Monday, March 31, 2008

Yesterday we spent the day at Gran & Papa's house. We celebrated Easter and a little ones birthday. Well not really so little Miss J turned 5 last weekend. Since all of us were at the convention and worn out on Sunday we made this Sunday our Easter holiday. Saturday I started searching the blogosphere to find something to make Miss J. I went to Soulemama's blog first and found a doable quick project. A dress up box.

I found this Samsonite suit case at the thrift store in perfect condition. No rips and it didn't even smell old on the inside. I used some scrapbooking paper and decoupaged it to the outside. My decoupage stills could improve but I think it was more my medium. I had found a couple items at the thrift store to include (sombrero, prairie dress, tie, scarves) and asked Joy #1 to go through her stuff to find things to add. I think it turned out well. I also found a picture of the cousins playing dress up at Gran & Papa's house and put it inside her case to inspire her.

And while visiting yesterday I finished an embroidery that will be gifting and about 5 inches on the french press cozy. This is out of the Doodle Stitching book and can be bought separately here. I enjoyed working on it. Now I have to figure out how to frame it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Camera Hog

Last night at knit night I casted off for the body of my cardigan. It is a simple raglan, top-down cardigan that I am just knitting on the fly. This morning I thought I would take an in-progress shot for you. I was using the self timer and had a heck of a time getting a shot.

Gracie thought I was setting up the camera for her. So, I tried a second time.

My mouth looks funny and I am trying to stay straight because she is nudging me in the back. Like I was stealing her shot. I was running out of time before I needed to leave so I gave up. I leave you with the dark, first shot.

Onto the sleeves.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

No Time Like the Present

Tracy's post inspired me. There are a lot of activities I like to do with the kiddos in the spring. Most of the time they are just thoughts in the wind but sometimes I am able to make them happen. The older Joy #1 gets the harder it is to have that family time with all of us. Most of the time I find that it is just Joy #1 & I doing something or Joy #2 and I together. I know this is how it works. Joy #1 is much closer to being out of the nest than Joy #2. I feel that individually I get enough time with them but doing things together with all of us is lacking. Here are some things I'd like to do this spring.
  • Take Joy #2 fishing (and beg/bribe Joy #1 to come along)
  • Picnic dinner by the river (Missouri)
  • Start herb garden and plant hollyhocks
  • Walks in the evening
  • Candlelight snack at dark and watch the stars (if you have seen Stardust something similar to when Tristan & Victoria are looking at the stars)
  • Schools out party in our backyard for the neighborhood kids
  • Build cardboard castle in the yard

Someday these will be in my yard

Monday, March 24, 2008

Good Times

LTC was great. It was fun getting to hang out with friends all weekend long and not do anything but spend time together. I have no photos from the weekend because Joy #1 had the camera. Oh well, you all can imagine what it is like hanging out with 13 people all weekend, talking over one another and participating in at least 2 conversations at once. Lots of laughter and catching up. Poor Joy #1 only got to really enjoy Friday evening and Sunday. She got sick at about 2 am on Saturday and continued to "get sick" until 10 am. From then on she just laid there until it was time for her drama performance at 4 pm. The show must go on as they say and she did a great job considering how poorly she felt. I am proud of both of my kids and their hard work at not only display events (banner, bulletin board) but performing events (drama, puppets,bible reading, & song leading). They both are talented and it is satisfying watching them. I don't know what their awards are yet but I'm sure they will not be disappointed.

I did manage to finish my socks this weekend. I love them and can't wait to start another pair. I don't have any sock yarn in the stash so it will be a little while. I am holding off buying more so I will finish my sweater. I am happy to report that I have 12 more rows of the body and then onto the sleeves. I don't want to be tempted not to finish this sweater by lovely sock yarn. There will be plenty of time to knit socks when the weather warms up. For now it is still sweater knitting weather and that isn't going to last much longer.

No Purl Monkeys:: Socks that Rock Pebblebeach

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Convention Weekend

This weekend is going to be a blast. Friends, family, fun, and some downtime to knit. Work is slowing down enough that I can keep up daily. Which is a very good thing when you plan to skip town for a day or two. We aren't going far or going long but the idea of hanging out with friends all weekend is giving me the motivation I need to get my to do lists done! They will be in from York, NE, Ft Reilly, KS, & Hawaii.

I have 2 more repeats on the monkey sock and it is on to the toes. I'll do my best to keep the second skein of socks that rock for a gift off my own needles. What a great gift! "Happy Birthday. I loved the yarn so much I went ahead and started knitting it for you. :)"

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend too!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Sock Experiment

As you may remember, I am knitting these socks as an experiment. I have knit several pairs of socks over the years but did not really enjoy the knitting process. My hypothesis is "If I knit socks with great yarn and pattern I will enjoy the process." To test my hypothesis I am using Socks that Rock pebble beach colorway and the ever popular Monkey pattern.

I am 60% into the testing stage of the scientific experiment. Sock one is complete and I am ready to turn the heel of sock #2. The testing is not completed but I think at this point I can analyze the data and draw a conclusion. (are you impressed that I remember 5th grade science?)

The yarn is a dream to knit with. Not only is it beautifully dyed but it is great yarn to begin with! The Monkey pattern is fun too. It is easily memorized and is not so complex that I have to think while knitting these. I believe my hypothesis will prove correct! As long as I knit with great yarn, matched with a fun pattern I should be able to continue sock knitting. It will take some time to fill my drawers with hand knit socks but now I know it is a possibility.

Sadly, since I can't put the sock knitting down and have little free time to knit everyday the cardigan has been ignored. Here is a poor picture of it but at least it will give you an idea as to the work in progress.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Attack of the Cardboard

6:45 am I go downstairs to make coffee and am greeted by this.

The whole of my kitchen has been transformed into cardboard haven. And I do mean the whole! The pictures were taken from the doorway. The only way to move about the kitchen is in and out through the passages. So I did what any good mother would do. I took a picture and then demolished the part that was standing between me and the coffee pot.

This is what happens when your the first one to bed.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Banners In Progress

High School Banner

On Easter weekend our congregation's youth will be participating in Leadership Training for Christ (LTC). LTC is a year long program that focuses our kids on a particular book of the Bible and a theme from that book. This year the book is 1st Samuel and the theme is Here I Am. Every year comes with it's challenges but we prevail in the end meeting the deadlines and the kids performing their parts wonderfully. The backstage stuff can be ugly but the performances always shine. I believe that most of our kids are procrastinators and shine under pressure. :)

Middle School Banner

My part in LTC, besides making sure my kids are getting their projects done, is banner and Bible Quiz coordinator. I am happy to say that the banners are 90% done! The rest are finishing work that I have to do. There are only 2 this year but each group designed and executed their projects efficiently. We only met twice and the first meeting was just about design. I am very proud of their efforts. I did very little in helping them. Basically, bought the material and supervised. I am so glad they are done!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lists are fun

  • Joy #1 & #2 & I went shopping in KC yesterday for Banner project supplies

  • Go a new book Doodle Stitching

  • Saw some interesting yarn at JoAnns

  • Had coffee at Starbucks, ice cream @ Sheridans, & dinner at Panera

  • Rented movies Stardust, Eragon, Sydney White

  • Knit 2 rows on sock

  • Joy #1 slept in her room last night. Progress without spicy food!

Saturday was a lovely day with my lovely people.

Socks that Rock, Pebblebeach, New Laptop named the Craigon

Saturday, March 8, 2008

We Shall Overcome

  • Laptop is talking to my network printer (I can print!)
  • Laptop is talking to scanner (I can scan)

My system must have needed a good nights sleep just like I did. We are up and running. I still feel a little out of sorts as the dual monitor is new to me but I'll get used to it. :)

Good Admist the Bad

My new laptop and docking station arrived yesterday a little before 11 am. That should be the good news. The bad is that I worked non stop on the set up until 8 pm when I dragged myself home. Here's the short, issues with scanner, issues with network printer, bluetooth mouse & keyboard don't work (they are sending me a replacement), and I in my brillance lost my inbox. Now before you think that I hate my new laptop I don't. I don't even think it is the manufactures problem (minus the bluetooth stuff). I am convinced that if I were to have set this up on April 20th it would have been good to go in 20 minutes. Ok maybe 40. This was a test of my character. I will say that I did not curse, throw a fit, or be mean to the support people. I was irritated beyond belief but kept my cool and tried not to let it affect the office. Today is a new day and if I can't figure my printer and scanner problems I'm just going to call a tech guy to do it.

More good...sock is fabulous. Pictures to follow! I am ready for the first heel.
Even more good...Joy #2 pampered me when I got home last night. He propped me up on pillows in my bed. Brought up hot tea on a candle lit tray for us to enjoy while playing a calm game of chess. I won! First game I have ever won again him or ever (I'm new). I don't think it counts though because I have a sinking suspicion he let me win. He did a good job of making the game last though. Good kid that one!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Did you know that today is Wednesday NOT Thursday? Me either! The hours just whoosh by me and somehow I am still standing and moving forward.

I casted on last night for a pair of socks. Monkey (no purl version) in fact. I just finished the ribbing and am starting on the lace pattern. Socks that Rock really do rock. I have knit 1 inch and I love this yarn. I have been knitting a row here or there while scanning in documents and I have the urge to stop working and just knit. I fully recognize that this is the honeymoon stage with this yarn and sock. But it is a good start. I really am pulling for a drawer full of hand knit socks.

In other news my laptop screen died, which means I can't work at home or surf the web after hours. I have ordered a new laptop but probably won't get it until March 15. I'm not looking forward to switching all my stuff over. This also means picture less posts until the new laptop comes. It's too much of a pain to upload pictures here, especially when I'm going to have to move them anyway!

Well, back to the salt mines. My five minute sanity break is up! BTW Joy #1 is still in my room and I am not seeing any motivation on her part to get out. I have threatened to make it my studio if she doesn't get to moving but it still hasn't happened. She did say something about a new bed and turning back on her cell phone as wonderful motivators. I'm not buying!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Did you know I'm not a sock knitter?

Surprising as I have made 8 pairs of socks in 3 years. I just don't like knitting socks. The knitting is not hard and I love wearing hand knit socks but I don't enjoy knitting it. Here is the down side to this acknowledgement. Socks are great gifts and I have given away 5 pairs of those 8 as gifts. The recipients loved the socks and I loved giving them.

So with this said, why did I just purchase some awesome sock yarn? And not just any sock yarn. The cream of the crop Socks That Rock sock yarn. This yarn is raved by every knitter that has touched it. And I didn't just buy one skein. I bought 2. Ok, one is for me and one will be a gift to a friend.

Now a normal person (read non-knitter) would be wondering right now, "Why would she spend good money on sock yarn when she does not like knitting sock?". (The knitters know that great yarn can be considered art and don't have to have a purpose.) I have this theory. Maybe I have not enjoyed knitting socks because of the yarn I have used? Maybe this yarn will be so wonderful that I will want to do nothing but knit socks! And I gotta tell you, I wish my sock drawer was filled with hand knit socks because I love wearing them so much. So welcome to my experiment. I have not cast on yet because I am a one project knitter and I am working on my cardigan. But soon, very soon I will cast on and my fate will be decided. Will I have a drawer full of socks of my own creation or Wal-Mart's?