July 29, 2006

Grand Central Station

That's what it's felt like around here this week. Lots of goings on, comings, and goings. Before I get into all the details of my week, let me just make this Public Service Announcement: Monday is the deadline to have your Flip Flop Swap packages sent out! I hope everyone is having a good experience with this swap and has had good contact with your pal. If for whatever reason you are not having a good experience please email me so I can do whatever I can to resolve the situation. (knittykarenAThotmailDOTcom)

Now, my week..... (warning:no knitting content today)

At the end of last week I went wedding dress shopping with my sister. I announced on the blog a few months ago that she was engaged. The date has been set for next August and planning has begun. She has asked me to be a bridesmaid so Heather (my sis), Whitney (her maid of honor), and I trekked on over to David's Bridal and tried on dresses. Heather tried on about a dozen wedding dresses, but didn't buy any yet because Mom wasn't there to help.

Whitney and I tried on a few bridesmaid dresses and Heather picked out one that she liked. I'm not going to reveal it on the blog to try to keep some of the wedding planning a surprise, but I love the dress she picked. Here are two of the ones we tried on.

This week Doug and I both took time off from work to try and do some stuff around the house. Doug and his dad have been working on building a custom dog kennel for our two pit bulls. It's not just any run-of-the-mill dog kennel. They are making a combination of a small house and the traditional fenced in kennel. It will have wooden posts and fenced sides with a shingled roof to keep the rain and sun off our precious pups. I'm not sure what the finished product will look like, but here's a progress pic.

While they are doing that, Doug's mom and I have been putting the final touches on the craft room, which will make it's debut on the blog soon. Mostly we've been painting the trim, but there's also been a hint of sewing. When she gets here today we will be sewing curtains for the yarn room, the kitchen, and maybe quilting a little. I picked out a quilt pattern yesterday at JoAnn Fabrics that I think would make a great quilt for our bed.

This is the fabric that I'm planning on using.

Pictures of the other sewing projects to come....

It has also been Birthday Central around these parts. Doug's dad's birthday was last week so we celebrated by having them over for grilled steak and blueberry pie.

My mom found this recipe for me on the internet. I'd been craving a good summer fruit pie and blueberries were on sale at the grocery store. Little did I know that it was Howard's favorite pie! After pie and steak he opened presents.

The next night we had another birthday celebration for a certain little boy who turned seven on Wednesday. This time we grilled chicken but that pie was so delicious I had to make it again.

Then it was present time all over again. Galen got a metal detector so he can go tear up his yard looking for treasure. He was VERY excited about that one.

Speaking of presents, I had three packages arrive this week.
The first was from my July Project Spectrum Sock Yarn Swap Pal, Maylin. She sent a lovely hand-dyed purple and red yarn, along with some other wonderful purple goodies. Check out that really pretty purlpe purse with the long beaded handle. It's a great pouch to throw your cell phone, keys and a few other necessities in if you are going on a walk, or to the beach, etc. Thanks Maylin!

The second package was from my super-awesome Secret Pal. She sent the most beautiful color of blue soft yarn for my very first lace scarf. She included a simple lace pattern and the needles to do it. It's all I can do to keep myself from casting on right away. Must..finish...other...projects... She also sent the prettiest stitch markers ever, some margarita-smelling bath scrub (which is, by the way, my favorite drink!), and a cute project book.
Thanks Secret Pal!

My third package was from my Flip Flop Swap pal,Christy . She sent the cutest flip flop and spa set, along with a TON of summer goodies. Nail polish, flip gloss, strawberry lemonade, candy (some missing from the picture-oops), and a book I've been wanting to read-The DaVinci Code!
Thanks Christy!

That's pretty much it for my week. I've got to go finish sewing curtains and painting trim. Hopefully the next post will be all about my completely finished craft room!

July 25, 2006

I have a problem....

I'm completely addicted to bloglines, and it's missing! I've been trying to log on all day. My internet was down for a day and a half and when it was finally repaired I immediately tried to get my fix. No Bloglines! ACK! I'm delirious without knowing what Wendy, Stephanie, and the gang are all knitting on today! What about any contests I may be missing? Or what if I won a prize on a contest that is being announced today and they don't have my email address? Ok, that might be a stretch.... Is anyone else having problems logging on? I used to keep a list of my blogs in my favorites list, but after using bloglines for months I deleted them.


In other news, I received two packages this week. A fab package from my super awesome secret pal and my July Project Spectrum Sock Yarn Swap package that came all the way from France! I'm remote blogging right now so I don't have pics to share, but that will come tomorrow. For all you Flop Swappers, less than one week to go. Have you mailed yours out? Have you received your package yet? If you have, and you have a picture of the goodies on your blog, link to it in the comments so we can all see all the fun everyone is having! To my pal: package to come soon.

Is blogines up yet? Nope. ::groan:: I guess I'll just go knit.

July 16, 2006

Swap pals sent out

:: YAWN ::
Time for bed. I just finished sending out all of the swap pals, so if you have not gotten an email from me but you signed up before the deadline, please let me know. I hope everyone has fun shopping for their pals. Let me know if you encounter any problems along the way. Also, I hope I don't have to use this, but if anyone is willing to be an angel let me know. Happy Swapping!


Thanks to everyone who has signed up for the Flip Flop Swap. If someone who signed up did not get an email from me, please let me know! Happy flip flop shopping!

This might come as shocking, but I actually have some knitting content to share! I haven't made any more progress on my Jaywalker yet, but I have started a new sock. I present-my Pomatamus sock. I'm knitting this using the Project Spectrum Sock Yarn Swap yarn I got from my May pal, Kelly.

The second picture is truer to the color, but more blurry.

In crochet news, yes you read that correctly, I made a flower!

This is the first of a long chain of flowers that form a scarf. I read through the "how-to" section last night and practiced making rows of different stitches. I practiced crocheting in a cirlce. Finally, I decided to give the flower a try. It wasn't nearly as hard as I'd thought it would be. I'm really excited to try the other types of flowers in the chain.

In Project Spectrum Purpleness, my mom and I made a skirt last week. Actually, I should say my mom made the skirt and I helped, a little. She just whipped it together with no pattern, just going on what I said I wanted. I didn't have anyone to take a picture of me wearing it, so you'll just have to use your imagination. It's a paneled skirt, that has an a-line shape to it, but it's a little on the full side for an a-line. Make sense?

I also decided to celebrate Project Spectrum on my toes...

Earlier this week I decided to get a haircut. Usually I just get a trim, maybe add some layers, but I decided to jump off the deep end this time.
(Sorry for the blurry pic-mirror photo-taking is not my strongest point)

I'm still getting used to how little shampoo I have to use now, and the whole blowdrying takes half the time thing, but I like it. It's much cooler for this unbelievable heat we've been having!

What a random post of odds and ends. Work has been really hectic this week and my sleep pattern is a little bit askew as a result. Brain doesn't function as well on an hour of sleep, but the hands still work to knit!

July 14, 2006

Deadline approaching...

The deadline to sign up for the Flip Flop Swap is tonight at midnight. I will be working very hard to get all the initial emails out ASAP and assign pals. My goal is to have all the pals sent out by Sunday night. Thanks to everyone who has signed up so far, I'm so excited about the response to my little idea! Remember, please contact your pal soon after you get their information so you can get to know each other's preferences. Swap starts soon!

July 5, 2006

Flip Flop Swap!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for! I've worked out all the details and I'm ready to kick this into high gear. But first, some other news....

On Friday I got my Secret Pal package, but I failed to mention it in my last blog post. (Sorry SP!) She sent me this:

That's Debbie Stoller's newest book the Happy Hooker! I've been eyeing this one since it came out, but wasn't sure about crochet. I used to crochet in my childhood, but then I hit teen years and boys and driving and telephones became way cooler. I had a breif resurgance of crochet a few years ago when my sisters, mother, and I combined crocheted about 15 scarves as Christmas presents. But I never got beyond the most basic stitches, so I'm excited to learn how to do the more complicated things, and BOY have you seen the patterns in this book? Very cute. My SP even sent yarn in three gorgeous and very ME colors to make a scarf from the book. As if that wasn't enough she sent the hook to make it! She also sent some shot glasses to add to my collection (from places I haven't been yet, woo-hoo!) and a yummy-smelling air freshner and pillow spray. Thanks SP!

This swap is a fun way to aquire a new set of kicks for summer days and some other summer goodies.

What to send: Most importantly, flip flops in your pal's correct size. Other than that, have fun! Include one or two summery things that you think your pal might enjoy. Ideally this swap should only cost about $5-$25 (you can get some great flip flops on sale at Old Navy for only $5). Ideas for what to send in the package: lip gloss, a beach read, a book sweater to keep sand out of the pages, a mix cd of great summer songs for a road trip, a skein of cotton for portable warshcloth knitting, a skein of sock yarn for portable sock knitting, a small knitting bag to contain said portable projects, toenail polish, a beach towel, flip flop socks, anklets, etc. The possibilites are endless!

Signups: To sign up send me an email (knittykarenAThotmailDOTcom) or leave a comment that includes your email address and I will get your info and send you the questionaire you should use to get to know your pal's preferences. This will not be a secret swap, so as soon as you get your pal's info you should contact them and swap shoe sizes. Signups will run from today until midnight on Friday, July 14th.

Timeline: I will have all the swap pals info sent out by Sunday, July 16th. The swap will run for two weeks, from July 17th until July 31st. Packages should be mailed out by the end of business hours on July 31st.

No one likes wondering about their pals, so please do not sign up if you are unable to fulfill your obligations. You will need to contact your pals at least three times, once when you get their email address so you can exchange info, once when you mail out their package, and once when you receive their package.

Questions? Email me or leave a comment. Let's swap!

July 4, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!!

July 2, 2006


Yesterday was my fourth of July, so to speak. I am working the evening of the Fourth, so I will not be able to partake in the countless barbeques, parties, and fireworks displays like everyone else. (Boo-hoo.) So my mom, my brother, and I went to visit my sister in Farmville for a barbeque. First though, we stopped off at the Green Valley Book Fair for some bargain books. This book fair happens about 4 times a year, and lasts 2 weeks each time. It's held in an old building and the books are CHEAP! You can't usually find the brand new titles there, but if it's about a year old they've got it. They have everything from kids books, adult fiction, computer, how-to, crafts, nature, travel, etc. I beelined for the craft section and ended up scoring huge! I got 3 baby knit books (no secrets here folks, just grabbing the deals-plus I know lots of babies who need knitted items), a stitch dictionary, and a log cabin quilt book. The quilt book is an acutal quilting book, but I thought with all the knitted log cabin hysteria going around, I could interpret it into knitty goodness. Or maybe I could just put my sewing machine to use again. I also picked up a few Curious George books for my nephew, and a couple of fiction novels for me.

Galen, my little brother, enjoyed a popsicle before diving headfirst into the nature and animal books. I think I see a vetrinary career in his future?

I did manage to finish my first pair of socks for the Sumer of Socks KAL this week, and I actually remembered to take a picture!Photographing one's feet is quite a difficult thing to do. I think we should get points for flexibility in the contest! The recap: Art Yarns Supermerino 4, US 4, You're Putting Me On sock pattern. It's a toe-up pattern, done on DPNs, but you could easily adjust it to circs if that's your preference.

When we arrived at my sister's, I hauled out the huge box of unused acrylic that I was gifting her way. She's not the yarn snob I am, and will actually use it. Plus, with a 2-yr-old who wants to use fancy yarns that are difficult to care for? Once she was done pawing through her new stash, she dragged out her knitting basket to show me all her WIP's. First off, the beginning of a sweater for her son, who is now too big to wear it. I suggested she turn it into a pillow for decoration.
Next up, her May/June Project Spectrum knit, a pillow case. It is complete, just needs a pillow to fit it. Very soft and fluffy!
This is/was her Olympic knitting project. She even has the bag lined! All that is left is the sewing up to make her cute diaper bag complete. This bag and the fishy sweater from above are from Family Circle Easy Baby Knits book. Very cute and easy kid knits, if anyone is looking.
Last, but not least, a blanket for her son which she has been working on since he was tiny. It is crocheted, and all that is left is finishing the scallops along the edge.
Joey is excited to be receiving his blanket soon!
After the food was demolished (we had the best juiciest steaks ever!), we went outside to delight in the fireworks. Joey was very impressed with the sparklers, Galen brandished his like a weapon, and the kids all clapped and whistled when we brought out the fountain. Fun had by all!
May I present, my next sock-in-progress (SIP?). This is my very first Jaywalker. The yarn is KnitPicks Dye-Your-Own that I dyed using Jaquard dyes. I named the colorway Maryland because these are the dyes that I picked up at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. (I'm so original I can hardly stand it!

And here is my sock-to-be posing by it's new home, my new Retro Pinky bag from Trek . She has lots of cute sock bags, spindle bags, and DPN cases available for swap, so stop by and take a looksie. My bag is the perfect size for all my sock necessities and fits in my purse so my yarn doesn't get tangled in my hairbrush or meet up with the dust bunnies of crud at the bottom of my purse.
Hope all of you have a wonderful Fourth! Come back soon for the Flip Flop Swap announcement!