Sunday, July 31, 2005

Duh...

Today was obviously one of those days where I needed a list to remember my head when I left home.

When you don't read this

labels


Then working on this for an hour before you realize how many yards of yarn actually you have, instead of what you thought you had

dead bag


Becomes this

frogged


Bah!! Well, at least I didn't finish most of the bag before I realized I would be about 80 yards short. So,this gorgeous yarn is now going to be a Sophie bag. I have plenty for that.

Today I met up with Sarah (and her adorable daughter, Hannah), Pam, Eva and Melanie for a bit of afternoon knitting. Such a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. Good friends and knitting makes for a perfect day. I've also blocked the baby blanket.

blanket


blanket


Now, if I could just get 10 of these kids out of the house I didn't birth, I might get rid of this headache.

Oh, and ladies? Negative. Tuesday night we shall celebrate. Someone in the universe still likes me.

Posted by Heather at 7:30 PM 6 comments

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A crisis

For the past 2 days I've been reading the stories on the alarming stories coming from Niger in West Africa. To be blunt, they are starving to death. And the governments of the richest countries of the world are either doing nothing or taking their sweet time in sending aid.

Niger
A 10-month-old girl weighing just 7 pounds suffers from malnutrition in a hospital in Maradi, Niger. (photo from CNN)


This is breaking my heart. We live in a country with such excess. Yet in a country not so far away a child will die a horrible death from starvation while I drink my morning Starbucks and could stand to lose more weight than this child weighs. There is something so wrong with this.

Today I intended to order yarn that I "had to have" for my next shawl. That will probably get added to my ever-growing stash. Instead, I will be making a donation to Doctors without Borders. Want to join me?

Posted by Heather at 9:08 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

An idea is born....

I've received a few emails asking how I made my blocking board. I decided to make my own because I didn't want to pay $79 plus shipping for the only other one I have seen out there. I went to Hancock Fabrics and purchased a pattern cutting board, meant for sewing. It is cardboard and that grid I so badly wanted (because I'm a freak). Then it was on to Wally World for clear Contact paper. $6ish for the board, $5ish for the paper. Savings=$68+. I tried to see if Brian would go for me spending that savings on yarn. Hard to know if he said yes since he was laughing so freaking hard. Hrmp.

Life continues in Casa de Hormones. Been almost 2 days since I ruined anyone's life. This might be a record. Day ain't over yet, though, and the kidlets won't be up 'til noon. Don't they need jobs or something? Hey!! Now that is idea!! They get jobs, pay for some of their own stuff here and there and I can buy more yarn!! Ha!! I'm freaking brilliant!

Will someone out there please finish Harry Potter? I have this theory I have to bounce off someone...

Posted by Heather at 9:15 AM 8 comments

Sunday, July 24, 2005

49 hours

That's how long before The Princess had her first meltdown after coming home. Where I was reminded of how mean I am, how I never let her do anything and the classic...I'm ruining her life. Good thing I'm not losing my touch, eh? Of course she was crying and apologizing less than an hour later. Ahh...hormones. Oh, and it was less than 24 hours before they were fighting. I missed all this, right?

I'm sure you are wondering where all my knitting and crocheting stuff is (yea right, I'm sure it keeps you up at night). Well, I finished the Flower Basket Shawl.

FBS


And a close-up of the little baskets.

baskets


I am so pleased with how it turned out. A huge thank you to Sarah for listening to me bitch about it and helping me figure out how to knit lace. And to Wendy for inspiring me to want to learn how to knit lace and all her wonderful advice on how to start. I'm already on the look out for another lace project and this time I'll be using fingering weight yarn. A few things I learned along the way:

1 - This helped the FBS go from being shoved in a bag to actually being worked on and enjoyed. The FBS has a 10 row repeat section, which I repeated 6 times to get the size I wanted. Do yourself and your sanity a favor, write out each row on separate index cards.

2 - Count out your stitches occasionally and check your row counts. Ok, you don't have to be as obsessive as I was and count for every row, but it made a world of difference to me. I have the counts for the repeat section. If you want it, email me.

3 - If you are new to lace, this might be the perfect project. The pattern can be made with any size yarn and you can change the size of the finished project. I used a sport weight cotton since lace weight yarn is a total pain in the ass. Someday I'll get there, but not on my first project.

Next I've been crocheting a baby blanket for my friend, Melissa. Her shower is next month and I need to get on the ball.

baby blanket


And a close up of the stitch pattern.

blanket close up


This is one of my favorite stitch patterns for a baby blanket. Not too "holey" and not too dense for Florida. I'm using TLC baby which is so very soft and wonderful to work with. I should be done this week. It will be sent with the baby sweater I finished not long ago and I need to knit a little hat to go with it as well.

Happy knitting...or crocheting!

Posted by Heather at 9:44 AM 13 comments

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Comments

Blogger's comment function sucks. I get my comments emailed to me, but I can't respond because they come with anonomous email address (how stupid is that?).

Is there another way? Must I move to typepad or something?

Posted by Heather at 9:13 AM 2 comments

Friday, July 22, 2005

I ain't no pixie

After seeing that skinny Weather Pixie chick all over blogs, I ventured over to take a look at the pixie for my area.

The WeatherPixie


Let's review the pixie. First off, she hasn't updated since 9 something this morning. No biggie. Except for the fact that at 9 something this morning it was 100 freaking degrees. It is now 108 here (but the "feels like" temperature is 107. Wow...I can feel the cooling trend already. Oh yea, and the other night when watching the weather, the weather moron said "temperatures will be plummeting from the 110's to the low 100's". Plummeting?!? WTF?? Plummeting would mean I could actually walk to the mailbox without getting dizzy. Plummeting would mean it is actually pleasant outside. Moron.). Shouldn't she be sitting under a tree, fanning herself with her checkbook and drinking some bottled water? Or at least in a pool trying to cool off? Second, she looks better than me in that bathing suit and that just pisses me off.

Obviously I don't have enough work to do today.

Posted by Heather at 2:45 PM 0 comments

Home again

The kidlets are home, safe and sound. I cannot believe how much I have missed them. They seem to have grown 2 inches since they left. I think they missed me, too. Baseball Star wanted lots of hugs and couch time and the Princess (in-between hanging out with her hoard of friends that invaded my house and yapping on her birthday present cell phone) was a little clingy, too. They are growing up so fast. I want to stop time and keep them home forever. But, I know the day is soon coming where they will move out and start lives on their own. I can't even think about it without crying.

I know I have lots of unanswered emails and comments to respond to. Between a 16 hour day on Tuesday, preparing for a booth at a luncheon I knew nothing about until 2 days before and getting ready for the kids to come home, life was a little crazy. I'll write everyone back over my equally nuts weekend. Welcome back, kids!

Posted by Heather at 11:59 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

RAOK

Today I was accepted into the RAOK ring and the timing couldn't be more appropriate. The last month or so, I have really been upset about how we treat each other on this planet. Innocent people being killed in the bombings in London, children dying from AIDS in Africa, homes being demolished in Zimbabwe on a dictator's whim. And it isn't just these huge events that make CNN. It is the dealings with people in our everyday lives that are just as bad, although not on such a huge scale. People being rude, judgmental and well...just not nice to each other. It is sad, really. It seems the norm these days for people to be less than friendly as opposed to kind. Does the kindness of a stranger stand out more these days because it is such a rarity? What happened to accepting people for their differences instead of being judgmental because they don't agree with your opinions?

Today I was in a long line at my kid's (Ugh, I can't believe they will both be in high school this year. Weren't they just going to their first day of kindergarten?) school waiting to pick up their books and locker assignments. Since it was my second year of this, I knew to bring water and a book because I'd be in line awhile. Once you get to a certain point, they give you a list of what you will be paying for that day. Me? $76 for "activity fees", dance uniform and lockers. I knew to bring my checkbook, the lady behind me (a newbie mom to the high school disorganization)didn't. No credit cards, just check or cash. I overheard her talking to her daughter saying she had cash, but was $1 short. Would the school let her pay it later (ha! Fat chance. She would have to wait in line the next day.)? So, I offered her a dollar. I swear, I thought she would hug me. She was able to pay the fees and not have to take another morning off work.

I'm not telling you this so you think I'm wonderful (of course I am, duh! :). I'm saying this because my giving a stranger 1 stupid dollar made the difference in her day. Come to find out that our daughters will be in the same band class this year. She offered to pay me back and I refused. I just told her to pass it along.

And you know what? It didn't only make her happy, it made me happy to know I made someone happy. What a wonderful world this could be if we all could be part of an RAOK ring and spread a little kindness, understanding and love randomly. Just imagine.

Posted by Heather at 12:42 PM 5 comments

Monday, July 18, 2005

Never saw it coming

Wow. Simply wow. Finished Harry Potter last night and sat there stunned. Never saw the twist coming. I cried through the entire ending.

J.K. you are brilliant. Is Number 7 due out soon?

3 days until the kids come home. Have I mentioned how much I miss them?

Posted by Heather at 9:11 AM 1 comments

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Lazy summer day

So, what do you do when you look outside and see this?

too hot


Yes, that says 119.

Well, you refuse to leave the house and lie around all day, as Tigger is doing.

Tigger


Or you can read.

Harry


By far the best book in the series. Darker, more mature and answers so many questions. I love it so far. Opening the front door is like opening the door to my oven. So, we haven't left the house since yesterday morning.

Oh yea, and knit on the FBS until you screw it up again and rip out yet another row.

Is summer over yet?

Posted by Heather at 6:17 PM 1 comments

Friday, July 15, 2005

Havin' Fun!

Last night, the hubby and I ventured over to Rula Bula, an Irish Pub and Restaurant in Tempe. We were going to see our favorite local musicians Walt Richardson, Hannes Kvaran and Tim Sadow. We had such an excellent evening! The food was amazing and Walt and the guys really put on a great show. Their music is an eclectic mix of folk, rock and reggae. We try to see them as much as we can, which is never enough. Mmm...the food! Brian had the best Shepherd's Pie I've ever tasted and I had the very best Corned Beef & Cabbage ever (that is doubling as today's lunch). Drinks were a little weak, but Brian loved his Guinness. We rolled in around 1am and I am dragging today.

Tomorrow morning I'll be franticly cleaning the house, stalking the UPS guy while awaiting arrival of the new Harry Potter book. From there on my butt will be glued to the couch. Considering it will be 114 here most of the weekend, I'm not leaving the house.

Posted by Heather at 12:34 PM 1 comments

Thursday, July 14, 2005

More

I just found a new sock yarn company, Simply Socks Yarn Company and I love it! I placed my order late Friday afternoon and I got my order yesterday. Now that is fast! For some strange reason, we have a really crappy selection of sock yarn available to us here in the desert. Not only do they have a great selection, but Allison is really sweet and a joy to work with! I know I'll be ordering from there again and again and..well...you get it.

While I'm blabbering on about my latest yarn purchase (there goes yet another diet!), I really need to say thank you to someone else out there.

Brian

Taken at orpahanage in Agua Prieta, Mexico.

I truly have the kindest, sweetest and most patient husband in the entire world. When I opened yet another box of yarn I said I wasn't going to order, he just smiled and didn't say a word. He didn't mention the 4 Rubbermaid tubs full of yarn that take up all the storage space in our shared bedroom closet. He didn't mention the 20+ projects I already have planned. He didn't mention all the money I must spend on yarn. Brian is my biggest supporter in anything I want to do, try, think I want to do. And he is my best friend. 5 years ago this month we took that scary step from being "just friends" to a life filled with more happiness than my sad life had ever known. Happy Anniversary babe...I love you more every day. Even though you steal the covers and hog the bed. Oh, and snore :)

Posted by Heather at 11:22 AM 5 comments

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

You like me! You really like me!

Ok, I'm not referring to everyone out there. I'm talking about my Flower Basket Shawl. It doesn't hate me anymore! Last night at SnB, I ripped out the offending 2 rows and shoved it in my bag. Then, I came home and wrote out the 10-row repeat section on individual index cards. After giving myself a migraine, I then figured out the stitch count for each row (because I'm a perfectionist freak). In case you are wondering, each row increases 4 stitches. And I came up with my own errata. In row 29 for the first set of repeats you are supposed to increase the bracket portion 6 times. Uh, no. Try 7 or you can't finish the row. Believe me, I tried. I was up until 1am surfing the net trying to figure out where I went wrong. There is a mistake on my pattern. But, after I wrote everything up and did all the math, I was so loving knitting her. I can now understand the lace thing. Some pictures...

FBS


This color is very accurate here, imagine that. I so love it!

FBS


A close-up of the little baskets, upside down of course. Cute, huh?

Kindly excuse the sucky, outdoor pictures in the blazing sun. The cats were so up my ass when I was trying to take pictures that I had to break free. And while we are on the subject, what the heck is up with these guys? Ever since we came home from Pinetop, they act like we left then with no food and a dirty litterbox for a freaking month. Wherever we are in the house, all 4 of them MUST be with us. And you moms out there. Remember the days of your toddler beating on the bathroom door, not letting you have 5 minutes of peace to pee? These guys scratch on the bathroom door until you let them in and then proceed to jump in your lap. I mean, are you freaking kidding me here? I think the kids taught them all the ways to drive us nuts before they left.

1 week and 1 day until my babies are home...I can't even go in their rooms anymore. They smell like them and it makes me cry.

kids

Posted by Heather at 8:01 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I love my Secret Pal!

presents!


Secret Pal, you made my day! Lookie at all the goodies I came home to! Wonderful smelling bath bubbles, cute note paper, handmade soap (which is SO yummy smelling and filled with such good ingredients that I know it will help my lizard skin), 2 balls of Fixation yarn and a pattern for the yarn appropriately called Heatwave Socks. I've been wanting to try this yarn for a long time but could never find it in any of my LYS.

Thank you so much, Secret Pal!

Posted by Heather at 5:50 PM 1 comments

Monday, July 11, 2005

I'm still here...

Whoa, have I been a slacker. Haven't felt like doing much since coming back from Pinetop, and that included blogging. So I didn't. Ha! Pinetop was ok. The weather was gorgeous, I read 2 books, worked on projects and listened to my in-laws medical problems. What the heck is it with older people (no set age, old is in your mind) and the need to tell you every freaking medical thing going on with them complete with a slide show? Ugh. I was so ready to come home!

Yesterday I camped out in front of CNN watching the hurricane coverage. My entire family lives in Florida and the kidlets are still there. It was rather nerve-wracking waiting to see where Dennis was going to go. Last year, my parents' house got hit hard by Charlie.

Dad's House


11 months later, their house STILL isn't completely repaired. I know some of the people where Dennis hit were still trying to clean up and repair from Ivan. I am SO glad I don't live there anymore.

So, while I watched Anderson Cooper dodging flying Ramada signs, I finished projects. Clapotis number 2, made out of SouthWest Trading Companies Oasis in the Canyon colorway.

outside

inside


Unfortunately, the colors don't show well in the pictures. I love her! The yarn is soft and light, just how I wanted.

And look who is grazing in my backyard!

sheepie


Is that the cutest thing ever, or what? I am so in love with my little sheep. The cream (Despite what the freaking Fiber Factory told me. Should have made a damn swatch) didn't felt as well as I would have liked, but I'm still happy with the way it turned out. When I use up some of the stash, I'm going to buy some better light yarn to make a flock!

Still on the needles/hooks:

1 - baby blanket
2 - Flower Basket Shawl that hates me
3 - Karaoke afghan test for SWTC
4 - Nantasket Basket

Still in the stash? Way to embarassing to admit. Oh, and that bag of Cotton Ease in the corner and new sock yarn coming in the mail? Ummm...Christmas gifts! Yea, that's it!

Posted by Heather at 9:31 AM 3 comments

Friday, July 01, 2005

Friday fun!

While sitting here counting the minutes until I get to head to Pinetop (where the high tomorrow will be 26 FREAKING DEGREES COLDER than it will be in hell Chandler), I came upon the funniest blog ever - Crazy Aunt Purl. If you have multiple cats, you must read her April 5th entry. I nearly snorted Pepsi out my nose.

1 hour, 37 minutes to go...

Have I mentioned I'm bringing roughly 125 balls of Karaoke to make a blanket for SWTC? Ha!! Jealous, aren't you? Of course, I can only work on said blanket in a place where it won't be 112 this weekend.

Posted by Heather at 2:25 PM 4 comments