Thursday, June 29, 2006

SP8 part 2

The next wonderful surprise was a cute Queen for a Day box. . .

It was full of stitch markers - I've seen these at the LYS's but never bought any. Receiving them as a gift is really wonderful. I can't wait to start using them! I feel so spoiled! Aren't they pretty?

Then the note cards are just adorable. I love blank note cards.

Secret Pal, you definitely have your fingers on my pulse. Thank you so much. The goodies are just great.

Secret Pal!


Just when I started losing a little faith in swaps I got a double dose of good feelings today!

The secret pal I've been sending things to finally blogged about them and SHE LIKES THEM!

I've done two other swaps - candy swap and foodies. I'm still waiting on receiving the foodies one and that was a May swap and my recipient gave me zero feedback - I just hope she liked the stuff. The candy swap was nice to receive, but I got very little feedback from my recipient. That's half the fun of giving - seeing how much your recipient likes the stuff.

Which brings me to my secret pal!

Oh, joy! Thank you so much! Things have been tough and this was just so nice to get.

I've never worked with hand dyed yarn and have been toying with the idea of playing with Kool-Aid dying. My SP8 truly did spoil me - look at this luscious hank:

I'm thinking some type of lacy shrug. Thank you! It's beautiful! Then there's the fun Fairy. You can change her clothes. M immediately dressed her. She had to have the crown and the necklace on.

Then there's this truly cute bag and the colors match the hand-dyed yarn. Again, M declared this was her purse. I told her to think again.

More photo's to come in the next post.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I need to knit a purse for my daughter's teacher. So I'm currently re-knitting the Noni Medium Carpet Bag in the Knit Picks Cherry and Tulip colors. It's going fairly quickly. I'm almost done with the body of the bag, and I started it on Monday.

I ran out of yarn for the wrap skirt, so I had to order some more. It just came in so I'll be getting back to that after I finish the bag. I think the paillettes are knitted to thickly, but I'll reserve judgement until after I've blocked this.

I also am working steadily on the Brioche Bodice. Since the stitch isn't very forgiving, I have to be careful while knitting this so it's going fairly slow. You can't drop even one stitch on this. I have about 6 inches knitted for the back. I am finding that I really like kitting with the Knit Picks Shine Worsted, which is a cotton/Modal blend. The drape is just lovely and I love the Green Apple color.

More Kid Stuff

M was filthy this morning because I forgot to give her a bath last night, so I had to put her in the shower this morning.

"Okay, YOU are getting a shower this morning," I said.

M throws herself to the ground and enters into instant whine mode, "But I don't LIKE showers, ma ma!" Imagine this with her kicking the ground and said with a very bratty tone.

Of course, this sets me off, instantly. I absolutely hate it when she enters brat zone.

"Do you really think that throwing a tantrum will change my mind?"

"No," the whine softens a bit and the feet stop kicking, "but I don't want to have a shower, I want a bath."

"You had a choice yesterday - bath tonight or shower in the morning - you chose shower. Now get your clothes off and get in that shower."

Then she fake cries while she heads towards the shower. As soon as she's in the water, the whole act stops. I soap her down and get her washed.

"Okay, you're done. Here's your towel."

"I want to stay in. The water tickles and feels good!"

Mom's head slumps down, defeated. We do this dance *every* time she has to take a shower.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Kid Speak

One of the things I've found to be fun is to watch how M's vocabulary develops. I love it when she gets creative with her descriptions if she doesn't know the word.

For instance, once while baking some cinnamon rolls for breakfast, the timer went off. M jumped up and excitedly said, "Mom, it's the come get me!"

I still smile when I think of that.

This morning she did it again.

We let our dog out from the upstairs sliding glass door because that's the only door with direct access to the back yard from the house. Since M is getting older, we ask her to let Mel out in the mornings. Sometimes M wants an adult to wait at the bottom of the stairs. This morning was such a morning. While waiting on M, she let Mel out and started walking back telling me just how good of a dog Mel was. I asked her why was he particularly good this morning and she answered, "Because he didn't goalie me today."

Goalie her? What the heck does that mean? So I asked her.

"He didn't GOALIE me, Mom," she says impatiently like I should know what the heck she means. Then she moves back and fourth on one of the stairs - you know, like a soccer goalie does.

I smile.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I just joined up with Curves last night. I was impressed at how quick the workout goes. I really hope that I continue to go.


I love my local libraries. I go to my local one, but it's small and the selection is so-so. We pay to access another local library and I'm really glad we go there, too.

But like Netflix, it requires patience. I love reading books. I now have to wait.

But the thing I like about using the library is that I can really experiment with the types of books I read. If the book is a turkey, I don't have any guilt checking it back in.

I also love how my libraries have Internet access. I can check on-line to see if they have the book. I just got the Mason-Dixon knitting book - and I've been eyeing buying it for the past couple of weeks. I also was eyeing a Felting book - the library had it and I checked it out. I ended up not liking it at all.

Anyway. I love my local library. I also found out that the local Machine Knitter's Guild gives money to the library to help purchase knitting books - which is great because they have all the latest books.

My other library started an RSS feed that shows me all the newly acquired books and DVD's. It's great as I think other folks haven't figured it out yet. Now if I can only get the other library to do the same. . .

Yes, I'm a nerd.

Friday, June 16, 2006


I didn't realize how competitive I've become with my husband's daily puzzle games. I am beta testing his stand-alone games, so I can play them anytime. But I find there's a draw to see how well I do against other people playing the same board. It's weird.

I also love his new RSS feed to show the standings with the High Score Table. It's very handy as it has all the scores on one feed and I can quickly scan to see how I did.

Again, I encourage anyone who's reading this to go and play his games.

They're a lot of fun and they're quick.


I dyed my hair earlier this week:

It's the reddest I've been ever! I'm freaking out about it a little, but I am getting compliments so it can't be all that bad!


Here's a photo of the test swatch for the wrap skirt.

I initially did it in green, but found that the paillettes (pronounced pal-ays) didn't really go that well with the green. J had a great idea, knit the skirt in the blue - and it looks pretty good because the pailletes I bought have a sheen of blue in them (Mermaid Green) and it just looks better. It's a little hard to tell from this photo because I don't have a lot of the blue knitted.

I also think three ruffles would look better on the bottom. Just the one doesn't evoke "fish tail" like I want it to. The top will be finished off with an i-cord trim so it'll go into an i-cord tie. And this is a wrap skirt.

I do like the six stitch seed stitch pattern on the sides. It will keep the fabric from wanting to curl.

So, I now need to buy some more of the blue yarn as I only have one ball. Gads, this is getting complicated.

Embarrasing Confession

I have a confession to make. I love watching chick films. I also don't limit them to older chick films. I also love those sappy teenage movies, too.

But the thing is, when I watch them, I end up rolling my eyes and looking around for my husband to make sure he's not seeing what I'm watching.

Some of my favorites - these are the ones that when they're on cable, I'll still watch them.

Pretty Woman
Grace of My Heart
Ever After - A Cinderella Story
Terms of Endearment
The Wedding Date (which is essentially the male version of Pretty Woman but I have a thing for Dermott Mulroney and he is absolutely HOT in this movie)

Then there's the crap. I can't help myself. I am always drawn to them.

Ice Princess
The Princess Diaries (and the sequel)
Mean Girls

I usually can only watch those types of movies once or twice. I just can't help myself. I want to watch them but honestly don't know why.

Then there's the phenomenon where I'll latch onto wanting to watch movies done by certain actors.

Julia Roberts (I can't help it, but I think I've seen everything she's done)
Sandra Bullock (She's sort of the discount Julia)
John Cusack

This atrocious taste extends into my television viewing, too, but that will have to be another post.

Oh, and this is done mostly secretly. J teases me about it as I don't tell a lot of folks about this because I'm just too embarrassed to let them know.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More Nerdy Stuff and Theological Musings

J, who's office is the same as my office and is located right behind me, asked me to look at his monitor. He had this up:

It's the Andromeda Galaxy and shows literally a trillion stars. And the Hubble telescope took this photo.

How. Cool. Is. That.

Stuff like this really tweaks my sense of being insignificant. I used to really freak myself out when I was a kid thinking about just how small I was in the great universe. It can still freak me out if I let it.

But that brings me to some of the questions I get when I'm talking to a theist. Mainly the questions regarding how I can't accept the awesome power of god.

Well, the photo we (the human race) took is awesome. It beats walking on water any day. Jesus cured leprosy, we essentially eradicated it.

I have always maintained the human race is far kinder than any god. I know as a race we can be pretty barbaric, but we've also civilized our lives, too.

I tore my anterior cruciate when I was in college. I had surgery and am now able to walk with no problems. It is not lost on me that if I had done the same thing 100 years earlier that I'd be a life long gimp.

Man is good.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sketching & Swatching

Here's my vision of the swimsuit:

Here's my vision of the wrap when it's tied around the waist:The white lines depict where beads/pailletes will go. The scales will be done in this color bead (Transparent Green):

These will outline the scallops on the purple shell.

The wrap will have Mermaid Green pailletes knitted into it.

I'm currently working on a test swatch to see how it will look. As soon as I have it done, I'll take a photo and post it.

Creative side

Debbie Stoller, of Stitch n Bitch fame, announced that she's accepting new submissions for her next book - this time she's focusing in on beads, cables, and lace.

J gave me a good idea - try to knit a mermaid swimsuit for M.

My inspiration is Ariel from Disney's Little Mermaid:

I bought some cotton/elastic yarn from

Fresh Pesto (5605) for the suit and the wrap;

Aegean Sea (2194) for the flipper/ruffle and African Violet (6287) for the shells.

Then I've been playing with the bead effects. Here's a small chart for the scale effect that will be knitted into the body of the suit with beads.

Here's my first attempt at knitting the beaded pattern:

I initially tried to knit with 8/0 seed beads. I was able to get the beads on the loop, but it hurt my hand. The sample above was done with 6mm round beads (which is about a 3/0 bead). I think they're too large so I ordered some 5/0 beads from the Earth Faire web site. Transparent Green AB 5/0 round and the Noir Lined Crystal AB 5/0 round.

For some reason, Blogger won't let me upload more photo's. I'll have to do it in another post.

Flying Spaghetti Monster

I bought a Chrysanthemum knitting pattern because I thought it sort of looked like the FSM.

Here's my first foray into making FSM's.

It's not done. I have to knit the brown meat balls and order a pair of Oobi eyes.


I just wanted to post and brag about my husband's games. He's a computer game programmer and just went live with some of his daily puzzles.

If you are just browsing my blog, please check out his site.

He currently has six games up:

Confuse Box
Baffle Bees
Pop Pies (I named this game!)
Chess Cards
Shi Sen

I play four of the six games on a daily basis. I just can't get the zen of Chess Cards or Baffle Bees. The others are fairly quick games. The idea behind having daily puzzles is to be able to sell the stand alone games. J's also hired a professional musician to do the music and I have to say it's really great. In the past he'd hire students, but the new music is really good.

The future games include Bulldozer - which is also a puzzle game. He's had Bulldozer for years as it was originally included in a game pack that was sold through Expert Software. Expert was bought out by Activision. He upgraded the game and they were sold through Cosmi. Now all our contracts have expired and J can market the game himself. It's actually rather nice. Folks who played the game would search out The Code Zone and email J to see if he had any more levels.
And he still gets email to this day. The idea is to make more levels and sell it on-line, too.

He's worked so hard on these and I'm really proud of him.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Japanese Name

Your Japanese Name Is...
Rinako Aburakoji


Grandma died on Thursday morning. My sister was able to be with her all Wednesday when she went through her decline. I'm really glad she wasn't alone. Her stomach began to seriously cramp and the medicine the nurses gave her initially made her very sick. S was able to be with her the whole time and hold her hand until she essentially fell asleep and wouldn't wake up. It's been a tough month on the whole family and we're all glad she finally died - mainly because living in a home was her worse nightmare. She was happy there as she had a great room mate and the nurses were just wonderful to her. The food was also what she liked to eat - heavy on the veggies.

The funeral is tomorrow and my mother has asked me to speak. I'll talk about what made her special to me and share some of my favorite times with her.

One of my favorite times was when she and Grandpa lived in Midland. Their home was neat as they had some acreage and would garden a lot. The back yard had a huge peach tree with a metal table and chairs under it. My sister and I would spend hours pretending to be a restaurant - complete with menus and waitresses. I don't know how many glasses of water my grandparents drank, but it was quite a lot and the two of them would let us play restaurant until the sun would go down.

Then we once got some Barbie dolls and they didn't have any clothes. So we went to the local Thrift store to see if they had any doll clothes. They didn't. But Grandma wasn't going to disappoint her grand daughters. We bought some junk jewelry and some old socks. It's amazing how she was able to whip up elegant evening dresses made out of those socks. "We always made our own toys," is something she said that I will never forget.

I will never forget how everyone would buy her a new deck of cards, but she'd still play solitaire with the same cards - bent and covered with crud. I loved seeing those cards whenever I went to visit her.

And the food you'd get when you came to visit - my goodness! I've always been on the heavy side and I know Grandma really worried about that and get on to me to lose the weight. But whenever I came to see Grandma, she would always prepare enough food to feed an army. Not only that, she'd always make sure she'd have the grand children's favorite food on hand: Chicken Fried Steak for S, Peaches from the garden for K, and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream for me.

Finally, I will always be indebted to her commitment to education. I know my mother's college education literally changed my life and I also know her sacrifice to make it happen. She scrimped and saved and made sure the twins were able to go to college. That dedication influenced future generations to come.

Thank you, Grandma. I love you and will miss you terribly.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Grandma's a tough old bird

I'm back in Granbury to see my Grandmother, and she's weakening, but still here amoung the living. J took M to GOAM's daughter's third birthday party today (Thanks, J). I hate missing it, but I feel that I need to try spend what little time I have left with my grandmother. If I learned anything from when my grandfather was in the hospital, it's dead is dead. I won't be able to see her anymore after she dies.

Anyway, on to knitting!

I finished all four of the bags for the teachers! Yay! I was not there for the presentation of the bags to the teachers, J was. According to J, they were the hit of the day. The mom's were looking at them and saying which purse they would want and in what color. One of the teachers has requested a purse with longer handles. I'll take the one I made for her and send it to my Secret Pal. I plan on making a few for the school auction. Hopefully they'll be well received.

I started another blog: The idea is for others to post their finished bags, too. I just love how these bags knit up.

Debbie Stoller of Stitch n Bitch fame has sent out the call for submissions for her new book. Specifically she wants stuff geared towards beads, cables, and lace. I have an idea to try to design a mermaid skirt with a bikini top. Initially, I thought about adapting the pattern that I saw on the Knitty site for the Pomatomus socks as another person adapted that pattern for fingerless gloves. She calls them Mermaid gloves and they look awesome.

But I feel that stitch is a little above my skill level. Then I came across the Noni Fish Scale purse. It's a hidden gem that I totally overlooked as it's on the b-side of one the purse patterns:

Do the skirt with in a green stockinette stitch with green paillettes and a couple of layers of ruffles on the bottom for the "flippers". Then the top could be a bikini with star fish or shells - beaded instead of made with the paillettes.

On the needles right now: The Brioche Bodice from this month's Interweave Knits. I have really enjoyed wearing shells with shirts and I think this would look great in the Knit Picks Shine Worsted Green Apple. It took me a bit to wrap my head around knitting the stitch - mainly because the instructions didn't say yarn over but yarn to the front. A quick goole search yeilded a good look at what the Brioche stitch is - and it's really very easy. I had to go down on my needle size - which is a first for me. I usually hit gage when I go up two sizes. I actually had to go down a size to meet gage on this one.