It\’s my world, join me, won\’t you?

A little bit about knitting, a little bit about my family and anything else I feel like writing about :-)

Contest reminder and a whole lot of other stuff!

CONTEST REMINDER:  You have until 9/15/07 to send me links or reference me to your favorite quick knit and/or felt patterns for my Christmas gifts this year.  The prize package is coming along nicely and one person will be randomly drawn to receive it.  I only have one entrant in the contest so far, so let’s give her some competition! (Although I am most grateful for her suggestions and will be trying out a few–thanks! 🙂  )

As you have read me mention, I have been on a little cleaning frenzy of late.  Now I don’t want to give you the wrong impression, this is not the dusting, scrubbing, house-a-sparklin’ kind of cleaning, this is the let-me-organize-my-craft-room-so-I-can-enjoy-myself-and-my-crafts-more kind of cleaning.  Oh sure, I have vaccumed and attempt to keep the kitchen cleaned up, but there is no dusting or waxing going on over here–not to worry, lol.  When it comes to cleaning, Martha Stewart, I ain’t!  But maybe this is also giving you the wrong impression, it’s not a pigsty over here, either.  Just not all parts of the house are clean at the same time, this week I’ll concentrate on this room, next week another room.  And you know, when you have a toddler and a husband, that by the time you are on to the next room cleaning, the previous room is already messed up–it’s a losing battle!  So this is my quest to find the floor in my crafting room/home office.  This is the room where everything that doesn’t have a home gets dumped, our bookshelves are in there, my desk and stock of Mary Kay items (which is very organized in a 4 drawer cabinet), my drafting table, a bureau (stuffed with yarn), my daughter’s easel for fingerpainting and a nice big closet that my dad put shelves in earlier this year.  I’m happy to say I see some floor space now and my drafting table is clear.  My yarn stash is condensed to 2 very large rubbermaid totes and the bureau.  All my magazines and knitting books have made it onto the closet shelves along with my scrapbooking supplies and pictures, the totes are in the bottom of the closet along with a tote filled with future gifts (I’m big on buying stuff when I see it and then putting it away until needed–wish I could say I was nearly done with Christmas shopping, but that hasn’t seemed to happen), and a tote filled with some of DH’s “stuff” (not sure what is in there, but it’s his). 

The other day, during DD’s nap, I was on a ball-winding kick and I took out all my yarn in hanks and wound them up into nice little pancakes.  Then organized them by potential project in my totes.  One entire tote is filled with just “felting” yarns that I have acquired throughout my knitting life and don’t actually have a specific project attached to them.  The other tote is filled with specific projects, as is the bureau.  During my yarn organization, I came across a stash of sock yarns.  A rather lot of sock yarns.  So I decided to count them.  I have 17 pairs’ worth of sock yarns.  I don’t even knit socks–I know, that’s usually heresy to say in the knitting world, but I don’t see the attraction.  Maybe if I could finish the first sock I ever tried to knit, I would like it, but it just doesn’t grab me, don’t know why.  So now I have a lot of sock yarns.  I should sell them, but I don’t really want to, they’re pretty yarns.  Guess I’m gonna have to figure out a way to like to knit socks 🙂

While I’m already talking about knitting, I might as well update you on DD’s sweater.  The back is completed and I will be casting on the front today.  I will add picture of the back of the sweater to this post later today–forgot to bring the camera upstairs to download picture.  I’m rather pleased with how it looks and it’s nice and soft.  I hope she won’t be swimming in it and I can get some pictures right away in her new sweater.  When it’s all done, we’ll have to go shopping for just the right pants or skirt to match.

So those of you with toddlers or babies, kids in general, I gotta a question for you.  Is there some kind of phenomena that goes like this?  When DD takes a nap, I run around the house straightening, reading email, cleaning up messes, doing a bunch of chores and then, just when I get a nice hot cup of tea, settle onto the couch with either a book, knitting and my IPOD or start a movie/TiVo’s program that I can’t watch with a toddler around ;-), she wakes up!  This happens every time!  It’s so frustrating!  Literally the moment I get settled and am about to enjoy a free minute, she starts crying.  Do they have some kind of relaxation-detection system?  It’s not fair, I’m going to just have to not clean today so I can get a few minutes to myself, lol.

Wednesday we went out to the grocery store, just a quick drop in for 3 items and I checked out using the self-checkout–much faster and DD likes to “help” me scan the items.  DD was sitting in the shopping cart, scanning her soup cans and her Bear (her constant companion, goes with her everywhere, she sleeps, eats and breathes with it, Bear) falls on the floor and neither of us notices as we are scanning our items and trying to keep the line moving.  A “gentleman”, and I do use that term loosely, tries to push his cart past us to leave.  His shopping cart snags and won’t go, something is caught under his cart, he stops and looks under the wheels of the cart and out of the corner of my eye, I see it’s Bear under one of the wheels and he sees it, too.  So what does he do?  Backs the cart up and pushes over it with  greater force and runs right over her Bear.  Of course, DD shreiks when she realizes this and the guy doesn’t even stop, offer to pick it up or apologizes, just moves on.  What an asshole!  I’m torn between feeling sorry for DD and horrified that she wants to hold and clutch it after it was just ground into the dirty floor of a grocery store and wheel of a shopping cart.  Thankfully, I keep a spare Bear in the glove compartment and I pretended to give Bear a bandaid and switched them when she wasn’t looking.  What is wrong with people–are we really that self-centered that we can’t help a fellow stranger any more?  It reminds me of the day when the Harry Potter book was released.  I took DD to B&N during the day because they have a story time there and we were going to meet my SIL’s and nieces and nephew for lunch right next to it.  Well, it being the day of the book release there was a line of people outside the store waiting for B&N to hand out the wrist bands to come back later for the party and to purchase their book.  Now this was at 11 am and there was already a short line of older teenagers and one older lady.  Because they took up so much of the sidewalk and there was a lot of traffic that day, I had to walk very close to the curb, while trying to keep DD on the sidewalk so as not to get run over.  Well, long story short, I stepped on the curb, twisted my ankle and fell, taking DD down with me and my entire purse scattered over the road of the shopping mall.  Do you know, not one person, not one single person even bothered to look up or get out of their lawn chair and come over to help us, mind you DD was crying at this point, not b/c she was injured, but she was scared and I was scraped up and she didn’t like that.  Finally after I got up and picked up all my things from the road while trying to keep DD safe and consoling her, finally the older lady called from her chair “Are you all right?”  A little late to be asking that, if you ask me, but at least she pretended to care.  Give me a break–boo hiss HP fans at the B&N in Holmdel, most certainly NOT worthy of Gryffindor or Hufflepuff OR Ravenclaw, it was decidely Slytherin!

Well, I have two more updates for you.  I’m sorry this was such a long post, I guess I have a lot to say today, lol.  The first is last night at WW I weighed in another 2.6 pounds lighter!!  Whopppeee!  That makes the grand total 17.4 pounds in 8 weeks, totally psyched about that.  The next is a book club update.  I’m sorry to say I never got the book Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson for September’s book club and I hear it’s a little dry, so it wouldn’t be something I could fly through in a week’s time, so I think I will not be reading this book for this month’s book club meeting.  October’s book is Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, which I suggested and loved!  November’s book I am a little worried about.  It’s called Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.  If anyone out there has read it, please leave me a comment and tell me it gets better!!  This has been so boring, I would honestly rather clean the dishes than read it.  Now that is a bad thing, lol.  I put it on the back burner and picked up the December book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.  I won’t tell you what it is about since they make such a big deal about keeping it a secret, but honestly, I had a pretty good guess what it was going to be and all my hunches were confirmed in the first chapter, so I’m not sure why the big secrecy.  But anyway, at least this is reading along quickly and I assume I will be done with it sometime next week.  I have been getting books right and left from www.Paperbackswap.com and I am thoroughly pleased with this group!  I got rid of a ton of my old books that noone wanted to buy and picked up a lot for me and half a dozen or so for DD.  She gets so excited when I get the mail, she thinks she’s getting a new book every day, lol. 

Well, I think I have blogged at you enough for one post.  I will be back soon with more picks of sweater, I hope.  TTFN!

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September 7, 2007 Posted by | Book Club, Family and Life, knitting, Virtual Vacation Swap, Weight Watchers | 3 Comments

Latest sweater project, and contest

REMINDER:  A contest is underway!  Send me links or reference me to a pattern for a quick knit for my Christmas presents this year and you will be entered to win a prize.  I decided not to post what the prize will be yet, as I may add to it as the contest goes on and as I clean out my yarn closet and bookshelves.  I forgot earlier to post a deadline, so the deadline is this:  when I finish DD’s sweater, I will need to start on my Christmas knitting, so I would guess that would be September 15th.  So you have until then–don’t forget to include a way in which I can reach you in your comment.  GOOD LUCK!! 

As promised, I am displaying here the gauge swatch for DD’s fall sweater made of Araucania nature cotton in a lovely lavendar shade from my SP10 pal.

Araucania gauge swatch

I totally love this color, don’t you?  And DD looks great in purples and pastels, so I am super-excited to see her wear this one.  The next pic is of the Sirdar pattern I am using for her sweater–I’ll be doing the roll-neck version.

Sirdar pattern

I am almost done with the back of the sweater (gotta love those chunky knits!) and will take a pic when I remember to bring the camera back downstairs, lol.  So what do you think–do you like?

September 3, 2007 Posted by | knitting | 4 Comments

Calling all knitters and felters!!!! A prize is involved…..

I read somewhere on someone else’s blog or a post to knitlist or knitu, I don’t really remember where exactly, that this knitter made up a bunch of scarves each Christmas and just let all the women in her family have at the basket and pick which one they wanted.  I think this sounds like a WONDERFUL idea and want to expand it to include other smaller projects, such as felted bags, hats, IPOD cozies and such.  SOOOOoooo, I am enlisting your help in suggesting QUICK and pretty patterns to complete, I will be knitting for my teenage nieces to my mom and mother-in-law, so it will run the gamut.  I am also trying to shop from my stash for this one.–I have lots of smaller amounts of yarn of all types and would love to put them to good use, instead of just looking pretty on my shelves.  I am a big fan of felting and have an obscenely large amount of wool that I could use for all sorts of items.  Please point me to free patterns or those that I can find in magazines and books–I probably have the mag or book at home, I’m not really looking to purchase patterns online and increase my never-ending stash of patterns, but if it’s a good one and I gotta have it, then ok, lay it on me.  Thanks guys, I would really appreciate it, and there will be a drawing for a prize of some nice yarn or goodies to all those that suggest projects.  Leave me a comment with your pattern suggestion and a way to get hold of you if you win.  Thanks!!!!!

September 2, 2007 Posted by | knitting | 5 Comments

A new knitting project started

Well, as if I didn’t have enough projects languishing around my house, I decided to make DD a sweater for Christmas.  I felt kind of bad because I didn’t make her any sweaters last year, but I think I was justified as she grew so much over the winter.  She’s 2 1/2 and just wearing a 2T now, so I am going to make a size 4 sweater and it will be long on her.  Perhaps she will even be able to wear it next fall–wouldn’t that be great?  I’m using the gorgeous purple araucanie nature cotton that my SP10 pal sent me, and cast on for swatching yesterday while she napped.  It looks like I will be using a size 10 Knitpicks options needle for the main knitting and an 8 for the ribbing.  The pattern is a Sirdar that I picked up years ago.  Once upon a time in a town called Plainfield, NJ there was a store called Fabricland.  They had a ton of knitting stuff and even a clinic every Saturday morning where you could bring your projects and get free help on them.  Sigh…alas, someone decided to close out the knitting part of the store and they sold all of their knitting supplies at tremendous prices!!  I bought them out in stages, one shopping cart at a time.  Anyway, I picked up a ton of these patterns back then, mostly for kids, even though I was not dating or even close to being married, I knew someday I would have children and I would knit for them.  So I bought all these patterns.   I used them to make gifts for co-workers and friends as I patiently awaited my own child to come into my life–now I get to use them!!  🙂  Anyway, I will come back later and post a pic of the swatch and a link to the pattern (if I can find it) and will let you know how the progress is going.  DD spotted the swatch as soon as she got up from her nap and promptly asked “where’s MY knittin’, mommy?”.  God bless her!  She asked me to knit so she could watch–I suppose this gift isn’t going to be a surprise, but that’s ok with me, I think she will like it more by being able to watch me make it for her.  Can’t wait to teach her to knit.  Gotta go for now, hubby is taking the day off and we are going to the zoo–most likely Turtleback zoo in South Orange, NJ.  Enjoy your holiday weekend!!!!!!

August 31, 2007 Posted by | knitting | Leave a comment

A jumble of stuff

Wow it’s been busy here, the end of summer is approaching and I always feel a little frantic at this point.  I want to spend as much time with my nieces and nephew as possible before they go back to school.  They participate in so many activities and carry such a load of schoolwork and then work on top of it, I feel like I barely get any time with them 😦  We had dinner with them all last night and went to the beach with my nephew on Monday and shopping with him at Target yesterday–he plays so nicely with DD, I feel like she is going to be missing her friend next week when he returns to school…Our new favorite game to play is guitar hero on playstation–totally rad and awesome, dude!  And they have 80’s music–the stuff I grew up on–can you say hair metal bands?  Funny, I still love listening to it…

I’ve been on a cleaning binge around here and freecycled a TON of stuff!!  I got rid of a bag of Plymouth Encore yarns and some various others to a very nice new knitter that I hope joins our local knitting group.  She’s such a newbie and so nice, I felt compelled to look for any gadgets and patterns that I no longer wanted and she ended up with a nice large bag of knitterly stuff.  And I felt great about it!  And, this cleared more room on my shelves to provide for better visualization of the stash–of most importance!  I also parted with, gulp, a large assortment of scrapbooking magazines.  This was very hard for me–I don’t know why.  I subscribed to so many and I never got to look through them and I never go back to those that I did, so I don’t know why I feel bad or why I kept them, but I would say about 100 magazines along with an old craft tote have also left the premises.  I feel good about it,  I really do, I actually have a path to my closet now.  I also organized stuff to bring to my MOMS club benefit garage sale and stowed some things away for my parent’s garage sale next year.  Watch out, hubby, your closet is next!!  HA ha ha!

On the creative front, I finally redid my mom’s double stranded Swarovski bracelet, one strand says MOM and the other says NANA, I replaced the claps with a heart-shaped toggle that we found in San Juan, of all places, and she can put it on and off better now.  I also added some “owl eyes”, double strand spacers, to stabilize the two strands better.  I am much pleased with the results.  I also made a gaggle of stitch markers for my KVVS pal–DD helped to pick out the colors for me–hope she likes purple a lot!  LOL   I even got to spend some time with my fellow knitters this past Tuesday at B&N–I brought with me the beaded scarf, frogged it and restarted it.  I know this is premature in saying this, but since I have been doing pretty well at WW and have lost close to 15 pounds now (!!!!!), I’m hesitant to continue on the first and only cardigan I have ever started to knit for myself.  I started it last year and have been plugging away at it whenever I can, I would say it’s about 6 or 8 inches high at this point, but it’s the entire circumference of the cardigan, remember, the Cabin Fever pattern is knit in one piece to the arm holes and then splits apart.  Would you stop and wait and see and later frog what you did and start over?  That would so bite to have to frog it all, but if it’s too big it would look silly.  I guess I should stick to knitting accessories for myself for now….

And since I eluded to it, today was weigh in day at WW and I lost another 2.4 pounds bringing the grand total to 14.8!!  Yippee!!  Several of my pants are already feeling too big and I have a belt for those I can try to make last longer.  I’m quite proud and hope this week will be another banner one–despite Labor Day picnics….I better get to the beach again–I think all that walking on the sand and carrying tons of stuff back and forth to get to the perfect beach spot really helped me this past week…and it doesn’t hurt my tan, either 😉

My package went out today to my KVVS pal, and my pal said my package went out yesterday.  Watch for pics soon….

August 30, 2007 Posted by | Beading, Family and Life, knitting, Scrapbooking, Virtual Vacation Swap, Weight Watchers | Leave a comment

WW 5 weeks and counting

Well, the other day I was walking in the clouds–I was so happy and excited.  After 5 weeks, 1 1/2 weeks of which were spent on a cruise, a very yummy and delicious cruise, lol, I have lost 11.6 pounds!  The past week I lost 4.8 pounds!  I am really happy with myself.  It hasn’t been easy, but seeing those numbers makes it worthwhile.  Uh oh, my keyboard is acting funny, I had better go.

August 21, 2007 Posted by | Weight Watchers | 3 Comments

Did ya miss me?

Hello one and all!  I’m back from a very much enjoyed (and needed) 9 night cruise to the caribbean aboard the Crown Princess (aka the Tipper ship–I’m happy to report, there was no excessive tipping while I was onboard).  It seems like forever since I last posted.  So many bizarre bad things happened the day before we left–I think I had meant to post that evening, but alas, the forces of evil were upon me.  The day before we left for the cruise, I #1 lost my main credit card, #2 couldn’t find my formal gown–you know the little black dress that we all have hidden in our closets for just such occasions–gone!  missing! and #3 my washing machine died on me, mid-cycle during an intensive last minute effort to wash my clothes before packing–I mean we’re talking 9PM and I was still trying to wash clothes to pack.  I’m not ordinarily that unorganized and planned on having the wash done earlier that day, but most of my day was wasted trying to find my credit card (we’re pretty sure it was just lost and not stolen) then cancelling the credit card.  It was the trifecta of bad things, but all turned out ok in the end.

There were 13 of us family members on the trip, my husband’s siblings and families, his mom and my parents.  We had adjoining balconies and I must say, most everyone behaved rather well.  Well, DD had some attitude in the beginning of the trip and barely ate a thing all week, but after we asked everyone to lay off the sweets and treats, things got a lot better in that department, lol.  The food was fabulous, wish I could say the weather was equally so 😦  The torrential rains, however, did not stop us from shopping for jewelry in St Thomas or Coach and Dooney & Burke purses in San Juan 😉   I did not even pack knitting with me–I know, I know, that sounds horrible.  But experience told me travelling with a toddler and that much family would not leave an ounce of “relaxation” time, it’s always go go go.  I did purchase a book light and brought two books with me on the trip, I finished The Secret Life of Bees and started The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.  (My swaps thru www.paperbackswap.com have really been coming thru for me and I have a stack of books I am dying to read.  I was even able to get one of my MOMS Club book club books thru it and it arrived while I was away.  If you check out the website and decide to join, please tell them I referred you–my email addy is princesspeanutsmommy at gmail dot com–thank!)

I need to start gathering items for my Virtual Vacation Swap pal.  She’s very interesting and can’t wait to post her identity on my blog to share with you.  She’ll be famous soon, too…After I finish my gazillion loads of laundry (our new washer arrived this evening and I have already done 3 loads, but 9 days away in the hot caribbean with dresses and a couple of outfit changes a day makes for a ton of laundry!!  I don’t think I will be done for a day or two!)  I will have to start trolling around for local trinkets and souvenirs.  I already have her yarn for her simple project ready to go, just need to add the other fun stuff 🙂

Also, super happy to report that even though I was not careful AT ALL on vacation, and it was 10 days, 9 nights of amazing food, I only gained 0.2 pounds!  I think I am the happiest person that gained weight ever, lol.  I was really worrying that I would gain a ton on the cruise and throw away those few pounds that I already lost while on WW, but this was pretty insignificant.  It must have been all that walking and carrying DD everywhere!  Hooray for me, lol!

August 13, 2007 Posted by | Babywearing, Book Club, Family and Life, Virtual Vacation Swap, Weight Watchers | 2 Comments

Finished Deathly Hallows–not gonna spoil it for you!

Whew!  My copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows arrived safely at my mailbox on Saturday around 4:30PM.  I gotta hand it to the US Postal service this time–it seems they had a Harry Potter mailman.  That’s right, there was our regular mailman delivering our regular mail, then a second mailman came along not too long after with my Amazon.com package of reading.  Hey, I doubted it would make it here on time, but they actually pulled it off.  Kudos guys, ‘cuz if it didn’t show up, I would have gotten in my car and driven until I could find the nearest copy and sat down and started to read until they dragged me away.  I’m not going to tell you how it ended or who died ( I don’t understand all these people who don’t read the books and don’t want to read the books, but want to know who died anyway.  Kind of strange, I don’t tell them) and I am dying to talk to some other people who finished it, but I know of only one other person so far and we’ve already talked about it, lol.  Anyway, now that I have practically abandoned my house and home for Harry, I need to get back to cleaning it up and putting away clean clothes and cooking, I really need to start cooking real meals again.  It had to come to an end at some point.  Hubby was rather tolerant as I completely blocked him out and played with DD while still attached to the book in some way.  I’m also pretty happy that I was able to read to the end without someone telling me what happens–that was my greatest fear.  Went to my MOM’s Club book club today and we discussed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Marc Haddon.  Interesting quick read.  We picked more books out for the rest of the year and for January and February, too.  I started reading Water for Elephants last night and am enjoying it so far.  I need to make a Border’s run for a couple of the other books, how convenient that they just sent me coupons via email a mere second ago…

Since Harry arrived in my mailbox, there has been no knitting going on.  Or scrapbooking.  But I am having my MOM’s club scrapbooking meeting at my house this Friday…I am rejoining the muggle world, slowly but surely….TTFN.

July 26, 2007 Posted by | Book Club | 3 Comments

Wow, over 3,000 hits on my blog

It’s been a little over a year and I already have over 3,000 hits on my blog–that just boggles my mind, lol.  And I am sure that joining the secret pals and the virtual vacation swap have really added to the traffic, but still, incredible.  Thanks guys–feel free to leave me a comment–I’d love to hear from you!

Joined WW last week–lost 4.2 pounds in the first week and I am totally impressed with myself.  I am most inspired by my SP9 buddy who joined last year and this past weekend participated in a 30 mile bike marathon for MS–you go girl–totally my hero!  If I can keep this up, I will be most happy, but I know it will slow down eventually.  I’m happy with right now, though.

Can’t wait for Saturday when the new Harry Potter book comes out.  I will probably be laying low until I finish it, and won’t post the ending here for all those who are reading, too.  Gotta go now and get some stuff done while DD naps–later!

July 19, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Check out this contest!!

http://www.shellykang.com/2007/07/contest.html

Now that is a great prize!!

July 17, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment