Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What kind of Needle are you?

My friend sent me such an interesting comment the other day I decided to share it as a post and send the same question out to all you other knitters. Here's her comment:

Gretchen said...
Here's a curious and fun knitting survey question which you can answer in your next blog - if you were a knitting needle, what would your "ideal" size be? (you can base your answer on the size that you think would be most utilized...this isn't dress size, and my limited experience knitting has proven to me that smaller is not, necessarily always, better...)

I am going to take Gretchen's question a little further and also ask what brand needle would you be?

I think I would choose a Brittany size 7 1/2 straight or an Addi Turbo 8/16 circular.

I don't actually own any Brittany needles although would love to and have always admired their sleek birch color and interesting top design. I most relate personally to the description on their website which says, "provides natural strength and consistency" I think this is true of my personality. I enjoy that the needles have a family history, are made in America, and that the needles have been around almost as long as I have. I also enjoy that they were recently used in a French film. Brittany needles are better for the environment and the Brittany Company is environmentally aware as their site states, " All wood used by Brittany comes from strictly regulated forests or small woodland owners in the United States ensuring proper environmental logging practices and selective cutting for maximum reforestation", this is important to me. I say size 71/2 because Brittany does not make a size 8 which is the size needle I usually have to use to create a garment to fit myself.

I also think I'm most like the Addi Turbo 8/16 circular because 1. I enjoy Addi Turbo's for circular knitting, very sleek and the yarn slides from the tube area to the needle with ease, 2. I'm curvy like a circular needle, and 3. I'm petitie and 16" is a shorter circular.

So, what kind of knitting needle are you?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Turkey and Family

I love stuffing! Seriously. Every holiday comes with that one food that you kind of wait all year to eat and for me stuffing is that food. Mom had the best stuffing this year! She bought an organic turkey from Whole Foods and some sort of premade bread crumbs with craisins. It was perfect, moist, the crunch of celery, the sweetness of craisins, the bread with turkey juices. Mmmm, mmm, mmm. Thanks Mom.

Here's how Mom's turkey turned out, say hello to Mr. Gobbles!
Although she isn't much of a knitter/crocheter now Mamasita has had her moments of domestic bliss. Here are her very first and only ever hand made set of pot holders! These babies are relics of the 70's! She was embarrassed by their holes and wear and tear and requested that I mention that the yellow one used to have a ring holder on it like the orange. I think these pot holders are inspiring. I mean talk about a master craftswoman! When she takes the time to make something it's gonna last! I have never even seen a loose string (except that one i just noticed on the bottom of orange but ignore that) . Props to Mamasita!

Other holiday traditions are getting the whole family in one location to celebrate. Now, I am the product of 2 very large families and for me the holidays always mean a lot of travel in order to see all of the family. And while I might not be able to see everyone, it's nice to see and spend time with those I can get to.

Here is the stepdad with the brother (his hair is gone!!!!, he donated three pony tails to Locks of Love) having the traditional holiday dinner discussion/argument!
A special surprise to me was that my uncle Atom from Colorado was able to make to Taneytown, MD where my grandfather owns a farm. With him Atom brought my beautiful 1.5 year old new baby boy cousin. See how precious he is!

Now, I know that every family claims to have some portion of Native American blood in their line but I seriously look at my uncle and think that if our family has any percentage of Native American in the family line, he got it! Look at those defined facial features, chisled. And his thick black hair. I mean, where did that come from?

Lastly I finished my holiday up with a visit to my dad and step mom's. I helped Dad not only put up his outdoor Christmas decorations but I also helped him get rid of some of his Turkey Day leftovers (wink, wink). My dad is such a kid when it comes to outdoor decorating. He's one of eleven Irish Catholic kids and he was the smack-dab middle child. He always took it upon himself to decorate his parents home and decorate the basement where he and his brother bunked. On Saturday he and I set up 2 light up presents, 2 light up motor deer, 1 set of light-up motorized seesaw eleves, 12 candy canes around a fake ice rink, 5 light strings on one tree, 16 minature trees in his front garden, 1 set of lights on the backyard shed, and 1 set of lights around his front door. We stopped there but the man still had to string lights on his deck, and set up his motorized light-up Santa. And that's just outdoor!

Over the holiday weekend I almost completed Odessa and hope to have pictures to how you tomorrow.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dear American Music Audience, I am disapointed.

I would just like to say that for the most part I have a lot of faith in Americans.

That being said I cannot for the life of me understand what happened at the American Music Awards last night! For the record, the results of the AMA's are based on a 20,000 person survey and record sales. I'm not going to say that I am necessarily disapointed with who received what awards but I am disapointed with the musicans who performed last night.

Let's start with Jay-Z with "Show Me What You Got" and Gwen Stefani with "Wind It Up". Now, I love Gwen and really loved No Doubt and I respect Jay-Z as an artist, he's very talented as is Gwen. So someone explain to me why they both performed songs that repeated lyrics for 3 minutes and never really made a significant point or displayed true musical talent. Any monkey can dress up in sparkly clothes and repeat sounds! Most of Gwen Stefani's song was her saying "Wind it up, Uh, Uh, Uh, Uh!!!" And Jay-Z just kept saying, "show me what you got..." this chorus repeats five times with 2-3 sets of lyrics.

Rascal Flatts walked away with two awards and their version of "Life is A Highway" was horrible, really, my ears were bleeding! Too much country twang for me. I mean they sung their song beautifully and I think it's fine that they won for the Best Country Band, however; their ego's were unattractive, "For all those wondering what a Rascal Flatt is, here we are baby!"

Then the show ended with Snoop Dogg singing "I Wanna Love You", this song was not only about loving strippers (nothing wrong with loving a stripper) but on stage the entire set design was a strip club. If it had been on MTV I would have thought "great", but it wasn't, it was on regular basic television and here's some girl's ass sliding up and down a pole and a man, who has already been made fun of for trying to get through airport security with pot on him 3 times this year, throwing money all around the stage and singing about loving a woman who wants to grind a pole for a living! I mean what kind of message does that send to the kids watching this award show? And, more importantly, what does it say about Americans if because of this award show and the artists chosen to perform, records sales sky rocket and next year Snoop wins an award for this song?

What happened to promoting music with a message. Where were groups like U2 and Coldplay, Dave Mathews and Sarah McLaughlin. Artists with a message of hope, peace, reflection, inspiration. Even pop artists with talent like Justin Timberlake were missing. I thought he was suppose to bring Sexy Back?!

But no, instead we get artists named Pussycat Dolls singing about getting their buttons pushed and falling all over the stage (don't pretend you didn't see the one on the far left trip on her chair, I did, and it was funny).

I think that the talented artist with a positive message were just as diapointed as I was last night. The Dixie Chicks sang "Easy Silence" without much feeling looking sad and hopeless. John Mayer sang his song "Waiting on the World to Change", which was amazing, he is truly talented and I can't wait to watch his music develop and change, and when it was over he looked over at his band and said, "Ok, cool" like in a "let's get out of here" kinda way.

I will say that Jamie Foxx did an awesome job and I appreciated the standing ovation he received. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves.

All that being said, I would like to point out that I am not a prude. You can sing as much as you want about sex and violence and I won't get angry or feel violated. It's your right as an artist. However, I don't think that stippers and drug attacks should be promoted on local television and I don't think songs with repetative empty lyrics should be praised.

Rant officially over.

To the change the subject of this very long post I will just show you a quick photo of what I was working on last night while watching the AMA's, Odessa:

In this photo you can kinda see where I made a booboo and accidently twisted my cast-on row. I discovered it on the fourth row and just decided to twist it back. I had already cast-on twice and didn't feel like doing it again. I don't think you're going to be able to tell in the long run!

Here's all the projects I'm going to be working on over the Thanksgiving Holiday, 1 sock, 1 scarf, 1 Odessa, and 1 mini sweater ornament!

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Monday, November 20, 2006

World's Fastest Knitter Ever...Sike!

For the first time in a very long, long time I had a free weekend with nothing planned. That's right, not one thing on the ol' calendar. I decided that as of Friday I was not allowed to make any plans that were less then 1 hour in advance and it worked out to be a wonder spuratic weekend!Friday night a girlfriend of mine came over at around 10pm and we made gingerbread man cookies and chocolate chip (courtsy of Fannie Farmer, yes B you can have it back now). Now as you might see from the little visual aid below, I did not have a rolling pin...I did however have a wine bottle. (Norma Jean collectors wine bottle)Note that you can see some wine in a glass in the background, this followed some chocolate martinis, is it any surprise than that we made the dough a little too thick and the men turned into blobs? Thank you for posing with one Kristin!It was a delightful Friday evenig/morning. Then Saturday I decided to finally make the drive and check out a new yarn store in Ellicott City called The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop. Love it, love it, love it! And the two women that work there Sara and Carol, were some of the most lovely knitters I've ever met not to mention extremely helpful. I'm definitely going back! They had a bumper sticker that said, "She who dies with the most yarn wins!" I thought that was hysterical. Hello, yarn nerd!

Then I came home to relax with a night full of knitting. Instead, my other girlfriend called and suggested a double feature movie night and then dinner. Faboo, completley spontaneous! Watch out, I'm goin' crazy!

With all the goings on and goings out I felt the need for total hybernation on Sunday, as I usually do. I spent the whole day lounging around except for 1 hour spent going to the grocery store down the street. Although I only purchased 4 things, it took 45 minutes because it's the holiday season and I am pretty sure it's safe to say that from this point forward all trips to the grocery, even if it's for a stick of gum are going to take that long. People gotta buy there canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce! I'm gonna hit up the grocery store next Sat, get a 1/2 priced turkey and make my own so as to have lots of my own leftovers all to myself. Mwooohahahhaha!

So, aside from my exciting visit to the local grocier I spent the day keeping my hands busy knitting. This was good for two reason. One, my hands were busy so I could not start decorating before Thanksgiving for Xmas (so ready to decorate!) and two, it allowed me to attain my new title of "World's Fastest Knitter Ever!" That's right, I , Kirby, managed to knit not one, not two, but three sweaters!!!! Get ready to be amazed! Here they are:

Yes, I know they are not adult sweaters but I never said that. They are ornamental sweaters meant for a Christmas tree or to decorate a package. The last one, Stripey, took me about 2 hours last night from CO (cast-on) to seaming. I love these little things, i really do.

I also managed to finish seaming the brown sweater tank, wash it and begin the blocking process. I'm going to wait till it's done to show it though.

Gotta love Sundays.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

World's Slowest Knitter Ever!

So, I've come to the conclusion that I might just be the slowest knitter that I know. It's true. I've done some perusing around the knittingsphere and everyone has these holiday project lined up and they are just whipping them out. Javajem has 11 planned and has started about six already. It took me 15 days to knit one sock! And 2 months to finish knitting the brown sweater tank. I am halfway done knitting a scarf but I've been working on it for two weeks already. And it's not like I don't spend hours sitting on my butt and clicking the needles as fast as my little fingers will allow.

Because of this recent revelation (world's slowest knitter) I've decided to take on some small projects for Christmas so that I don't feel so unacomplished come present time. Here's one I started the other night. It's going to be a little red sweater tree ornament. I got the pattern out of Weekend Knitting, egg cozies. This little number (approximately 6 " long) took me about 2 hours to knit. I've heard other knitters able to whip out little projects like Odessa in about 3 hours or a pair of socks in a couple days. So I ask you, what am I doing wrong? Why is my speed so painfully slow? I have tried both Continental and Engish knitting. I've tried it on a plane, in a livingroom, in my bed, at my mother's house and have determined that location is not the key to quick knitting.

Perhaps it's that I get too distracted too easily.
I think I hopped up from knitting this little item to check my email about 3 times.
I got myself a nice glass of wine, paused to sip.
I pet the BobCat.
I was reading instructions.

That's is probably why is takes me a little longer! I never make the same thing twice therefore I am always reading instructions and recounting things. Hmmmm?

Well, whatever the reason here's hoping I find a couple free weekends before the holidays to whip up a few more of these. I'm thinking they'd make lovely little gift wrapping decor, part gift part decoration.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


What band from the 80s are you?

You're in touch with the world, and you have a very strong opinion on things like politics and war. Even if you do end up changing your image in the future, most of us will still like you.
Take this quiz!

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Sickness and Finished Knitting

Sad sad sad to say I had bronchitis all last week. Hence why I did no blog posting after Tuesday. And I don't just mean little bronchitis I mean the kind that causes you to call out of work on Wednesday, go into work on Thursday sounding like a 40 year old smoker named Ruth who works at a Deli and calls everyone "Honey", having your boss tell you to please go home by 11am, and then because you couldn't get your antibiotics any sooner develop a slight fever by Friday and call out yet again. Yes sir, that's the kind of bronchitis I had. Ick and Sick.

But the good news is that because I was at home and unable to talk for almost three days straight I was able to, in between naps, get a lot of knitting done!

I have finally completed all necessary knitting for my Brown Sweater Tank. Here she is! All that's left is the sewing in of loose yarn strings and blocking. I am hoping that by blocking it the sweater becomes slightly less blocky looking and perhaps stretches a little bit longer. Final photos to come probably next week. (Again, so sad about that discoloration thing). The picture isn't loading correctly but you get the idea.

I also spent some time working on a certain someone's Xmas gift but since said someone reads this blog I cannot post photos of it here. Note, they are posted some where else. Go see if you can find them!

Does anyone else have a nice Sunday tradition? I know that Monday through Friday is usually taken up by work and driving children around or going to school or attending things like aerobic classes. And that Saturday is usually a nice "event" day like a wedding (had one this Saturday) or an open house. Then Sunday is usually reserved for you to do whatever you would like. I usually try to stay home and prepare for the following week. I get all the laundry, school work, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking, etc done.

Yesterday I did just that. I had been sick all week so the house was in total disorey (to me) and I needed groceries and there were little projects around the house still incomplete, like lining the kitchen cabinets. So by 3pm I had finished everything all the cleaning, laundry, shopping, lining and decided to settle down for a cozie evening of just me and the Bobcat, movies, baking, and knitting. It was raining and windy outside and because I live on a corner of row houses there was this high pitch whistle that would whirl around the house every now and then. First I put in the Little Princess with Shirly Temple and lit apple and pumpkin candles. It was very cozie. But then I got restless and decided the candles were giving me a headache. So I paused the Little Princess, put down my knitting, disturbed Bobcat's slumber, blew out the candles, put on the Nutcracker soundtrack, and decided to bake some pumpkin bread (get the real smell in the house). It turned out lovely. I think when school is all done I would like to take a baking class, among other classes (painting, beading, art history, Yoga, pottery, etc.). Here is the yummy bread.

Hope you all were cozie this Sunday.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

SP9 Strikes

Yay! and Thank you to my Secret Pal 9!

I arrived at work on monday to find a lovely package from my secret pal just for me! Here's a snap shot of the contents!

Beautifully colored yarn, it looks like a box of crayons!

Yummy sour cherry candies, and 2 wonderful blue potholders.

I know this is suppose to be a yarn swap for the most part and all but I must say that I was most excited about the postholders. They match my kitcen perfectly! See all the blue? Ok, not the best photo but it also shows off my new kitchen table which I got on Sunday and I am also very excited about!

Thank you Secret Pal 9, you're the best!

Too Fancy for a Lion

I recently read this morning on Theresa blog about Lion Brand creating a new line of cashmere yarn. Theresa presented a concern over their choice of colors and the fact that Lion Brand has never been known for making such a high-quality fiber.

Here's my arguement:

Lion brand is where knitters look to find something that perhaps has a festive color and a mild quality ( compared to Red Brand). They are willing to pay the $5.99 for the Homespun or the Thick-N-Quick because you can still make a fairly cute scarf that won't be itchy and may even be able to pass for yarnstore quality yarn. Pattons is somewhat similar with their wool yarn, especially their new felting yarns. However, no one would think to go to JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels to buy cashmere. Cashmere is a highend fiber. It is meant to be extravagent, not just in price but in quality as well. Those that shop Lion Brand don't intend to make high-end garments with it. I agree with you Theresa, the demographic that shops for Lion Brand either will scoff at the price of such expensive yarn from Lion Brand or they will not trust the quality because Lion Brand Yarn is not intended to be that upscale. I would assume those that either can afford or like to purchase cashmere would also value the LYS experience and most likely you will not find Lion Brand at your LYS.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Chicago and all that Jazz

Home sweet home.

After a lovely and long vacation to Chicago to visit my friend, Gretchen, I'm officially back to work.

This vacation was very different from my past two trips to visit my friend. Gretchen and I have been friends since third grade. We grew up together, went on school field trips together, had classes together, were on competing swim teams, went to each other's birthday parties, passed notes in classes, were Chemistry partners, and even cheated on a Latin test together...don't tell Magistra Jackson! So, I've been out there to see her twice already. So, I've done all the touristy things like seeing Wrigley Field, shopping on Michigan Ave, visiting the Hancock and getting a martini at the Sky Lounge Bar, toured the Chicago Institute of Art (twice), went to fancy dinners and kareoke clubs. As a result, this trip was much more laidback. I basically lived the life of a Chicagoen for a week.

I went to her volleyball games, she's awesome by-the-by, we saw a movie, went shopping for halloween costumes, bonded with her cat, Maybe, went to a halloween party, watched a lot of Entourage ( I heart that show now!), and hung out at her local bar Goldies (good times, nice people, usual shady characters), and my friend even created maps for me so that I could do my very own and very first yarn store crawl while she was at work one day. I'll provide more details about my adventures there in a later post!

I must admit that for Halloween we did sport some pretty clever costumes. She being the little literary queen sported a t-shirt with a picture of an iron on it, the iron had the letter "E" written on it so she went as....wait for it...Irony!!!!! Oh, that kills me! I wore a yellow shirt and had some notes written all over me and a Sharpie maker attached to the shirt. I was a Post-it Note! Oh, we are soooo funny. We got many an eye roll at the Heaven and Hell duel apartment party we attended. Here's a picture of us all decked out! (Note David Bowie's very large poster head behind us, I think he is contemplating either the meaning of Irony or what note he would like to leave on my shirt).

Here I am attempting to bond with Maybe. It's like children to candy, the minute she saw that I was knitting something she had to immediately jump in my lap and be a part of the knitting fun!

Working on my second sock for Socktoberfest was not the only knitting that I worked on whilst traveling, I got some progress on the ol' Red Scarf Project done!

I must throw a shout out to my dear friend. For not only has she kept every gift I have ever made for her but she even volunteered to pose with them all in a photo. I personally think she looks fabulous!In case you are wondering what is on her head, it is a bag I made for her using BySarah's pattern.

Did I mention a fair amount of drinking occured? Gretchen with her PBR's and I with my fancy drinks.

It was a lovely trip, fun times, laughter, and always friendship.

Thanks for having me Gretch!