10 Intentions for 2011

One of the blogs I follow is Carole Knits. Every Tuesday she does a blog entry titled "10 on Tuesday". She has themes for other days of the week as well, but I'm always inspired by her 10 on Tuesday. I didn't read her blog entry until today so I'm a little late on posting one myself, but I thought it would be a good idea to post 10 Intentions for 2011 as well. Thanks Carole for your inspiration.

10 Intentions for 2011:
  1. Exercise more. Make it part of my routine rather than a chore. I have a recumbent bike that I like to ride, just need to make it part of my routine.
  2. Lose weight. I need to put this down on paper so I have to see it, to hold myself accountable.
  3. Find a job that I love.
  4. Knit from my stash.
  5. Knit or crochet more items for charity.
  6. Get my 35mm camera out of hibernation. Remove myself from my current state of point and shoot mode and start challenging mysef with monthly photo projects similar to what I used to do when I belonged to the Cobb Photographic Society in Marietta, GA. Great camera club. They actually have their contest projects online, so I may have to follow along. Good starting point.
  7. Practice my French. Since my Mom passed away I don't practice at all anymore. I used to get reinforcement from her because she would at least speak to me in french, that way I didn't lose my listening skills, but now, no reinforcements. Practice, practice, practice. Maybe join the Alliance Francaise?
  8. Continue to organize and declutter. I have done pretty well with that this past year and I have donated lots of bags to Goodwill already, but there is more to do. Keep up the decluttering.
  9. Write more letters to far away friends.
  10. Blog more often. I can blog more often right now since I'm not working, but once work starts up again, I need to keep it up at least weekly.

2010 is almost gone

While I was in Carlinville helping my brother pack to move back to TN, his neighbors took us to a little place in "downtown" Carlinville called Taylors Chili. (link) A very small place but you could tell that it was immensely popular with the locals. It's mostly known for it's Chili but they also have a Butter Bean soup which was to die for. You could also get Butter Bean Soup "with". Now for those of us in the South, "with" is usually followed by the "what". So in the case above, we would have said Butter Bean Soup with a scoop of chili. However, the Menu just said With. The difference in the language was quickly forgotten because when you placed a spoonful of the "Butter Bean Soup with" in your mouth, it was divine. Thanks to Rich, Judy, Tom and Nancy for turning us on to that place. It was great meeting all of you and also enjoying Judy's fabulous lasagne. And oh by the way, they ship their product, so go check out their link.

It's hard to believe that 2010 is almost over. Every year around this time of year I buy my new "paper" calendar and love the ritual of transferring some data from the old paper calendar to the new one. I don't know why I love that ritual, I just do. Maybe it's because it allows me to reflect on the year, what I've accomplished and sadly those items that fell short in my planning. For the most part it was a productive year. I then review the paper calendar and I use Excel to record Events that occurred that DH and I may need to remember, such as replacing A/C, a new TV, a little road trip, etc.. You'd be surprised when you review the list of events at a later date, you say out loud....."what, we did that 6 years ago? I thought it was only 2 years ago. Time flies........

In my calendar, I also keep a list of current projects on the needles as well as a list of Future Projects. Throughout the year, I may lose interest in some of the items I have on the Future Projects list and those don't get transferred to the new calendar, but they stay on the list for a year anyway, so I have plenty of time to decide whether they will get made or not. When I reviewed the running list of Current Projects on the Needles, I was happy to see that most of them had been completed in 2010. Some projects I start and finish quickly enough that they never make it to my list on the paper calendar, but they are either recorded in Ravelry or my Task List in Outlook.

My list of completed projects in 2010 that I can document so far:
  1. Comfy Cape - Pabiche
  2. Potato Chip Scarf - Mini Mochi
  3. Potato Chip Scarf - Plymouth Kudos
  4. Ishbel
  5. Amanda Hat (2)
  6. Darkside Cowl
  7. Wham Bam Cowl (2)
  8. Owl Cowl & Neckwarmer
  9. Storm Could Shawlette #1
  10. Dog Sweater for Gizmo
  11. Ankle Warmers for Michael
  12. Aston Baby Hat and Booties for Elsa
  13. Log Cabin Lapghan for charity
  14. Preemie blankets for charity
  15. Baby Surprise Jacket and Onesie for Henri
  16. Multnomah Shawl
  17. Garter Yoke Baby Cardigan
  18. Baktus (2)
I won't have my new laptop for a couple of weeks yet so I can't upload any photos to post.

Merry Christmas to all

My nearly 10 year old laptop died on Thursday with no warning. I sure wasn't ready for that. My DH has ordered a new laptop for me but I won't get it until somewhere between the 10th and 15th of January. I am borrowing his laptop today to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
It is snowing here, although no accumulation, but it's kind of fun to say we had a white Christmas, a rare occasion in the south.

I'm preparing a pork loin roast for our dinner but if you are doing the traditional festive dinner, enjoy your turkey and I hope you get some time to sit down and knit a few rows.

Nostepinnes.......or the lack thereof

My Wish List has a Nostepinne on it, however, I have been using several items as makeshift Nostepinnes to wind my yarn by hand. (I have a ball winder, but I prefer the balls wound by hand) So, my makeshift Nostepinnes range from smooth flashlights to large knitting needles and now I'm using this. I almost always have one in my purse, so it's perfect!

You ready to see????

A perfect center-pull yarn.
I know this is a small ball of yarn, but I do 100 gr skeins of purchased yarn all the time. The above is a single ply merino that I spun on my Schacht Spindle. I'll probably use it to make a lavender sachet.

Thanks to a fellow Raveler in the Spindle group, they mentioned using a container they bought at the dollar store to ply their yarn. I found mine in my hobby room and I used it to wind my yarn. So much easier than what I've done before. Have I mentioned I love Ravelry? So many knowledgable people out there with all kinds of helpful tips and tricks.
I leave you with some scenes from yesterday. It's still so cold that the snow is staying around, although today the snow looks a little more patchy. We are supposed to get ice this afternoon and tonight so it will be much more treacherous than what we had on Sunday and Monday. Almost anyone can drive in snow if they have to, but even experts can't drive on ice.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.....

All total through last night we got about 4-4.5 inches. After it started snowing around 11 Am yesterday, it snowed all day, it may have ended around midnight. It was really pretty and I didn't have to get out and drive in it. My fridge and pantry are stocked, we have electricity and water, so we were good to stay in.

When I heard on the news about how many wrecks there were, I wonder how many of those people really had to be out in it. What could possibly have been so important that they risk their lives, the lives of other people, and possibly risk losing the only car they have either by it being in the shop or a total loss. Seriously, what could be so important?

I was watching one of my cats yesterday attack the snow on the deck. It was hilarious. I tried to take a video of it but when she saw me with the camera she would stop. It really was fun to watch.

Here's a picture from this morning.

My heart goes out to Minneapolis and to Iowa and other parts of the country bombarded with snow

Have I mentioned that I like living in the South? Other than the hot, sticky, humid summers, I really do appreciate living in the south, especially when you see what snow can do to parts of the country that seem to attract it.

Can you imagine the Metrodome roof collapsing? Did those engineers not realize that this stadium was being built in Minnaepolis? How could they not have designed that roof to be able to handle a mere 20 inches of snow or more for that matter? I mean seriously, it's Minneapolis!!!

We are getting some snow in middle Tennessee. They predicted 1-2 inches and we still have a 100% chance of snow (it's already almost 11 AM) and you can see what we have. I'm not thinking we'll get 1-2 inches, but the day isn't over yet.

UPDATED PICS at 12:30:

On to knitting: I've got the back done of the Patches Sweater. I first blogged about it here. I've finished the first strip of the front and moving on.

I've still got other projects on the needles and those are slogging along too.
Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my warm comfy house and watching it snow and doing a little knitting.
For those of you with bad weather, stay inside if at all possible and be safe.

Finished projects modeled by recipients

The package was received by my brother. He took pictures of the finished projects on the recipients themselves.

First up, the small dog sweater for Giz. He's already been taken for a walk wearing his little coat. I originally blogged about it here. Isn't he adorable? It fits him perfectly!

The other item up is the set of ankle warmers. He says they are perfect except he wants them longer. In asking more questions, he wants them to come up over his calves, which makes them leg warmers rather than just ankle warmers. I misunderstood the first time. I bought 2 skeins of Malabrigo Rios so I will make the second pair longer. The width was good at 60 stitches and a 2x2 ribbing.

Spittin' snow flakes

Yep, that's all it was doing, spittin'. It was fun to see though. If you stayed outside long enough it looked like you had dandruff on your shoulders. As my DH likes to say, "it's cold as a witch's titty out there". Now how he knows how cold a witch's titty is I have no idea, but he loves to say that and the funny part is I know what he means.

Our new heat pump/AC that we HAD to buy this summer is working great. It's keeping us toasty and since they re-routed some of the ducts under the house, it's a much more even heat throughout the house, so we're good! I have a stocked pantry so if we were to get snowed in, it's all good!

A dear friend of mine in Atlanta FINALLY had her baby, a week late. We knew it was a girl but the name was being kept secret until she arrived. They have named her Anna. I have a special package being mailed on Monday to the new mom. The sweater I had made last year but held on to it until I could give it to someone special. I just added the buttons and I love them. The yarn color is a beautiful salmon color but it's hard to get that color to come out on the pics. The hat and booties I made this week with Sirdar Flirt, a bamboo/wool combination. I finally filed my unemployment application. I've never done that in my whole life, it was weird going through the process. Hopefully, it won't last too long after the first of the year.

Saturday morning we must have had 50+ turkeys in the back. I took the picture through the window so it's a lilttle hard to see. I zoomed in on the groups separately because they were spread out into 3 different groups. I know we have a lot of turkeys out here, I've just never seen that many at one time. (need to click on the picture to make it bigger to see them better)
Love it out here!!!!

My first winter cold, as in sniffles

Horrible time to be feeling ill, but DH got it first, then gave it to me. argh! I think I'm finally on the road to recovery but it's a long process. I actually slept through the night (almost) last night. In all the waking hours though, it has provided some fruitful knitting time, albeit with maybe one eye shut. :-)

I finished knitting the Multnomah. It needs a quick bath and a block but this is it before blocking.
I also started the cute Patches Baby Sweater from the new Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders Book. I like the projects in this book, but what I don't like about this book in comparison to the other One-Skein books, is that is doesn't have a "picture page" of all the projects in the book, you have to go to each pattern to see the picture of what's in the book. Now while that may be good for the editor and the patterns in that it forces you to look at each page, it's not good for when the knitter wants to find something quick to knit. Probably just comes from being spoiled on the other one-skein books, but I liked and enjoyed that feature. Oh, sorry for my rambling, back to the sweater. It's knit in strips but after you knit the first one, you attach them to the first strip as you knit the 2nd strip, etc. You can see what I've done here.

I'm using Paton's Kroy Sock yarn. Not particularly enjoying the striping effect at the moment, but I'll deal with it as an experiment.

As to a finished project, the Ankle Warmers that I knit for my brother. They were shipped off to him on Monday. He wears Crocs without socks and said his ankles were getting cold and wanted something to keep his ankles warm. Hence, an easy 2x2 rib for easy fitting in the wonderful washable Malabrigo Rios (love this stuff).
This is me modeling them at the moment, I hope to replace this picture of one with my brother modeling.
I also started another Capelet. This is in the Mission Falls 1824 Wool yarn that I purchased at half price with the big blowout sale at my LYS. Love that store!!!!!

A beautiful mid-November weekend and some productive knitting time

The weather these last 3-4 days has been absolutley beautiful. It's been in the mid-70's, how can you beat that for mid-November?

Before knit night on Thursday, I took a little drive down beautiful Belle Meade Boulevard. Belle Meade Blvd is a divided boulevard, a carefully monitored speed limit of 35 mph, and houses that range from a low $2 million and up. It's been a long time since I drove down that lane, which ends at Percy Warner Park. There are 2 parks side by side, Percy Warner and Edwin Warner, only separated by Old Hickory Blvd. These parks cover nearly 2700 acres. (Wiki link here) It was a cool day on Thursday but the drive through the park was nice. Here are some photos of that drive. I only drove through Percy Warner this particular day.

This view is as you enter the park from Belle Meade Blvd. Those are stone steps you see going up.

A side angle view of those same steps.

This is the view from the top looking down towards the steps and Belle Meade Blvd.

On the drive through that park, all these trees in yellow, just pleasing to the eye.

It was a peaceful day.

I have been knitting like crazy and I have some finished objects to take off of my ongoing task list. The Baktus, this one knit with sock yarn on size 4 needles.

This Baktus was knit with Nashua Equinox Stripe (chunky yarn) on size US 19 needles. BIG NEEDLES = very fast knit. I knit it in a little over 1 day and it only took 2 skeins.

This is for Show n Tell. The pattern was in the Creative Knitting Magazine and the concept is to knit strips and then you weave them together. I should have done it in a solid blue and a solid white, but all I had was the variegated white which won't look as cool, but wanted to document it anyway. While this was fun on a small scale, I don't see doing this for a set of placemats. too tedious. I would rather break out my Cricket Loom and learn to use it. (I'm close to getting it out of the box)
These little cuties are little sachets filled with Lavender! I'm going to make some with rosemary too. These are knit with Sirdar Flirty on size 4 needles using double knitting which makes its own little pocket. Very easy to do!

Who says there has to be a title

Yeah, couldn't come up with one. Maybe I will by the time I finish this post. If not, I can always go back and edit the post and add a title. Maybe you guys can give me some ideas. :-)

Anyway, I am now officially unemployed. Friday went off without too many tears and we were out of there by 10:20. I said good-bye to downtown with a wave. I met 2 knitsibs from my Wed knit group for lunch and we actually sat outside. It was a beautiful mid to upper 70's and the sun was bright. Can you believe that we were able to sit outside in mid-November? Does that mean that we will have a mild winter and no bugs will die? which in turn means a horribly hot summer with lots of bugs? Who the heck knows, the weathermen sure don't. I digress, sorry. I do have an interview on Monday, and if nothing else, it will give me some interviewing practice again.

Meanwhile, my task list for my time off is growing. I know I want to get some knitting done, but I also want to do some sewing, which means I need to get in my hobby room and finish cleaning my sewing table off so that I can get to my sewing machine.

I do have some updates on my knitting projects. No FO's yet, but I'm getting close on a couple. I cast-on for the Baktus a little while back and yesterday got to the decreasing part. It's coming along nicely and it's fun to knit. The yarn is Knit One Crochet Too Crock-o-Dye sock yarn on size US4 needles. I like the way it's striping too.

A finished project is the Storm Cloud Shawlette #1. The pattern calls for a fingering yarn for the shawlette and I thought I would use a chunkier yarn and get a shawl size. It worked and I love it. I get lots of compliments on it. I used South American Cotton Space Dyed from Punta Yarns on size US10.75 needles.

A view of the front......
A view of the back:

Still on the needles:

~Multnomah shawl
~Lace Ribbon Scarf
~Storm Cloud Shawlette # 2
~Simple Cardigan
~Charity Lapghan

Broken Internet links, are they really gone?

You know how you peruse the internet and add links to your Favorites so that you can find them again? Then one day (probably years later) you go back to click on that link and the resulting web page comes back as unknown or no longer active. Time for panic, because maybe it was a free pattern or a tutorial that you forgot to print. What do you do now??

I learned about this website years ago and realized I had to use it this morning. I am very thankful for its existence and decided I would share it with my knitsibs, in case you didn't already know about it. The Wayback Machine.

Once there, you copy and paste your "broken link" into their search box and it will find your old webpage. My suggestion at this point is to print what you failed to do before so you don't have to look for it again. :-)

Let me know if you have any questions!

Neil and Amigurumi fun

I crocheted this little guy (Happy Frog link) for a co-worker. Most all of my other amigurumi family members were given to co-workers and since next Friday is our last day at work together, one of my co-workers who didn't have one of my creations, asked for something special from me. So, I made the Happy Frog. Said co-worker decided to call him Neil. I didn't get it at first but then she started humming the tune I Am, I Said by Neil Diamond. (We both love Neil Diamond) If you recall the lyrics in that song......."Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of being a king....And then became one", that's why she named him Neil.

Now, I love crocheting the little individual pieces.......but I abhor putting them together. UGH!!!!!!

So, this.........
turned in to this!
I put 3 bb's in each foot and hand to give him a little weight. He won't sit up on his own though because his head is bigger than his body, but he's adorable leaning against something anyway.

Happenings in my life

Things are changing, as they always do in life. For me, it's my employment, not of my choice this time. In mid-October, our department was notified that the Nashville and Charlotte office are closing and that our functions would be handled out of the home office. Now, that is only displacing 9 people in Nashville and probably about the same number in Charlotte. Part of me is happy about leaving because I haven't been happy there for awhile, but then I like leaving a company on my own terms, when I'm ready. In March I would have been there 3 years, which is when I would have been vested in my 401k. The company has refused to acknowledge that I am not leaving of my own volition and will not let me keep their matching funds. I think that's wrong but it appears that I can do nothing about it. So, moving that aside, my countdown to the last day has started, 7 days left counting today, Nov 12 is the last day and the 11th is a holiday. I have put some feelers out there for something new, but haven't pushed too hard because I think taking the holidays off would be nice, not normally something I can do in my line of work.

On a good note, that should allow me more time for knitting, exercising and getting some personal things done that I've put on the backburner.

I took a drive in my "neighborhood" (the countryside) with a knitsib on Sunday. Other than the floods we had in May, Tennessee has been very dry this year and that affected our fall colors tremendously. By early October when our leaves start to change, the leaves were already brownish and falling off the trees when a little gust of wind would come up. So, a lot of our trees are already bare. I was able to get a few good photos and we came upon a covered bridge which was a great photo opportunity.

Now, on to some yarn acquisitions.

This multi-colored blue is for the Baktus. It is called Crock-O-Dye by Knit One Crochet Too -

This beautiful blue/purple/green one is 400 yards of corriedale, hand-dyed and handspun and given to me by said knitsib that went on the country drive with me. She purchased it in Vermont and it was so gracious of her to give it to me. Thanks so much Christina. It hasn't spoken to me about what it wants to be just yet, but 400 yards, please I can come up with something great!

As for some finished projects, I finally finished the first potato chip scarf I started back in January. Seriously, it doesn't take that long to do, I just got tired of working on it and did many new and finished projects in between. I think it came out lovely and it will go in the gift box.

Below are 2 preemie blankets made with Jeannie by Plymouth yarn. They are done in Tunisian Crochet and the stitch used was the corded knit stitch. It gives a drapier look from the plain Tunisian knit stitch.

Close up of the Tunisian corded knit stitch.

Otherwise, I am crocheting the Happy Frog pattern as a going away gift for a co-worker. I am using Cascade 220, yes, in boring green. Picture to be posted later. I'm still working on the Multnomah shawl, I'm on the feather and fan section now and I'm still LOVING the Malabrigo sock yarn. The lapghan for Alive Hospice is coming along nicely and is almost done. I think that's it for now.


Vacation in the fall is a wonderful thing, I love it! The weather is cooler, the sky is a gorgeous blue, the fall colors are eye candy, and no bugs when you sit outside, the list is endless. On Sunday, we (DH and I) took the pickup to the back 40 to remove a dead trunk that had fallen. Now I use the word "we" very loosely. I didn't really help, I was there just in case. I had my chair, my knitting and my camera though.

The view was gorgeous. While I was sitting there, I started the Multnomah shawl. Easy knitting. I cast on with Size 3 needles using Malabrigo sock yarn. I love this stuff.

I took this picture a little late. DH had already been using the chainsaw for a little while to break it up into chunks he could push with the front end loader. He's a very talented tractor driver, he moves those logs with ease into the brushpile. I should've taken a video.

On the way back to the house, we picked some pears. They are delicious and very crunchy. A good crop this year even though it's been very dry. The deer eat most of the ones we can reach by hand, so DH got into the bed of the truck and picked some. yummmyyyyyy.

I had finished knitting the Ishbel in August, finally wove in the ends and then this week I blocked it. I knit this in Koigu and I love the blue.
As I mentioned above, I started the Multnomah shawl while I was sitting outside watching DH work. I have now finished the garter stitch part and have started the Feather and Fan section. I really like this Malabrigo sock yarn, I'm going to have to look around and see what else I can make with it.

This weekend is the Murfreesboro Fiber Festival. It's a long drive for me to go, but I haven't been before, so I may have to go check it out. We'll see.