Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Back to Normal

My sink disposal got fixed yesterday. I'm very happy. The plumber said he'd never seen such a bad leak before. The important thing is that it's fixed and done with. Yay! Now that the house drama is taken care of, I can share with you my Christmas yarn goodness. I got a lot of yarn. RM got me the Nordic mitten Rosenborg kit in a deep purple and slate gray colorway. He also got me that full bag of Jaeger Shetland Aran in a pretty pumpkin spice color. My parents gave me some money to spend on yarn, so I picked up a bag of Rowan All Season's Cotton in a discontinued color called Eden. My MIL bought me 5 skeins of Malabrigo in Geranio. It's so soft, and I have enough for a sweater! Thanks, Mom! I also picked up the Handknit Holidays book from Amazon, and a traditional mitten book. It was a very knitty holiday! Now, I just need to decide on projects for it all. I realize that I haven't done any movie reviews lately. We haven't seen very many good movies lately, but I do have two movies I can recommend. Four Brothers, directed by John Singleton, is an entertaining movie. It's violent but a very good story about four adopted brothers trying to figure out who murdered their adopted mother. I also recommend The Great Raid, the movie about the real liberation of a WWII POW camp in the Philippines. I wouldn't call it one of the best war movies ever made, but it was interesting. Other than that we've been watching the 5th season of CSI. I won't be updating the blog until after the New Year. We're off to a wedding in Sand Diego this weekend. Have a nice and safe New Year's everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Two things that can put a damper on Christmas...

1) Eldest child throwing a tantrum at the dinner table because he doesn't like any food offered up for Christmas dinner. He's a picky eater, and I don't know where he gets it. We've tried many tactics to get him to eat a variety of foods. No joy... literally. General attitude towards food lasted through yesterday. RM and I are working on regrouping. 2) Sink disposal under the kitchen sink springing the mother of leaks WHILE making Christmas dinner. Yep, cleaned up the kitchen floor twice. We had to clean it up once when we realized that the disposal was leaking around the entire circumference of the disposal bottom. The second time came when we started up the dishwasher. We didn't think the dishwasher emptied out into that side of the sink. Well, I'm here to tell you, "Yes, yes it does." What adds to my general annoyance is that I called our home warranty company yesterday morning to make the claim. They give me the name and number of a plumbing company and tell me that I will be receiving a phone call within 24 hours. So I call three times yesterday, leaving messages twice. I never get a call back. I start getting a sneaking suspicion that this plumbing company is closed. I call the warranty company back this morning, 24 hours later. I tell them I never received a call and couldn't contact the plumbing company. The representative informs me that some companies had yesterday as a holiday and I should give them more time. When I tell the rep that I should have been informed of this yesterday, they say, sorry, but can't do anything about it. Now, I'm really annoyed since we wasted an entire day waiting around for the phone call. So I call the plumbing company. Yes, they took the day off yesterday, and yes, my warranty company knew this fact and should have told us. The rep at the plumbing company was very nice and is trying to fit us in today, but may not be able to fit us in until next week. Now, mind you, I can't use my dishwasher, and have limited use of my kitchen sink. So, if I can't get fitted in today, I'm calling the warranty company back and will try to get them to find another company to come out and fix the flippin' disposal! ARGH!!! Did I mention that I'm traveling to be at a wedding this weekend in Southern Californa, and this sink problem just better be fixed by then? On a postive note, I got lots of nice yarn for Christmas, and the kids had a blast with all of their toys. I'll post about the good stuff in a day or so, once I've calmed down...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Socks for Christmas

I finished up my gray slip stitch socks just in time for Christmas! I love them. They are cozy, warm, and can be worn dressed up or down. These are also my first real socks, and I'm not quite sure what was so scary about knitting socks. In fact, I'm looking forward to my next pair. I think another pair of socks will be my New Year's Day project. Project Stats: Pattern: Classy Slip-up Socks from the book Knit Socks! Designer: Betsy Lee McCarthy Yarn: Knitpicks Essential sock yarn in gray Needles: size 1 bamboo DPNs Time to complete: about 3 weeks What I've learned: Socks are fun and satisfying to knit. RM is also rather impressed by the knitting skills as the finished product looks so "professional" (his words). I can't wait to break into some sock yarn with lots of color! Want to see them modeled? Ok here they are. Now what to knit now. I'm still working away on the prayer shawl. I'm thinking of picking the ruffles scarf up again to get that off the needles. I want to start on another sweater but am not sure which one I want to do. Twist perhaps? Also, I can't forget the socks I want to start on New Year's. Jaywalker perhaps? I think I'm going to take some time over Christmas to think about it. I know I've got some fibery goodness coming my way! I may change my mind. I want to wish everyone who celebrates Christmas a very merry, and peaceful one. May it be filled with joy and fellowship. Hohoho!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blog Exposed...

I was reading Grumperina's blog yesterday and was fully enjoying her transcription of a conversation she had with her mom and grandmother about a shawl she just knitted for her mom. Kathy then added an addendum saying that her family does not know about her blog. She asked her readers to talk about who knows about our blogs and why as a sort of meme. Well, I originally wanted to keep my blog sort of private. I didn't tell anyone except for RM about the blog, and that was only because he saw me working on it. As I continued to blog, and my participation in a variety of KALs and article writing increased, it grew harder and harder to keep it private. Now, I'd say that my entire family and most of my friends know about the blog. How did they find out about it? Well, I mentioned that I had one to my mother, but that I wanted to keep it personal. She respected it (sort of), but it drove her crazy that she couldn't read it. I finally gave in and now she reads it often. I told my MIL, my SIL, and my friends because they would ask me what I was working on, and it was easier to direct them to my blog for pics and such since they all live a great distance from me. The rest of my family found out when I emailed them all about an article I had published on the Muench Yarns Website. When they went to go read it, they all saw that I had a blog. I'm at peace with it and kind of like it now. I know that my mom, husband, MIL all are regular readers. My SIL has read it, and my best friend reads when she can. It's become a way for people to keep up with me and my life for the moment. Ultimately, due to privacy reasons, I'm careful about what I put on my blog picture wise and information wise, so all the content on this blog, with the exception of gift knitting/beading, are things that I don't mind my family and friends knowing about. I did get into *trouble* once though. I posted a pic of my yarn stash a few months ago, and RM emailed me from work to "inquire" about it. Found out he read the blog on that day... *ahem* So now you all know where I knit, and who know about the blog. What about you? Who knows about your blog? Also, if you haven't already done so, where do you knit?

The Knitting Couch

I haven't officially been tagged with the "Where do you knit" meme, but I thought I'd share anyway. Like most of the pictures I've seen out in Blogville, I knit while sitting on my couch. Now, my couch is known as a happening place. It is the staging ground for many a 30 car pile-up, a battle ground for star wars men to storm a princess's castle, a holding area for comfort lovies, a bed for sick kidlets and sleeping cats, a seat for xbox playing RM, and a beading zone for me. Most of the time, my knitting couch looks like this. When I'm real tired or stressed, I'll just shove some of it aside and knit scrunched over in a corner amongst all the toys. See that castle? The ramparts are actually a good place to put the working ball of yarn. Most of the time though, I clear it off to create a more peaceful place to knit. Here's what I like for my couch to look like. Peaceful, no? Yep, I just need a tasty beverage, a pattern, some yarn and needles, and a good show on TV to knit to. I want to direct you to a lovely poem that KSD wrote over on her blog. Go take a look if you have a moment. Her sentiments mirror my own about all of the people whose blog's I read, and who to the Garden to visit. I appreciate you all!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Anyone have good recommendations for a decent hand lotion?

My right hand is in a bad way. This is the worst time of year for my hands. First off, the heater is on and makes the air rather dry. Then the cold makes my hands chapped. Then add to that household duties like cleaning of kitchens, bathrooms, laundry, cooking and preparing food. Finally add kid duties like cleaning kid's noses and bottoms with the mandatory hand washing involved after said duties. My hands are a mess. I use the Aveeno Intense relief hand cream and Eucerin liberally and often, but my hands are still cracked and hurting. Luckily, I'm not working with yarn that snags easily, but still. Thoughts? Suggestions? The Boy and I went out together for some Mom/Son time at the mall. We had a lot of fun! All the Christmas shopping is over so we just walked around and got in the Christmas mood. The only damper is the miserable weather. No Cal is in the middle of one torrential rainstorm. Driving home necessitated driving through standing water 3 times. Ugh. I'm about to knti the heel flap of the second sock! Yay!! I better get back to it. I've set a goal of finishing the socks by Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

List 'o craftiness

Last week I was reading Julie's blog where she listed all the crafts with which she's ever dabbled. Julie challenged her readers to post all the crafts that they have had experience with. I've been meaning to post my list of crafts/arts that have been a part of my life, but got distracted by the mad sock knitting. So here 'tis. latch-hook cross-stitch embroidery sewing plastic canvas candle-making card-making book binding crochet macrame calligraphy origami Spinning with a hand spindle dyeing fiber And then of course: Knitting and Beading Since the following aren't strictly speaking crafts, but they are art forms, I thought I'd include the following in a sublist. (I love lists.) Dance Martial Arts Writing short stories and screenplays Now, I originally intended this blog to be about both knitting and beading. Knitting has kind of taken over this blog. Well, since a lot of my beading has been in secret, due to submission reasons, I thought I'd share some of my past work with all of you from time to time. The piece I'm sharing today is one that I wore all the time when I was working. It still is one of my favorite pieces. I have a thing about chokers, so it's a choker made with borosilicate lampwork beads, sterling silver spacers, and 4mm amethyst round beads with a sterling silver clasp. It's a simple stringing design, but sometimes the simplest designs are the best especially with such gorgeous beads.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One Lonely Little Sock

Finished up the first solid sock last night while watching last week's Project Runway that we had burned on disc. I really like how it looks! The small needles are worth it. According to the pattern, the heel is a "traditional French heel." Does anyone know what that means and what makes that different from a regular heel? The essential yarn is pretty easy to work with, however, I've never knit a sock before, so this is my first sock yarn. From my blog reading there's some pretty divine stuff out there. I sort of want to take one day break before starting on the other one, but since there's a time constraint to the KAL, I think I'm going to have to at least cast on and get a few rows of 1x1 ribbing done today. The first sock took me a bit of time to get through. I hope the second goes more quickly. I've also joined two other knitting groups. I joined up for the Felted SP 2 round which starts in February. I've enjoyed my two other experiences with SP programs, and am looking forward to this one as well. If you'd like to join, click on the button in my sidebar. More are always welcome! I've also joined up in a mitten swap organzed through the knittyboard. I've not got a lot of info on this one, but this will my first swap involving knitting for someone else, so I'm excited. Please check out my Bargain Bin page for the destashing madness if you haven't already!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Massive destash!

Take a look at my Bargain Bin for details. I'm off to try to finish up my first sock!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hazy Shade of Winter

Meet Hazel, one of the feline scamps that live in the Craftylilly house. She may look sweet and innocent sunning herself on the steps, but don't let that fool you. She's willing to squish herself into any small space that I have next to me in bed at night. I can't tell you how many mornings the Mr. or I have woken up with back pain due to the cat curling up between our legs or in the small of our back. We've even woken up both of use perched at the edge of our bed to find her sprawled out in the middle. She has great taste in yarn too. She'll snub all acrylics but will make a bed out of anything wool, especially if it's got a little mohair in it. Blackberry? Oh yeah, I've found her sleeping on it.

Speaking of people living in the Craftylilly house, I've decided that Mr. Craftylilly needs a new alias. Now, when I asked the Mr. what he wanted to be called, his answer was "Raider Man." Please refer to the Christmas ornament pic I posted a week ago. Since the best I could come up with was Fantasy Football Fanatic or FFF for short, I'll go with what he wants. Raider Man 'tis. RM for short.

Now, RM and I saw a great movie last night off of Netflix. If you haven't already seen Cinderella Man, you must. The acting is superb (Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger), and the story is engaging. I'm not all that into boxing as a sport, but the movie is done so well, even I got into the boxing match scenes.

I want to thank all of you who left such kind and supportive comments about Blackberry. The fact is, I'll probably wear her a lot this winter. I tend to wear the knits that I'm not in love with more, probably because I'm not as afraid to mess them up. I still have my reservations, but I think that with the right shirt underneath, it'll look better. I'm still trucking away at my sock. I hope to have the first sock done and the second sock started by midweek. I'll post a pic when the first sock is done.

If you've made it through the meandering post, I salute you! Have a good Sunday everyone!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Do I like it? Or do I like it, like it?

Well Blackberry's done. I'm not in love with her. I'm more in like with her. Blackberry was finished up while watching an episode of the Wire on DVD (love that show). While all in all she was an enjoyable knit, I'm not sure about the fit. I made the smallest size, and perhaps should have made the next size up. It's not that Blackberry doesn't fit, it's more that the body of it fits nice and snug, but the cables on the arms make my arms look kind of big and bulky. I knit the arms longer than the 17 inches called for, and I'm glad I did, as I like sleeves to be more at where my fingers begin. I also put a button instead of leaving the ribbing blank for a pin. Love the button, it's shell. I think my hesistation all comes from my huge looking arms. I'm beginning to realize with this knit, that I think I look better in sweaters knit with aran or less weight yarn. Although I'm not a big person, bulky knits kinds of make me look/feel... well bulky. I think if the sweater is meant to be/look bulky (Banff for example) then the bulky yarn/design would probably be fine. Blackberry, however is supposed to be more fitted. So to sum up, cute design, fun knit, not so great fit. Project specs: Design: Blackberry from Fall Knitty, by Jennifer Thurston Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky in Khaki, 4.5 skeins for the smallest size Needles: Size 15 straights and circ Mods: Added a button, made the sleeves 19 inches instead of 17 Summary of What I've learned: Just say no to the Bulky knits, unless they're meant to be bulky. Pardon the pictures. It's been dark when Mr. Craftylilly gets home so I just decided to take the pic myself. If you want to get a picture of the cable on the sleeve, here you go!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

DPN or toothpick, you make the call

So, I'm trucking along on my gray slipped stitch socks (loving them by the way), when it occurs to me that my size 1 bamboo DPNs look quite a lot like long toothpicks. Another thought then hits me; I've been working on this one sock for an awful long time. I guess tiny yarn plus toothpick needles equals slow progress. I'm aiming to be up to heel by this weekend though. I have to have these suckers done and photographed for the Solid Socks KAL by the end of the month. I also joined another KAL... ahem... The good thing is this one won't start until after the New Year. I joined the Angelica KAL. We are knitting Glampyre's Angelica pattern from Hipknits. Everyone is searching for subs right now. I think I have a solution, but I'm not sure yet. As for my other KALs, I'm thinking that Kepler just isn't going to happen. I like the sweater, but after seeing other people's FOs I'm thinking I'd want the sleeves longer and the construction changed to a raglan. Right now that seems like a lot of mods to figure out. Plus, the new Knitty has the Forecast pattern that uses the same yarn I got for Kepler. Hmmm... Choices, choices. The Sexy Knitter's Club is still voting on a pattern, but I'll be up for whatever is decided. All the choices are good, and again this would be an after Christmas knit. Right now, the top priorities are: finish Blackberry in time for Christmas, finish the gray slip stitch socks, get the prayer shawl close to completion. I'll leave you with a picture taken by Mr. Craftylilly... of a Raider's Christmas ornament. He's unbelievable. :)

Sunday, December 04, 2005


I really need to figure out how to post pictures using my picture host rather than picasa. I think the pictures look bigger using a picture host. Regardless, here are some pictures as promised! Other than the SP package, I've got a pic of my seamed Blackberry just waiting to be edged with ribbing, and the state of my sock. I need to get cracking on that. The prayer shawl didn't make it into the shot, but I'm working hard at that too. The last picture is one of the family working on the Christmas tree. We've got it all decorated and lit up! I'm feeling really festive now! Here's a quick movie review for all of you as we've finally seen some decent movies. If you haven't already seen Bad Santa, and you don't mind dark humor, you really must rent it. We laughed a lot. I don't think it deserved all the bad press it got. It's not an anti-Christmas movie, more of a story about a sad, pathetic individual that semi-receives redemption. Also, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is quite fun. We're still working away at The Wire, but are heartily irritated that there are only 2 episodes per DVD. Using Netflix, it's going to take us forever to see the whole first season. Oh yes, and if you haven't already done so, sign my Frappr map, please! You can find the link on my sidebar. Cheers!

My SP package!! Thanks Tara!

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A seamed Blackberry sans ribbing, and a sock

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Oh Christmas tree, oh christmas tree...

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Saturday, December 03, 2005

This has been around the block

I've been reading everyone's and thought I'd try my hand at it. 10 Random Things about Me… -I've always loved stuffed animals, even as an adult. Never been a doll girl. -I got married one week after my 24th birthday. -The best, most rewarding organized educational experience I've ever had was my gradutate program at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, a consortium of seminaries. -I used to write short stories and hope to do so again someday. -I never had a clear concieved plan to be married with children, but here I am. -I'm afraid of flying, but do it reluctantly. -I love Dim Sum, but never get to have it these days. -I have a love of pens and notebooks, and enjoy browsing through office supply stores. -I've been more creative in the past year since I left my teaching job, then I have been in any other period of my life. -I love being in my 30s and really didn't enjoy my 20s 9 Places I’ve Been…. -Yellowstone -Yosemite -Bryce Canyon -Oregon -Seattle -Disneyland -Victoria, Canada -Georgia -Las Vegas 8 Ways to Win My Heart…. -Be sweet to me and to others -Bring me Starbucks pastries -Have a good sense of humor -Be a natural athlete but not conceited about it -Listen to what I have to say -Stand up for oneself -Be open-minded -Have compassion and empathy 7 Things To Do Before I Die…. -Visit Jerusalem -Go whitewater rafting -Write the Great American Novel -Design a sweater -Visit all the historical landmarks in the U.S. -Go to Europe -Live anxiety free 6 Things I’m Afraid of…. -Spiders -Snakes -Losing a loved one -Being trapped in a situation or a small enclosed space -Flying in a plane -Losing control over my life 5 things I don’t like…. -Bad Dialogue in the movies -Bad breath in a person that I have to sit next to -Cleaning out the cat box -Soap scum -My kids bickering 4 Ways to Turn Me Off…. -Be a bigot -Have bad manners -Have bad hygeine -Arrogance 3 Things I Do Everyday…. -Knit -Play with the kids and cats -Email and blog reading 2 Things That Make Me Happy…. -My kidlets' laughter -Kitty purrs 1 Thing On My Mind, RIGHT NOW…. I've got a bazillion things to do while the kids nap today. I got the last package from my knitty SP today! She has been very thoughtful and generous. I think I've figured out that it's Taranichole. She has a great blog too! She sent me two skeins of Color Your Own sock yarn from Knitpicks, some of the cutest sheep buttons I've ever seen, the books, "Hands on Dyeing", and "Bad Cat," some cute tags for my beadwork, and a Hello Kitty candy cane ornament. For being her first time in a Secret Pal round, I'd have to say she's awesome. I'll put up a pic later. I'm doing the seaming of Blackberry too. I'm glad the seaming is done before the final ribbing. Seaming is not my favorite thing to do.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Luck and Love Posted by Picasa

Picture card worthy

It's that time of year where I break out the Christmas card list, a pen, several boxes of Christmas cards, a few sheets of stamps, and a heating pad for my aching writing hand. I haven't as yet fallen prey to the Christmas Letter syndrome that many of my family and friends have fallen prey to. I'm just not all that motivated to tell everyone about the past year. Most of them know about all of it anyway. No, I've gone the other route, the take a pic of the kids and make photo card and have your Christmas greeting preprinted route. If only Ofoto addressed the envelopes as well... I do have a teensy little problem though. We only bought 20 of these nifty picture cards, and I have a huge family, with the addition of Mr. Craftylilly's family which is not as huge, but still a sizeable addition to the Christmas card writing and sending assembly line. Well, let's just hope the family don't discuss amongst themselves what card they got from us this year. Against all my desires, I decided to start on the second sleeve of Blackberry. I had a firm talking-to with myself and reminded myself that I want this sweater done by Christmas, and that I needed to knit the sleeves as close together as possible to ensure that they will be the same length and width. Now that I'm fully into the cable portion, I'm back to enjoying myself. My solid socks for the solid socks KAL are still in the infancy stages. I've cast on, I've got about 11 rows of 1x1 ribbing done, and that's about it. After the Blackbery sleeve is done, I'm fully concentrating on them. I've also started the prayer shawl, but as I feel I should be in a good frame of mind, and not watching hilarious yet totally irreverent movies like Bad Santa (funny, funny, FUNNY), it hasn't gotten too far. I'll have more pics of WIPs this weekend, but for now, look at the lovely Asian themed journal that SharonP from the knittyboards made for me for the handmade journal swap! She also sent me a set of red knitting needles kept nicely warm in a beautiful red silk brocade knitting needle holder. Thanks Sharon! On her blog she also provides a handy knitting project tracker sheet that you can print off and use in your knitting journal.