Thursday, May 25, 2006

I'm feeling croaky, rip it, rip it, rip it

So, I would love to say that last night I spent the evening crocheting Mamasita's Crazy Curley Crocheted Cloche while watching the most over-the-top American Idol ever but that is just simply not true.

Truth: I ran home by 9:30pm, watched Dionne Warwick remind us of what friends are for, made myself an American Idol Chocolate Martini during commercial and sat mesmorized for the next 28 minutes watching my television with nothing more than drink in hand. It was both delicious and delightful!

Now, I'm just going to put this out there as we are all entitled to our own opinions; I am glad Taylor Hicks won. Did I vote? No. Did I try? Yes, but the line was busy for hours! Is it really a surprise that between he and Katherine he was the winner? No. Is it a surprise that he was the chosen idol out of all the beginning contestants? Yes! And good for him, this is his story for the next year or so, he gets to play up the fact that he was the underdog. He was the one that no one thought would make it to the end....He proved us all wrong. Rock on Taylor! Just one piece of advice, if I may, lose the "Soul Patrol" groupie name. It sounds like Soul Patch and that's just gross!

In other, crafty related, news! I think I might end up frogging Mamasita's CCCC (I have to shorten the title, it's just too long. What about MC4? Or, Mama4C's? You be the judge, text your vote to ##########). I mean take a look at it now: Does that look like a hat to you? No. It was suppose to look like the picture. Clearly, something has gone horribly wrong. I think the problem began when I thought the circle had to be flat. So, I added an extra row, plus my cotton yarn is thicker than the recommend wool/rayon blend. Now it just looks like a warped jellyfish. Poor Mamasita, maybe the hat will get done by the end of summer. Just in time for the Carroll County Wine Festival!

Now, the other day I posted about going to LYS in DE. Well it couldn't have been cuter! Here is a snap shot of their sign. It's the Stitches with Style not the Realty Executives, for all those that were unsure. I bought a book on Sock knitting and the am going to attempt the first pair socks in the book.
Check back with me in two months and I'll let you know how the socks turned out!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Denying Reality

No, no, no, it's not true. I am not back from a wonderful weekend filled with friends, laughter, sunshine, crabs (food, not STD), cake, balloons, tents, pedicures, craft stores, and food comas so powerful you are knocked out by 10:30pm every night! I refuse to be at work, I refuse to be responsible and get my schoolwork done, pay my bills, do my laundry, clean my house, sort through my mail. I won't do it! You can't make me!

I've been having too much fun, it's not fair.

It all started on Friday when I made the 2 hour commute up to Delaware to visit one of my girlfriends. It was her birthday this weekend and she had graduated with her Masters this past week so we indeed needed to celebrate! You Go Girl!

We spent the whole weekend behaving like we were 17 without a care in the world.. and her husband let us, it was great. This weekend and this weekend only she was allowed to ask him to do things for her and by her I mean me too! We ran errands, went to dinner, sat around while he merrinated next day's chicken, talked, gossiped. Then on Saturday we (she and I) started our day by going to get coffee at my new favorite coffee shop, Brew HaHa! (see cute coffee cup) Oh how I wish there was a Brew HaHa in MD. Maybe they are a franchise and I can open one that hosts knitting groups! See, the two loves, yarn and coffee! Genius!

So, after we got our delightful calorie filled desserts/lattes we went to get our toes done! That's right we rocked the pedicures with cute painted toes and flowers to draw attention to our feeties! I must say they really are quite pretty!

After the toes were painted we made "quick" dash to Wine World! ( I love Delaware, a whole world of wine at your finger tips!) We got 3 bottles of wine, 4 cases of beer, 2 six packs of Mikes Hard Cranberry Lemonade (hit of party), 1 box of Sangria, and 2 six packs of Shirley Temples (for the kids;)). We got home 2.5 hours after we left and poor husband had been cleaning, cooking, and doing general set-up all morning. We did our best to help him finish preparing: Quick bring in the reserves (calling all brothers and sisters!)

All guests arrived and the party went off without a hitch. Well except that Emily and I who had started off wearing pretty party clothes were quickly chilled by the wind to the point where it was necessary to put on warm pants and long sleeves. Oh! and pull that hair back, it's crab time!
The party eventually died down and Emily, her husband, and I eventually met out fate, food comma.

Sunday was just as delightful as Saturday. We got up and walked 2 miles, got our calorie coffee from Brew HaHa, brunched with her Mama and sister at Deer Park in Newark (yummy, yummy our waiter was some cute blue eyed 20+ guy, yummy, yummy), shopped at Grassroots and eventually hit their LYS!

Ewwwww, the suspense! What was the LYS like? You will have to wait for tomorrow when I will post about the store, the purchases, and the dog I met that might be pregnant with a Dorkie!

Ok, maybe I'll just pick up this one sock off the floor. Ew, that's gross, I should wash it. Hmmmm, maybe I will unpack my bag...yup all this needs to be cleaned too. Uh-oh, who left that coffee cup in my room over the weekend? Maybe I should wash the moldy coffee out. While I'm at it, the sink is spilling over with dishes. Eeeek! The BG&E bill is late, maybe I'll just sort through this mail while my laundry in the washer. La, la, la.

Ok, reality isn't that bad.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rebirth, New Growth, New Hope

Much like a relationship, if you neglect a plant it will die.

Sad but true I allowed what was once a beautiful, leafy, green, and fuscia plant to almost completely expire over the last year. The problem was that I had planted it too high out of the pot so I ended up exposing it's roots. Then to add insult to injury I didn't water it as often as I should and I barely gave it enough light to allow the whole Photosynthesis process to occur. (see this is why I should not procreate, I'm can't even care for plants!)

So, it goes like this...I broke up the relationship that was not getting enough attention in my opinion and have decided to begin anew, fresh, looking for new growth, new hope.

I have decided this plant and I are very much the same. Not completely needy but not without needs. We both need attention, not constant or we'll become irritated. We both need a stable environment to thrive in. We both enjoy sunlight but enjoy the clouds and a nice shower. And without any attention we will not die but we will not shine either.

I realized I was not treating my fellow plant the way I would like to be treated and perhaps for reasons I do not completely understand I may have been doing this on purpose. It takes little effort to care for something, it takes more effort to neglect something you care for.

So, Sunday after Mother's Day events I came home and repotted my poor friend. I have decided to name her Eloise. This time I made sure to cover all her roots and make sure they are well protected. I also brought her upstairs to the guest room and placed her gently in front of the window. This room has a sort of greenhouse effect on plants and already in just 4 days she is looking much happier. She has a lot of new growth and you can see in those brown dry leaves that hope is beginning to spring forth.

Yes, I think that Eloise and I are going to be just fine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mamasita's Crazy Curly Crocheted Cloche (say that 3 times fast!)

Ok, so here's the story about Mamasita and her crazy curly crochet cloche:

There once was a maiden named Mamasita. She had the prettiest blond hair and the most wonderful sense of style. One Christmas her beautiful crafty daughter asked her to please purchase a crochet book. Mamasita, because she lives to make her children happy, complied and purchased the book. However, Mamasita, being the clever minx that she is, went through the entire crochet book and left post-it notes on the projects she wanted her beautiful and crafty daughter to make for her.

One of these projects was the summer cloche hat. The daughter, thrilled to receive the book, agreed to make the hat at once. She decided she would begin on Superbowl Sunday. So, that Saturday she ran to A Good Yarn in Federal Hill and purchased some beautiful Wool in the Woods yarn choosing colors that reflected her mothers interest (wine and nature).

The beautiful and crafty daughter decided she would complete this hat by Mother's Day, this gave her plenty of time in case she messed up. As it turns out the beautiful and crafty daughter was quite correct in assuming that she might mess up.

Every month the daughter tried to crochet in the round (the stitch required to make the cloche) and every time the crocheted circle began to curl in. She consulted books, magazines, online forums, and even her knitting group but alas no one could give her the magic answer. She tried using different hook sizes, different technique, she tried crocheting while standing on her pretty little head, and still nothing worked! She crocheted and frogged seven times.

Finally the Mother's Day came and went and the beautiful and crafty daughter could only offer her mother a card and a tea party. Mamasita didn't seem to notice that the beautiful and crafty daughter had had something else planned and was quite happy after drinking all her tea.

So now the beautiful and crafty daughter spends every free moment in the evening at home trying to finish this cloche for Mamasita. She has finally decided to throw caution to the wind and see what happens if she just continues to crochet this crazy curly cloche . Photos of progress can be seen below:

Here is the beautiful and crafty daughter at six in the morning trying to gauge how much further she has to increase the size of the "flat" circle. Not the best profile shot but you tell me who takes a good profile at 6am without coffee and makeup!
In the end the beautiful and crafty daughter is hoping to have created a Unique uncurled Crocheted Cloche for the lovely Mamasita. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It is good to know restless people with yarn!

I sooooo scored big last weekend! My father has this friend who took up knitting last year but she got sick of after a couple months. So she gave me all of her yarn and says that she has books and magazines with my name on them! Here's a photo of the stash I got!

There is some Wool in the Woods yarn and some very "fru-fru" yarn from Joann's. I think I many have to resist the urge to make a flashy boa for everyday wear and donate the fru-fru yarn to a knitting group stash swap. I just don't think I can pull off electric purple frizz!

Ok, so while I may not be currently working on anything amazing to report on at the moment except the hat for Mamasita (my mom), I have been working on some swatches from the Happy Hooker. Now I realize this is kind of a copout and that it will probably be boring to read about but it is a lovely display of crochet stitches, which for all you knitters only out there perhaps my fancy array of swatches will temp you to give crochet a try!

Here they are with some misplaced lables because I can't figure out how to line up things on Blogger.
Single Crochet
(Ewwwwww!, said like your fasinated) Double Crochet! (Awwww!) Triple Crochet (Ohhhhh!)
Shell Stitch (Yaaaaa!) Clusters (Wahoooo)Popcorn! (I think?)
The almost perfect Crocheted Circle. Also known as Crocheting in the round. See how this one is nice and it's suppose to be. Well the hat for Mamasita just isn't cooperating and keeps curling on the edges! I have tried everything, changing hook size, altering my tension, I mean I have frogged the thing at least 7 times. I have just decided to go with the curl at this point and see what happens. If anyone has suggestions on how to prevent curling I would appreciate them.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Questions

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like

I love to knit with cotton but I also think I would probably enjoy angora, although have never tried. I also like wool but it's so itchy.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I use this great Mary Poppins inspired carpet bag but due to my heavy knitting and crochet books I think that the straps and lining have seen better days. I should probably find a different place to store my books.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I would consider myself an intermediate knitter. I have moved beyond the standard scarf and attempted hats and mittens. But I have yet to conquer knitting in the round. I am would say I am an advanced crocheter, I have been doing that for about 9 years. I have only been knitting for about two.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Amazon, yes!

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I love all scents except the purposefully stinky ones! It's probably easiest to list the scents I do not like. First and foremost I hate the smell of beets. I don't think anyone should ever make a perfume that is comparable to the smell fo beets. I also don't like citrus smells like lemon, grapefruit, etc. I love natural smells and musky woodsy smells. I also love this White Barn Candle called Sage. Let's see what else...Lavender, linen, cotton, rose, Harvest by Yankee. There are a ton more but I don't want to tire you.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Does rain fall from the sky? I love candy! I have sooo many favorites, most favorite is Necco Wafers (a classic), I also love Hershey kisses, sour gummy worms, jaw breakers, taffy, red shoe lace licorice, anything coffee flavored, gum, blow pops, etc.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I would consider myself quite the crafty gal. I love to do almost all crafts. I scrap book, sewing, quilting, crochet, needle point/ cross stitch, decoupage, etc. I really want to learn how to make paper, work more with beading (I dabble currently). I would also love to learn to paint. I feel as though somewhere inside of me lives a true artist although all attempts I have ever made towards painting and drawing have failed miserably. So sad =(.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like many variations of music. Depending on my mood determines what current favorite. Most often I love listening to female artists like Sarah McLaughlin, Joss Stone, etc. I also like male artists like Dave Mathews (concert in June), Jaime Cullem, John Mayer, etc. I like jazz, blues, soundtracks, Celtic and 70's/ 80's rock. For example Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Heart, Journey.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love purple! However, I am trying to break free from purchasing too much. AT some point my entire bedroom was decorated with purple accessories. Now, begin that I have just been accepted for my first 1 br. Apt all to myself, I am trying to be more adventurous and venture into the world of warm and bright colors. Mostly I like to work with natural colors, nothing neon.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am an only child, step child, half sister, step sister, aunt, daughter, and grand daughter. That would pretty much sum it up. I do not live with any of my family though being as I moved out on my own about 7 years ago. I do have one cat named Bobi, I love him to death. He is almost 10, all black with one white patch. He can be a little mean and bite people but he is always forgiven. He holds a special place in my heart b/c he is the offspring of my a friend's, who is not with us anymore, cat. When we were children, this girlfriend had always told me that she would get me a cat for my birthday so that my parents couldn't say no b/c the cat would be a gift. When she passed it was discovered that her cat was pregnant a week or so later. My mother then insisted that I should have a cat...From my friend.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes, yes, yes, and possibly!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I love them all!

13. What are you knitting right now?

I'm currently working on a hat for my mom that will not get done before mother's day.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I prefer straight b/c I haven't tried circular and I really would prefer bamboo needles. I don't like the clicking noise of plastic or the sensation of aluminum rubbing together.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I just purchased a hand held wood spindle. I haven't really figured out how to use it but I'm very excited to practice!

17. How did you learn to knit?

I think my mom first showed me when I was about 13 but then a girlfriend at work demonstrated again last Christmas and I have been on the needles ever since. I learned to crochet from a boyfriend's mom about 8 years ago.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

I just finished my oldest UFO, it was a blanket (Mile a Minute Crochet). It's huge and a little uneven but I adore b/c I made it all by myself and it was my first adult blanket. I don't have anything old right now except the hat. Oh! I do have a quilt that is over a year old that I have yet to finish.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

I love the five day celebration of my birthday but I cherish the magic of Christmas.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Not at the moment. For a while I was into whales then that went away and I got into fairies. Now my house collects dust b/c I don't have time/ want to clean it. I do collect craft supplies and store them in bins till I get snowed in!

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I am so excited I just got an offer in the mail for a free Knit Magazine. I don't subscribe to anything although I really should b/c I just waste my money buying People, US Weekly, and Better Homes. I love the idea of Knit Magazine though.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Knitting in the round, gauging.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I have one pattern that I am excited to attempt but I have never before tried and am not quite sure that I will know what I am doing. I have the yarn and the four double-head needles.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)


Can't wait to meet you SP!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ba Ba Black Sheep

Long time no post again! Suffice to say I have been slightly busy so I apologize to all those (few) who have returned to see if I have updated anything.

So, it's been a month or so since I got back from Boston and ton of stuff has happened! Let's see, I will be moving out of my house in about a month and a half and I just secured a cute 1 br in a cute little neighborhood, the best part is that I can still say I technically live in the city although the neighborhood feels very residential/towny, I think we even have a troubadour! If not, we definitely have someone that sits on his stoop and plays his acoustic guitar around five everyday. Word is he sings but I have yet to hear this.

When this move does finally occur I will get to live my cat again. He is absolutely lovely, all black with one white spot under his chin (looks like he's wearing a tux!), however he has a slight biting problem...So my roommate said he had to leave our shared house.

What else, ah yes, I recently went to the Howard County Sheep and Wool Festival last Saturday! Now since most of you were probably there, and I know those local MD knitters were b/c I saw you, which is weird cause I've never met you only read your blogs, I will not give too many details!

Basically this is what the parking lot looked like when I arrived at 9:30am

Then these are some of the sheepies I saw!

One Ilama (half shaved, it was a hot day!)

Now, I do have a knitting group I belong too and they were there too! Yes, very exciting, however; I apparently have issues with commitment because I brought a girlfriend and we toted around the place separate from the group and only saw them when we were all in line at the (Gasp) Pit Lamb stand. Is it just me or is there something wrong with a Sheep and Wool Festival that also has a Grand Lamb Cook Off!? I literally ate a lamb sandwich while watching another being sheared. It was sad (see his picture? He's saying "I can't believe you just ate my brother" I felt nothing but guilt...And a full stomach).

So, I don't know if any of you bothered to pick up some the spare Jacob sheep horns that were hangin' around but they weighed about 7lbs ( I read that in a brochure). Can you imagine carrying around 14 pounds + on your head? Here's a shot of one sheep with a heavy head .

I think that the most exciting thing that happened at the Sheep and Wool festival was that I saw a mini demonstration in hand spinning! I know, I know my friends are reading this and thinking "you're such a dork", but you know what, you choose to hang out with me, I can't help the way I am, so who's the dork now!? In, case you don't know the answer, you are (JK).

I eventually broke down and bought one of the hand held spinners and some basic starters wool!

This is the crappy job I did trying to spin for the first time. I know it's not that great a job but I have a lot of wool left over and promise it will look better in a later post.

So I leave you all with this: I found, on my trip to the Sheep and Wool, the next Hollywood Star! This girl came up to me and she was just ready for her close up. She knew just how to look into the camera and when to move closer. I can only hope she'll remember me as much as I'll remember her.