Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It Feels Like Christmas in January

I am trying to keep my mind off the weather and have my fingers and toes crossed that the flight on Saturday to Florida will get out with out any problems. I am really looking forward to my birthday cruise.

My friend, Sue, gave me my birthday present yesterday since she will not see me again until after my birthday. I almost passed out when I saw what she gave me.....a yarn swift but not just a yarn swift but the one I wanted. I have a swift but I had to push up one of those large clip things to hold the swift in place to wind the yarn.

I am using the swift on the winding station I made. I thought that I would have to put down some velcro or something to hold the winder in place, but would you believe, it does not move while it is whirling. Thank you Sue, I love it.

Thought you might want to see my old winder. Don't laugh too hard-- it worked. Trust me, when something is too good to be true, it is...I thought I was getting such a bargain when I brought this.
Now changing the subject, my son-in-law just finished my Christmas present. I needed a way to keep my hats and shawls out because I would actually forget what I made and some items were not getting used. I showed him a picture I saw of a stand that someone had made to hang their skates. He made me one for my hats and one for my shawls, however he is not satisfied with the design and has come up with his own design and said that he is making me another stand. I guess that will be my birthday present.
Frankly, I am very satisfied with what he made. I am anxious to see the new one.

Just want to show you some of the things we made for the Fish Exchange on the cruise. To explain this a little. Beside your door on the ship, there is a metal fish that you can leave messages. People make or buy these pockets so that people can leave little gifts.

This is what I made
to receive our gifts.
There are 8 cabins in our group but only 4 children . As part of our surprise gifts are a cookbook that my daughter put together of Disney recipes from the resorts, ship or restaurants in the parks. I printed the label on dvd's and my daughter put Disney music on it. Since one of the cabins is honeymooners, their dvd will be romantic songs from Disney movies. I also made some bookmarks. there are other things but this is all that I have to show you.
I will close with the cups that we decorated. To give a little explanation, you do not pay extra for water and soda but the drink stations have have very, very, small cups. People have been bringing their own cups and we thought that we would as well. We went on Etsy and found some cute cups with lids that looked like decorated tall To Go cups for $30 to $45. My daughter found cups at Tuesday Morning, for $4.99 and we went to Hobby Lobby and brought rub on transfers for $2 and $3.

The pink cup is the one I did for $8 total. The other cup is $45.00 on Etsy.Well, I have kept you up long enough, the next report will be on the cruise. We are taking two knitting projects in case we get bored.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Party is Over

I am trying not to think about it but today is the last day of my vacation. Now reality has set in
and I will be tied to the company cellphone until 7pm each evening waiting for the phone to ring.

I have enjoyed myself this last month and really want to retire. I do not play the lottery but I am tempted to lose my money to give it a try.

I have been busy trying to keep my mind off of work. I finished another Ruffle Lace Cowl , since I work outdoors most of the time, it is nice to have something that covers my chest and head. I made this one with two extra repeats, 14 in all. My plan was for 15-16 repeats but I ran out of the Manos yarn I was using. The picture is pre-block. I am fanning out the bottom more so that it will look more like the original cowl.

In addition, I am on the purse craze again. I love making and carrying purses and knitting bags that I have made. I saw the Birdie Sling by Amy Butler at my favorite sewing store in Hanover, PA called Danner's Bernina Shop, when I went to pick up a part for my friend Sue. I could see this as a knitting bag as well as a purse. I brought the pattern and came straight home and made myself one.

In addition, since my daughter, TeAntae, and I are taking a cruise for my birthday at the end of the month and we will be going to Disney's private island for the day, I thought that we needed new beach totes. I used heavy weight window screening for the main body, canvas for the handles and top part of the tote and 4 inches of other fabric I had in my stash. I doubt if my daughter would like the Mary Engelbreit fabric but we will see. I wish I had embroidered our initial a little higher but it will work.

Today, I am making some Artisan bread, watching some travel videos trying to pretend that I am not here. I will spin a little, start a pair of socks (have not made socks in ages), and also work on a sweater/cape called Not Quite a Cape that is going very fast. I am using Ella Rae Kamelsoft which is Aran weight. I did not mention this in my last post but I have decided to learn two new knitting techniques this year. The first is not a knitting technique exactly but I have never seamed anything. I always avoid any project that takes seaming. This sweater/cape will be my first attempt. The other thing I want to learn this year is intarsia. I already have two intarsia projects picked out. One is the Ravenna Satchel and the other is In Bloom , I have the yarn in my stash for In Bloom so I may start with that one. We will see.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The New Year

I do not normally make resolutions because I do not keep them. I have decided to put together a Wish List this year that I plan to do this year.

1. Knit from stash...I have so much yarn and projects already put into kits that if I just knit this, I will have more than enough to knit this year. I also want to either finish my WIP or Frog. Frankly, if I have had them sitting around for months, it is obvious that I have no plans to get back to them.

2. Start weaving again... I have been so caught up in knitting that I have not been weaving. I think I have as much yarn for weaving as I do for knitting. I also need to sell my counterbalance loom because I brought it to make rugs and found that I really did not enjoy making rag rugs. My LeClerc loom is the older one and quite heavy enough to make a rug every now and then. I also need to get my son-in-law come to help me service theLeClerc, it is having problems.

3. Spin more. .. I love to spin and have lots of roving that I can spin without buying any. Last year, I purchased a new tensioned kate for plying and a great dvd's, one is on drafting by Abby Franquemont and the other plying by Judith MacKenzie. I have no excuse to get better this year. Right now, I am working on spinning three bobbins so that I can try to triple ply. My daughter and son-in-law brought me a Woolee Winder a couple years ago that has really help improve my spinning. You really can get more yarn on the bobbin, no stopping and breaking your rhythm so you can move the yarn on the hooks, and the yarn is level on the bobbin which makes what you spin look better than it actually is. I just love it.

4. Exercise more...My heart doctor and family physician have been preaching to me these last few weeks I have been home that I need to lose weight and exercise. My daughter has reminded me that I lose a lot a few years ago by just riding my recumbent bike and walking on the treadmill. That is very true, I did not even realize that I was losing weight. I am until my next door neighbor offered me some of her clothes because she had lose so much weight. I thought at first that the clothes would fit my big toe. I took one of her pant suits to a meeting because it was so pretty and found out that this was the only thing that fit. All my clothes were hanging off me worst than on a hanger. I am a diabetic with high blood pressure, I really do not have a choice.

5. Just do it

On a happier note....My daughter and I will be leaving on 1/29 to take a cruise on the new Disney ship " the Dream " for my birthday. I have made lots of magnetics for the door, and I plan to just lay on the balcony and dream.
My son, Roger, leaves for

Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates

His sister and I are so proud of him. He has not been at this company long and he was chosen to go for a month to put in a new installation. He is in I T. His birthday is today and I actually remembered to send him a text. He will never let me live it down about the year that I totally forgot. I have knitted him a hat that I had planned on giving to him with an Amazon gift certificate. I do not think he will need Windchief right now. He had asked for it since he loved the one I made Bryan (son-in-law) for Christmas.

I do not think I showed you what I did for my Christmas village this year. Because I kept up the restaurants all last year, I decided to do it again for this year but added a park. Also, my daughter and son-in-law gave me a White Castle for Christmas. I have such fond memories of going to white Castles with my friends when I was a teenager. I do not have snow down because I do plan on keeping "restaurant row" up all year and just changing the trees for the season.

This is it for right now. I will get back to you probably after the trip so that I can let you know how it was. Of course, we are taking knitting with us. We are not going to get off the boat in Nassau since we do not like it there, we thought that this would be a great knitting day on the balcony and of course ordering room service.