Saturday, February 27, 2010

Olympic knitting is finished!

I have finished my Olympic knitting. (Due to a "no kneeling or squatting" order from my PT, I can't block it, but I'm placing this in the "win" column, because with two days left- I clearly have time to block it otherwise, AND it's a knitting contest for me, not a blocking one. The alpaca hat is 2 years old, worn constantly, and still hasn't had the ends woven in. It's about knitting for me.)

So anyhow- I made the seascape stole, but it's really more of a seascape scarf, even with agressive blocking, it is going to be very narrow. I did an extra repeat for length, and so glad I did- this thing is tiny.

Elsa is pretending to be a cat, and helping me take a picture. I decided that was cute enough, so you get no good picture of what it actually looks like. Later- I promise.

On an Olympic note- I love ever minute of them- I watch every sport except hockey. I can't get myself to care about hockey. But the absolute highlight of the game for me was Mirai Nagasu's long program- and even more than that, her "Oh my gosh" and ecstatic cheering as the final standings were announced- never before have I seen an athlete be so excited to have just missed the podium. But man, there were so many doubters when she was named to the Olympic team, and boy did she show them. WOW- what a skater. Hopefully she and Rachel skate just as well at World's and the USA gets it's 3 spots back.

Today we start priming the living room, and need to go find a nice neutral beige-ish color for it. How boring.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Storage Solution!

I am a messy person. My whole life I've always wanted to be a clean person. One of my favorite things is to organize. I'm just really bad at keeping it that way.

I've had show racks that are metal bars in plastic holders since middle school-ish. Most of Kevin's shoes went in those, along with my shoes that I didn't wear much. The shoes I did wear went in an over the door plastic thingy that we actually bought for our cruise (a cruise lifesaver- btw- a place for key cards, sunglasses, lip balm, all organized at your finger tips.) But we have accordian doors- so it had to hang on the outside. Not pretty.

I think I mentioned we are taking all the carpet out upstairs- along with painting all the rooms (will post pictures when we are done). So everything is getting emptied out and I am being very picky about what gets put back. In addition to having multiple goodwill bags of clothes (how did I get so fat?) Kevin told me he hates the racks because his shoes barely fit. I went to target and found a hanging shoe organzier for me, and a sweater organizer for his shoes (much larger than mine!). All his shoes fit in his, although 2 of the places will have to be shared once they are all in, and all my regular wear shoes fit in mine. My boots and shoes that rarely get worn are in an under the bed organizer.

In the end, I think it takes up a bit more space, but it looks SO much nicer. And we really have never used all of our hanging space in our main closet, since we also have a second closet in the guest room for all our non-regular wear clothes- suits, formal dresses (most of which are going to goodwill), skating dresses, and biking/skiing clothes

What do you think? The best part- both were on sale $9.99 each. I've seen similar things for $25, though these are normally only $15.

Olympic knitting update: I don't think I'll make it. I lost a full day yesterday due to horrible headaches, and for length I'm adding an extra repeat. That's like asking Apolo Ohno to do an extra lap :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Knitting Olympics

I decided this year to participate in the Yarn Harlot Winter Olympics. My project is Knitty's Seascape Stole, in Knitpicks Gloss, and I can already see that I won't finish it. But that's okay- not every Olympian can get gold, and instead they shoot for a personal best. So hopefully I can get a good chunk done.

That means that Daffodil is being set aside with 6 rows and an edging to go.

My "Hearts Afire socks" are also on hiatus. I'm not sure what to do with them. I don't love the knitting- way too fiddly with the cable needle, and the foot is just a little bit too big (I hate toe up socks for that). SO I'm not sure if I should just suck it up and knit them, cast off the first one and call it an anklet and make a mate, or just rip it out. If it was any other yarn I'd make the anklet- but this is fuschia wollmeise- one of my favorites, and I feel like it could be put to better use. So i'm leaning towards ripping out. But I hate wasting a serviceable, if not perfect sock. Opinions?

My other project is Tiger Socks at work. I did the first one on 44 stitches and after the heel went on I decided that was too few- the stretch around the foot distorted the pattern, even though they fit nicely. So I restarted with 48 stitches and those are ready for the heel flap. I didn't rip out the 44 stitch one though, in case 48 is too big. They are "at work" socks, but will have to wait until after the olympics, anyhow. But when I finish this second heel I'll rip out whichever I'm not keeping.

I think that's all I have on the needles right now, but I do need to make a second sock for my Dad. He LOVED the first sock I sent him, and said it fit perfectly. He wants the mate right away, so this will be first priority after the Olympics.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

For Sale.

For a few years I was a very very avid card maker but my craft room has overfilled with many hobbies. I haven't stamped much lately, and figured that when I start again styles will be different, so I should destash the stamps while they are still fairly current and others might like them.

These are all Stampin' up products, and I believe all are retired.

All are mounted on wood blocks, and in good, but used, condition. 99% of these have the set name and are numbered (i.e., 1/6) on the side of the block. I don't have the original boxes, because I stored multiple to a box, but will ship them in clamshells appropriate for the size of the sets you buy.

Shipping based on the order total, willing to negotiate prices for bulk orders. USA only, please. If I've met you in real life, I'll ship for free.

Blooming with Happiness $15
Warmest Regards $14
Loads of Love $13 (one of my first sets, a little messy on the blocks)
Loads of Love Accessories $15
Friend to Friend $15
Sincere Salutations $20
Tag Alongs $13
Happy Harmony $10
Bud Basics $7
Bitty Borders $3
Small Script $6
Made From Scratch $4
Curvy Verses $12
A is for Adorable $8
Very Punny $10
Perfect Petals $10
The Fine Print $6
So Very $6
En Pointe $9 (messy blocks)
Delight in Life $5

If you don't want the wood blocks, I'll unmount before shipping (to save shipping costs) but the price will be the same...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A loan through Kiva is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Soap Queen blog posted about it this morning and reminded me. You can start with as little as $25.

It's different from normal charitable donations- in this case, it's not a donation, it's a loan. (And since the default rate is very very low- you have a pretty good chance of it TRULY being a loan, and getting the money back) These loans won't earn you interest, though the lenders do charge interest to the entrepreneur. After Grameen (?) bank won the Nobel Prize, microloans became very interesting to me. I'm so happy to have finally gotten involved with the idea. If my $25 is repaid, I will give it right back out again. I love that the same money can keep working for people who need it over and over. Kiva even offers gift certificates- so your recipient can choose who they want to fund. A cool spin on "a donation in your name"

The group I gave to is looking for money to buy wool for sweater knitting. There are so many loans I decided to use my interest to help narrow it down. Kiva rates the lending partners, so you have an idea of the risk of the loan. You can also look at the history of loans that have defaulted to get an idea too. Many loans being repaid have a journal of sorts that tells you how the money is being used. These are real people, and it's making a real difference.

I've read a lot of critisim of the micro-loan saying that they only help individuals, and not the country- because the entrepeneurs won't ever hire an employee, therefore building the economy. But you've got to start somewhere, and this is something I can do to help someone.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wow, I'm bad at blogging.

But- I have excuses. One of the reasons I'm bad at blogging is I can only do it from home, and the computer is downstairs. And it's freezing downstairs. Therefore, I rarely go down there during the winter. I try to remember to update on weekends when Kevin has his laptop home, and upstairs, but then the second excuse comes into play. Blog posts without pictures are boring- and I don't have pictures. So that's why I never update.

But here, here is a post that will have no pictures.

Knitting round-up:
Fireworks socks: Finished and fabulous. Will post pictures eventually.
Dad's socks: First one is finished, and getting ready to be sent to Austin. I won't start the second until I get his comments. It fit's Kevin well, so hopefully it will fit Dad too. I'm most worried about the leg being baggy. I ribbed the gusset, so it should fit regardless of the size of his arch.
Tiger Socks: Started last night and restarted last night. The Opal 6-ply is THICK. I'm doing 44 stitches for my sock. I started with 48 and had to rip out. But this yarn knits fast because it's bulky, and faster because it's fun to watch to see what stripe will come next. Still thinking these will be knee highs, but I'm not sure. I think these will stay at work, so they will be slow going.
Daffodil Design: Slow progress, but almost there! I didn't do any knitting on it this weekend or last. It's not going to get finished that way.
Hearts Afire: February Sock Knitters Anon sockdown sock. Will use Fuschia Wollmeise.

Why have I not done any Daffodil Design?
Well, last weekend was my birthday weekend, we hosted a party, and then I knit Dad's sock on Sunday. So there was no knitting time. This weekend, well, the house has been a disaster because we are redecorating. There hasn't been SPACE for me to sit and concentrate on lace knitting. We took all the furniture and stuff out of our green room, and it's all over the living room. This doesn't get in the way of sock knitting but I need a tranquil space to concentrate for lace! We (mostly Kevin) scraped all the popcorn off the ceiling, then Kevin primed the walls and ceiling, then we selected paint and new flooring, and Kevin painted the ceiling, and tonight we will paint the walls. Probably this weekend we'll get started on the flooring and reinstalling the baseboards. Our entire upstairs, minus kitchen and bathroom, will be laminate wood flooring. I'm very excited about this, but a little nervous- what if we spend all the money and then it doesn't look good?

Also- did you know laminate is less expensive than carpet. Weird...