-line for the yarn. My cookie-faced little monster has this thing with hugging yarn lately...gee, wonder where he got that from? He's also discovered the joy of putting underwear on his head and running around the backyard, but I won't mention where he picked that up from...




Thank you thank you Cary! Hugs to you :)

Thank you so much everyone!

Wow! To say that I am thrilled and honored by the overwhelming response would be the understatement of the year. Thank you to everyone who responded:) I'm going to start out with the first three: Ann will get Avalon, Sweet Tart goes to Em, and Dutch Iris will find a home with Tiffany(Sassenach- great name by the way- Outlander series fan?).

There really is no rhyme or reason to my madness, but I'm thinking that I'll shoot for 2-3 skeins per month, so I'll keep a list going and contact you when your name comes up. If you're not interested at the time, that's totally cool, mamasitas! I'll be running down the list, so keep an eye out!

OK...back to the dye pot I go...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Free Sock Yarn Anybody?

hee-hee...now that I have your attention, I am looking for some kind hearted volunteers to help me on my business quest. I would really love to have some pictures of knitted socks in certain colorways of my yarn, to display alongside it. Soooo, I was thinking that maybe some of you most excellent fabulous knitters out there would be interested in some free yarn from my shop. All I'm asking for is a photo of your socks in exchange for the yarn. You get to keep your finished socks and then if you want to do more, I'll send you a new colorway. I am trying to make them myself and I simply don't have the time or hands :)

I thought this would be a great deal- free yarn for you. Great pictures that would help me immensly:)

If you are interested, please leave me a comment, and I'll start getting some yarn together to send to you. I need the following sock photos: Sweet Tart, Dutch Iris and Avalon. You can see the colors in my Etsy shop.

If you're not interested, that's OK too. I still luvs ya!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Good news

I have some really awesome news. The last post I left, I was on my way to pay my last respects to my uncle, because he was at 0% chance for survival...Well, he is a miracle man. The doctor's have never seen someone recover from what he went through. He had an enlarged heart and all of the problems that accompany it. He is still in the hospital and not out of the woods yet, but he is alive :) He'll have months of rehab ahead of him, a lifetime of meds and a possible heart transplant, but he is still with us!!! What an incredible weekend.

Thank you to everyone who kept us/him in your thoughts and prayers. It worked!! I have some other great things to share, but I'm off to bed- I've been dyeing all day...tired little mama am I...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Out of Town

Well, I'll be gone for a few days. I'm heading over to Naples tomorrow to pay my last respects to my Uncle Jeff. He was brought into the hospital last night and they called a code on him. His heart had stopped. They did some further exploration and discovered that his heart was enlarged. After a procedure this morning, the doctor's declared that there was nothing that they could do. I'll be meeting up with my mom and family tomorrow. Please keep us in your prayers.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Whole Year of Projects?

Well, here we are. 2007. Hmmm...OK...

I'm going to take a moment, catch my breath, and look around and see what needs to be done.

I've decided to make a list of current UFO's and this will be my resolution for the year...finish what I've started. A fellow blogger is doing a Year Long Stash-Along, a stash busting project, which I think is mighty courageous. She is vowing not to buy any more yarn until she has used up what is in her stash. Brave soul that she is, I wish her luck, even though I'm green with envy over her huge collection of yarn :P Maybe by the end of this list, I will have discovered that I too have too much yarn, and will decide to join her...

This is what I've come up with:

1) My lace shawl. This will get finished, because I've already frogged and restarted it once, so it must be good! haha! I'm using the yarn that my wonderful Secret Pal sent me :)




2) My Sock-ret pal's socks.

3) My Crush Season socks that Cary, my dear and beloved Sock-ret Pal sent me.

4) Jack's Joey Ramone doll from the Stitch N Bitch Nation book.

5) My beaded scarf, using Artyarns Silk Rhapsody.

6) 10 more preemie hats.

7)My watercolor socks.

Well, I don't think I'm quite ready to swear off any yarn purchases...maybe next year!