Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Socks, Pooches and Legal Yarn Aquistion

My green socks are done! Warm feet are living
here! I love the new sock blockers that Chris made me - they're working great!

I totally scored some Posh Pooches in the bargin basket at Barnes and Noble. See that 40% off sticker? I also go the member's discount - so yay!

The kit comes with a book of totally cute patterns for dogs. I loooove dogs and Chris and I have plans to get one sometime next year so I'll have to make some plans to make sure that I have one of the poshest pooches in the Slope!

Look at the cute needles that were included in the set. Click the picture to see a better view. The needles have two different dogs on the tops! I love them!

I've been a little absent because my new company is doing pretty well. I'm thrilled and it's keeping me busy, which is a welcome activity. Of course, it's totally isolating me from the outside world. I need to return some phone calls, a ton of emails and try to make plans to see my family some time before next Christmas (that happened last year...we can't have a repeat).

A big shout out to Nancy from Romancing the Yarn - she held a little raffle for some Cascade Fixation and guess who was the big winner! I never, ever win anything - so you can imagine how thrilled I was when I heard the news. Nancy was so sweet to have a raffle like that and I've pledged to make some pretty, pretty socks with the yarn. I've never worked with it, so a report is forth coming. I'd like to point out that this aquisition of yarn is totally within the rules of the Knit from Your Stash pledge!

And for now, that's all the news that's fit to knit!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Socks! Socks that Block!

What's this? Why, it's a sock blocker! Chris made this (and several others) for me over the weekend. We used a guide found here and they were easy to make and they seem to work really well.

I really wanted some blockers ever since I went on a bit of a sock yarn buying binge a few months ago and the aquired sock yarn from my visit to the yarn farm, but just couldn't seem to get myself to fork over the $25 average cost for plastic blockers. You can see a sock on one of the blockers here (sock made for the Sock Hop this fall). I love these socks and since they're ready for a wash (I've been wearing them quite a lot lately) I'm finding that they shape really well with these - and the hanger tops are nice for a quickie dry block hanging.

Valentines ready to be filled in and sent out to those we love are also on the table.

These are my newest socks on the needles. I am so in love with this yarn. The yarn is from my yarn farm buying visit - called Rainforest (75% Merino, 25% Acrylic, Hand Dyed, 7-8 sts on size US 2 needles). The pattern is from Knit Socks! By Betsy Lee McCarthy. This book has become my "go to" sock knitting patterns. Everything on the web lately seems to be toe up with that crochet cast on with wraps (the heel totally confuses me). I have downloaded Wendy's extended tutorial on how to manage her socks, but haven't had time to hunker down and practice it, so for some satifying knitting, I'm going with what I know.

Now, WNBC is predicting a possible Nor-Easter for us on Wednesday. I would just love a winter day on the couch mid-week to nurture my Season Affective Disorder. I've been feeling the need to just settle into a corner of the couch and be quiet. This would be an excellent fuel for that need. Let's all pray for snow!

Over the weekend, Chris and I checked out Helen Mirron in The Queen (Excellent movie and Ms. Mirron is totally worth the hype - she rocks).

That's all the news that's fit to blog!

I'm going to go sign Valentine's and


Friday, February 09, 2007

The Lucky One - Realizations

It's a moment in your life when you feel the blessings and you understand your luck. Maybe it's a song you hear or a series of pictures that remind you that all of the work, all of the aggravation is nothing. This life, these experiences and these people - the people you were lucky enough to collect around you...this is it. This is heaven - this is the good stuff this is the best thing ever and you're right there in it! What on earth did you do to get this lucky? The moments, the snapshots - the happiness of them all. I am so in love with this little life I'm living and these people who changed my life and made me remember that they are the gifts in life - they are the reason for everything. They are the world.

Monday, February 05, 2007

A Bone to Pick with Lifetime

Just so we're clear, I've never been ashamed to be a Nora Roberts fan. I have a degree in English Lit and I've read a ton of the classics - I've even been conquering Dead Souls. If you've ever attempted this little gem, you get 20 points for strong backbone and excellent attention to detail; for this epic is riddled with Russian names that are very similar. Keeping them straight is a feat worth points. Trust me.

But Nora Roberts isn't something I'd even describe as guilty pleasure. People magazine is a guilty pleasure (read: something I'm just slightly embarrassed to be caught reading in public). But Nora weaves stories in a way that I can really get behind. She never has the plot turn into the obvious (or very rarely). Now - I must clarify that I tend to turn up my nose at her compilation pieces - the ones where they cram essentially three short stories into one book. I tend toward her full blown novels and my favorite has been, for years and years, Montana Sky. This is a story that I tend to read when I am at my lowest because its heroin is a tough cookie - the kind of gal I'd really like to be if I had it in me. She runs a ranch, lives in Montana and has a really interesting cast of characters who keep things around her far from dull. She also has a makeshift family of fiercely loyal friends. I love that kind of thing - the fierceness of family love and romantic love. The whole novel is tops with me. I think about the main character Willa when I'm being particularly stupid and weak about something and then I try to buck up. I think I still secretly hope that I'll somehow wind up in her fictional life - finally be free of New York City, finally be free of corporate life and be finally free to be at one with nature and friends and the pace of a life that is dramatically different from the one I live now. Maybe my father's life on the farm was where my heart actually longed to be. Can't figure out how I got pressured to end up in the biggest city in America - but that's another story.

So I'm a big fan of Nora's and imagine my excitement when I find out that Lifetime television is making a movie out of my favorite book and lordy, lordy ladies and gentlemen - John Corbett is going to play the dashing hero, Ben McKinnon. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. There's no way around it, he's a dream boat.

It aired tonight and I knew it would happen and it did - they screwed up my favorite story. They tried to pour 700 odd pages into two hours and they even created a freaking character who never appears in the book! They focused on all of the wrong things (I will save you from the painstaking details - Chris was not spared. Ten points to him. He also has a degree in English Lit, but does not share my passion for these novels). Anyway -

Daniel Steel's books get epic four hour movies that are so long they can only be viewed on the weekends. I suspect that with this kind of length they might act out the story page by page from the books. What the hell? Give my girl Nora her props - don't churn out a crappy two hours and make my girl Willa look soft. The coolest thing about Willa is that she's an ass kicker - not a sniveler. She takes care of her own - she's a cowgirl in a true Annie Oakley kind of way. She's the best shot in the county - better than the guys, a stunning horseman and she knows all about ranching. She works like ten men and always seems to know what's right. I love her. I just flat out think she's the kind of lady I'd like to be if real life worked out like novels. That is the book that makes me want to write! That is the book that makes me want to find a character as tough as Willa and write about her. I would be forever grateful to Nora if she'd turn Willa and the gang into a series. There's so much that could happen out in Big Sky Country to support a series. Why oh why isn't she my character???

Again, digression.

So Lifetime TV, listen up - I'll be tuning into the other movies, but just know that I'm screaming about everything you're getting wrong from the comfort of my couch.

Just saying.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Aren't You In Love with PA yet?

I can't tell you how much I love being from Pennsylvania. With every fiber of my being I am, and always will be, a Pennsylvanian. What other state gets together over 112 years to celebrate old German folklore on an old forgotten Christian holiday of Candlemas? We do. And we polka while we do it.
If you've never been to Punxsutawney it's ok. It's a tiny town with cute little shops and sweet people, there's a branch campus of my University and there's this town square where Phil lives and every year, for the last 111 years, thousands of people descend upon this tiny town to celebrate, to dance, to enjoy a hot tottie or two and to see if Phil sees his shadow. As the folklore goes, if Phil sees his shadow, it's six more weeks of winter, if no shadow is seen then we're in for an early spring. This year he didn't see a shadow. Come on Spring!
I'm always telling Chris how lucky he is to be in a relationship with someone from PA. I truly believe that you must love PA, for so many great things come from my home state - things like, Hershey Chocolate, M&M Mars, Nestle, Harley Davidson, Gibson Guitars, Crayola Crayons, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirmanti Brothers Sandwiches, Iron City Beer, Rolling Rock Beer, Yuengling Beer, Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches - and the list goes on and on. Soooo many amazing things come straight out of PA - and so do the sweetest people.
So, thank you to Phil for the home memories from today. I only wish I could've been dancing to the Pennsylvania Polka in the Punxy town square this morning!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

We're back home after a long trip to NC. I have to tell you this - I'm very glad that I made this rather sad trip home with Chris because not only did I have a chance to say goodbye to someone whom I loved very much, but I got to learn more about her amazing life and to witness first hand the power of Chris' loving family. I can't help but think that I'm so grateful to be accepted by them, to be a part of their family. I love them with my whole heart.

Some knitting was done on this trip, but not much. I'm working on a branching out scarf for a NYC friend and that kind of lace work takes a little bit of time. As I knit that up, I'm also plotting for my next stash project. What shall it be?? I think maybe some socks, or gloves or mittens or, oh heck! I don't know - the possibilities are endless. I also picked up a free pattern from Lions brand for some felting wool that I've stashed since November of 2006. The pattern is for an excellent little bag.

This weekend is all about recovery for Chris and I - cleaning our house, watering the plants, doing the laundry and the shopping and also a time of rest. We're both just praying to get to Friday night so that we can slip into bed and NOT turn on our alarm clocks.