November 29, 2006


Hi everyone! I'm really loving this laptop a lot. I still don't have any pictures today. I did get the programs worked out to put pics on the laptop, but I don't have any new pictures to show you. On Thanksgiving I did quite a bit of knitting on a non-gifty project since all my gift recipients were in the room and now I can't put it down. I've been feeling quite a bit of guilt about working on it instead of all the deadline stuff, but it is addictive. It's a project for a lacy leaf scarf that my Secret Pal sent me from SP7. I love the yarn, so soft! I wish I had a picture to show time, I promise.

If you look in the sidebar you will notice a new button. I have joined the Stranded Colorwork Challenge. I recently learned to knit continental for the sole purpose of holding a strand in each hand (rhymes!) so I could do two-color fair isle. This KAL is the perfect challenge to make me get into high gear and try it. I'm thinking of doing mittens of some sort. I probably won't be able to start it right away (the start date is Friday) because I have to collect the supplies and decide on a project. This will be my very first fair isle project and I'm really looking forward to learning something new. Something else exciting happened when I signed up for this KAL! I finally learned how to save a button to my own computer and use it instead of "hotlinking" and stealing bandwidth. I'm a little embarrased to admit that I didn't "get" it before despite all the tutorials and that's why you don't see too many buttons in my sidebar. Now that I know how to do it without it being illegal I will save as many buttons as I can find! Maybe I can even make one of my own. I'm not sure I have the right program to get artsy. Is there anyone out there that wants to make a button and send it to me? (For free!)

Sorry for the two posts in a row with no pictures. I know those can get boring. Next time I will have lots of pictures, I promise!

November 26, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I know it's a little early to start singing carols and giving gifts, but I got an early Christmas present from my hubby and I can't wait to post about it! He couldn't wait to give it to me because it was going to be too hard to hide from me, plus he figured I could go ahead and start getting use out of it now. What is it, you ask? A NEW LAPTOP COMPUTER! This would be the place where I would go ahead and post a picture of it, but I just broke it out of the packaging and haven't put any programs on it yet. So instead, in honor of the holidays you get this holiday-themed meme:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Depends...I like egg nog cold, not hot, so if I'm in the mood for hot stuff I'll go for the cocoa.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? The elves wrap the presents of course. Santa is just the delivery man.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?'s more classy
4. Do you hang mistletoe? nope
5. When do you put up your decorations? Ideally around the first of December, but with me and hubby both in retail, whenever our hectic schedules allow us
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sweet potatoes with marshmallows
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Baking cookies with mom for gifts and to set out for Santa
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? At the babysitter's when I was 9 yrs old.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? When I was a kid we used to open one gift on Christmas was usually preselected by one of our grandparents and it was usually matching pajamas for me and my sisters to make for cute pics on Christmas morning
10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? An assortment of cheap plain balls from the dollar store and some meaningful ones fro family and friends. My favorite ornament was a gift last year to celebrate my first Christmas with my husband
11. Snow! Love it or Dread? I love it when I have a day off and can go skiing and snowboarding. On the roads when I'm trying to get to work, not so much.
12. Can you ice skate? Sorta....but not well
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I was given a quilt two years ago by my grandmother that was hand-pieced by my great-grandmother and her mother in the 40's.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Time together with family and doing things for others
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Goop! (a family recipe that involves caramel and bananas)
16 What is your favorite holiday tradition? Baking cookies and watching all the holiday specials on tv
17. What tops your tree? A star cut out of cardboard and wrapped in aluminum foil. My parents had a star like that for years that my dad made so my first christmas with my hubby back when he was my boyfriend we made one just like it
18. What is your favourite holiday book? Twas the Night Before Christmas
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Come All Ye Faithful is one of my favorites because I can sing it in English and in Latin (Adeste Fidelis) but there is nothing like a full choir singing th Hallelujah Chorus from The gives me chills when it's done correctly
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy? Yummy, I especially like the "gourmet" flavors like blueberry

So, it may be early but Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

November 22, 2006

More birthday fun

Technically my birthday was last Wednesday, but my family and I decided to wait until Friday to celebrate it. We started the day by having my friend Beth take our portrait for our Christmas cards.

Merry Christmas from the Snyders!
That evening we went to the local bowling alley for birthday fun! My little brother, Galen, especially enjoyed the bowling. He was so excited he actually delivered the bowling balls to people to encourage them to bowl faster so it could be his turn again.

I believe that picture was taken just before he bowled his first strike. He did quite well, actually. He even beat me in one game. Kind of embarrasing actually, considering I bowl in a league and he is only seven. Oh well, I never claimed to be good. This picture is just because it's funny. That's Galen, showing me how much he liked my cookie cake, with Mom and Dad in the background.

I got all kinds of awesome gifts from everyone (Thank You!). Mom and Dad got me the latest James Patterson novel that I am dying to read but haven't been able to start yet because of all the gift knitting going on at Chez Karen. It's just more motivation to keep knitting as fast as possible. Doug got me a pretty cool gift too. Want a hint?

Yep, he got me a ball winder and swift. He actually went to a yarn store and debated with the woman working if metal or wood was a better choice. After listening to her suggestions he went with the more compact metal swift. I immediately wound just about every skein I have when we got home. Whee! Center-pull balls! I can hardly control myself.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope the weather is good, the meal delicious, and the company excellent!

November 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to ME

Thank you all for your birthday wishes. Yesterday I turned 26 years old and had a wonderful day. I started the day with bowling at my bowling league, then the girls took me to lunch and surprised me with this cookie cake! It's very yummy too, it will be gone very soon. (or maybe it is already.....details, details). I then went to work for just a few hours to fix up a few things for a big corporate visit. After work, my hubby cooked me the best dinner ever. He made Steak Marsala from scratch and I wish I could post a recipe here for you all (especially Kim, who I know would love to have the recipe), but he is a "wing it" cook. He used to cook professionally, so when he steps into the kitchen he usually knows what to put in it, but doesn't follow any measurements. He'll just put in ingredients until it "looks right". Must be nice, huh? When I do that, whatever I'm making is so bad the dogs turn those noses up at it. Anyway, here is a pic of the wonderful dinner
This is after a few bites as you can see and ohmigoodness. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The sauce was the perfect blend of mild, tangy, and sweet and the sauce made the meal. I'm sorry if some of you are vegetarians and may possibly be offended by me posting a picture of steak on my blog, but I can't help it. That was the best meal I have had in a long while and the fact that my hubby went out of his way to make it for me meant so much more. All in all, it was a pretty spectacular birthday. You know the best part? It's not even really over yet. Tomorrow evening I am having a small bowling party for my family and a few friends to celebrate so I get to have another day of birthday fun! Whee!

November 14, 2006

Gift knitting.... fun, but makes for lousy blog posts. I can't show you any Finished Object pictures, because I'd have to black out the FO. I can't show you any WIP pictures, because I'd have to black out the WIP. Rest assured that I am knitting, I'm actually finishing things, and I'm almost on schedule for all my holiday knits. Money is a little tight this year so I am trying to make as many gifts as I can, and most of them have been started with yarn from the stash. Double bonus! Gifting and stash-busting at the same time :) Maybe for Christmas I will get cool new yarn to beef the stash back up. (hint, hint) So instead of pictures of all the cool knitting I've been doing, I can show you what I was up to last Sunday night.

Most of you know that I bought a new house in the spring so each time the season changes I have learned some new things about my new area. For instance, when school started, I learned to deal with the constant noise of traffic around 8am and 2:30 pm. (I live across the street from an elementary school). When it came time to turn on the heat I learned that diesel makes a good subsitute for oil when the local oil company won't deliver oil for your heat and it's 40 degrees outside. Last Sunday I learned that once hunting season starts, deer flock to my road. I see deer every morning and evening on my road, but this one I didn't see until we were on top of it. My apologies, little Bambi, and condolences to your family. Everyone that was in the car is fine, just a little shook up. The car and the deer, not so fine. The car has $3000 worth of damages and won't be going to the car doctor until the 27th.

The car is still drivable and I've been taking it to work and back everyday. Each day someone new will notice the damage to my car and ask me "what happened!?". I don't mind re-telling the story, but each time I feel a little more remorseful for Bambi. Drive carefully!

There is one knit I can show you, but regrettably it hasn't been touched in a few days so there is nothing interesting about it yet. Hmmm....the pic won't upload for whatever reason. Oh well, I guess there knitting is not meant to be shown in this post. Stay tuned for knitting next time.

November 7, 2006

"Catching up" or "this post is really picture-heavy"

What have you all been up to? I've been away from blogs and blogging for a while and I have so much to catch up on, both in reports from my world, and reading what everyone else has been doing. I have been knitting during my blogless absence, though. This scarf is technically a Christmas present, but I feel reasonably safe in debuting it on the blog-I don't think the intended recipient surfs knitting blogs. This is for my father-in-law, who hails from Michigan. Simple striped scarf?
Nope! Check out the cool footballs that appear when you look at it from another angle! This is my first go-round with illusion/shadow knitting and it is so much fun to watch the designs appear from simple knitting and purling. This football design was charted by Jennifer, whose blog I can't find. Jennifer-please drop me a comment with a link to your blog so I can find you again!
On Halloween my hubby and I hosted a costume party that I would say was a huge success and loads of fun. Doug went as Speed Racer. The morning of the party he had nothing to wear as a costume, but one quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics and a quick trip to TJ Maxx and his costume was set.
And I went as my favorite 80's cartoon rocker....Jem! (Jem is excitement....glamour and glitter, fashion and fame....!)
The biggest challenge with my costume was making glowing star earrings. I found clear star earrings at Claire's and Doug found a way to wire LED lights with watch batteries to them. They were heavy, but very cool. I even found shoes that lit up when you walked. Definitely 80's!
Beth went as "Trashy Britney", aka pregnant Mrs. Federline in all her glory.
Speed Racer even had the Mach 5, although it was the wrong color. This is Doug's "knitting". He bought this '85 Fiat Bertone for $500 a couple years ago and has done tons of work on it to make it a hot little speedster. Everything from custom body work, to much-needed engine maitenance.
Top row (L-R):Trashy Britney, Speed Racer Next row (L-R): The priest, Brian Fantana, Little Bo Peep, Jem, the Bloody Surgeon, the guy in the tux, and the Boxer. Bottom row (L-R): The Office Scoundrel, Larry the Cable Guy, and the Border Patrol. (Not pictured: The Devil, Jesus, two cowgirls, "that kid", and an Army officer) It was a fantastic party, everyone had fun, and the costumes were spectacular!

This past Saturday, Beth and I went to Stitches East for the Marketplace Sessions. We signed up for Continental Knitting. The class was very well taught and I feel like I picked up a new skill, although it will take me a while to get used to holding the yarn differently and my guage is WAY off right now. I really wanted to learn to hold the yarn in my left hand so I could fair isle with a color in each hand. Fair isle is definitely the next skill I want to learn. I'd like to start with a small project, maybe a hat or mittens. I saw the most beautiful cashmere black and white folk fair isle mittens on display at! I know that fair isle is starting to grace the blogs out there...does anyone have any specific recommendations for a starter project? Any certain patterns I should check out? I made one small purchase at Stitches East. The WEBS booth was a little overwhelming. I picked up a lot of yarn that I gently coaxed myself into putting back. All but 2 skeins of Valley Yarns Stockbridge, in a lovely heather grey. They had the cutest cable socks on display that I just had to make.
Not the best picture, but you get the idea. Only one problem. They are way way too small. The pattern only has three sizes: child, woman, man and it doesn't give too many specifics on the sizes the socks will be when they are complete. I made the woman's sock, and granted my guage isn't exactly right and I didn't (ahem) swatch first, but this sock will fit my 7-yr-old brother perfectly. I am debating if I should rip it out and try again or call it a Christmas present. I doubt he'd appreciate them though and the yarn is ::SO:: yummy. Hmmmm......