Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Blogiversary to ME!

Did anyone think I fell off the planet?

Didja? Huh? Aw, come on, you know you did.

I bought a house and then I fell into the deep abyss.

Yup. That's exactly what happened.

I bought a house, turned 30 and fell into a deep cavern.

That too.

Since we last spoke, I bought a house, moved all my earthly belongings, got a pap smear, oil change, 2 pedicures, turned 30, moved into a new office...twice (with the same job), went to a few happy hours, painted primed a few two rooms, got a haircut, spent many weekends and weeknights at home depot, planned and hosted two housewarming parties, worked 12 hour days, said goodbye to 4 coworkers, hired a new team, developed a strategic plan for 2007, force fed my poor, sick CRF kitty, fought and made up with my dear, sweet husband and still had time to knit.

Ok, I lied about that last part.

For all you photo hounds, here is the wonderful package I received from my secret Knit Sock Kit Swap Pal, Sarah, from knot another hat.

In addition to the beautiful bag she sewed (tiny happy's shoulder bag), she included some Socks that Rock in County Clare (y'all know how long I've been after the STR!), a ball of Lana Grossa Fantasy, THREE sets of addis for magic loopin', some sour candies (already ate the jelly belly's!)...and not pictured is the 2007 Stitch & Bitch calendar! Thanks so much Sarah!

I'm really late shipping mine out to my KSKS pal, but she's on vacation...oh, wait, she's back now SHIT...It's done, no need to panic! You'll see pics once it's shipped and received!

I am slowly knitting away at my one-skein project...which I will reveal AFTER it's shipped.

As for the blogiversary...well. It's been ONE YEAR since I've been a peony. Almost one year since you've seen the Circular Shrug. It's time to knit another a better yarn (the original cost me $4 to make!)

My promises for this upcoming blog year: I will post more than 79 times. I will hang out with the Spiders more. I will not leave you hanging for months at a time wondering if I fell into some deep, dark hole somewhere...

I promise.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We're Homeowners!

In case anyone was wondering where I've been, today we closed on our first house! We're going to be broke until 2036!!!! Tomorrow, we start the repairs...nothing major, mostly indoor cosmetic stuff...but all I have to say is THANK GOODNESS FOR CENTRAL AIR! It's HOT!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

OMG, IT's DONE!!!!!

Finally, the Grumpecue is complete! Doesn't little Ben look so happy on it?FO: Grumperina's Grumpecue
Yarn: 12(!) balls Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere
Needles: Susan Bates US 6 circs
Date started: Way too long ago...about 2/15/06
Date completed: 7/1/06
Date given to the baby: 7/1/06
Date baby was born: 5/20/06
Dates of baby showers (attended both): 3/26/06 and 4/4/06

More pictures to come!!!

I guess you can see that I'm SO happy this is done, HALLELUIA!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye!

These were sent off to the UK on Thursday to one lucky buyer! I'm so excited :) The etsy shop is empty now, until I get some new base yarn...

Until then, I keep myself busy with all the WIPs that never seem to make any progress, and tryin to think about what to make for the One Skein Secret Pal swap, and the Knit Sock Kit Swap. No photos yet, sorry...

But last weekend Karen, Evie and I (knitters from work) did get to meet Debbie Bliss over brunch at SNS! I was running late, so I forgot my camera, but Monica captured the event wonderfully! Debbie talked about her experience as a machine knitter, and how she learned how to hand knit, design patterns, and how she chooses her colors (based on what's happening in fashion in Milan!) The most exciting part was that we all got to try on the sample sweaters that were modeled in her books. Here I am in a cute cardi from an unreleased book that comes out in September...I can't wait to get it so I can make this!!!

I also got an autographed copy of her new book, Pure Silk, and hope that Furry will buy me the yarn for the cap sleeve top for my BIG birthday next month. (Furry, in case you're reading this: I need 7 skeins of the pure silk yarn in either turquoise or magenta!!)

Happy knitting on this rainy weekend!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Long Overdue Thank You Post

I've been so busy this week and haven't had a chance to post till tonight, but I wanted to say THANKS to a few lovely ladies for some great packages!

My Dye-O-Rama pal was Heather from Knittervention. This is a great package! In addition to the gorgeous Merlot Sky colorway she created with ProChem acid dyes, she included some of my favorite goodies, sour Skittles and raspberry sour Altoids, and a cute pencil case for storing DPNs. (Heather, did you know that my needle collection is stored in a really messy bag?!) Thanks so much Heather!

Gorgeous "Merlot Sky" colorway - purples, royal blue and a grey/blue

Contents of my D-O-R Package in all it's colorful and yummy glory!

I received my June package this week from my One Skein Secret Pal! In it was a skein of Wool in the Woods Swan in "Lottery". This is very different than the yarns I'm used to buying for myself. It's 82% rayon, 18% cotton, and really light and summery! Thanks secret One Skein Secret Pal!!!

Yummy Yarn in blues and greens!

Last, and certainly NOT least, is a little giftie I received from a lovely lady Rita (blogless, I think) who made my capelet pattern. She sent me some yummy chocolates from Harbor Sweets. Check out their website - everything is so beachy and summery! Thanks so much Rita!

Gifties 006

Gifties 007

Seashell-shaped Dark Chocolates! Yum!

I really need to get the capelet gallery up and running now! Send me your capelet photos!

Now for a new swap: I joined the Knit Sock Kit Swap! Can't wait :)

KSKS Meme...

For my Knit Sock Bag Swap Pal...the questionnaire:

What are your favorite colors?
Pinks or Blues with greens

Are you a new sock knitter? How long have you been knitting socks?
I wouldn't call myself a new sock knitter, but I've only been knitting socks for about a year.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?

What fibers do you prefer in sock yarn?
Merino Wool. Superwash. Definitely.

Where do you usually knit socks?
At home. In the car. On vacation. In a box. With a fox...

How do you usually carry/store small projects?
In my Sock Bag that Trek made! (Check out her blog for her ingenious bag ideas!)

What are your favorite sock knitting patterns?
Jaywalker, Pomatomus

What are your favorite sock knitting techniques?
I like all techniques I have learned...they all make me go "wow, that's how you do that"!

What new techniques would you like to try?
Short row toes, german heel, picot edging that won't fall down

Do you prefer circulars or dpns for sock knitting?
Magic Loop on circs. But I also have WIPs on DPNs.

What are some of your favorite yarns?
Sundara, Brooklyn Handpun, Vesper, Scout's Knitted Swag, Koigu, my own handdyed!

What yarn do you totally covet?
Still covet the Socks that Rock and now Yarntini!

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
Anything Alice Starmore. For the challenge!

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
AddiTurbo circs for socks.

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
Malabrigo. Soft and buttery smooth merino.

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
Sour anything!

What’s your favorite animal?
My cats :)

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages?
2 cats: Buster (9), Niblet (6)

If you were a color what color would you be?
Azalea/Peony pink

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s)..
anything flowery and stripey!

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read.
"All of us get lost in the darkness dreamers learn to steer by the stars"

Do you have a wishlist?
Yes, but there isn't much on it.

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?
Happy sock knitting, bag making and pattern developing!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Two Years Ago Today

I married my best friend. Happy Anniversary Furry!

We spent a long Anniversary weekend in Spring Lake at a B&B. It was really relaxing, although weatherwise, it wasn't really a beach weekend.

Here is furry in the whirlpool tub looking for a place to have dinner (don't worry, there's no water in it!)

The B&B was so cute, the room came equipped with a lounging teddy bear. When you squeeze his left ear he growls!
Us at dinner at the Avon Pavillion. If you look closely, you can see the moon rising between us.
The moon rose steadily over the Atlantic. It was so beautiful (and hard to photograph!)
Our view from our oceanfront table at dinner. I was trying my hand at "time lapse photography" to get the moon, but I loved the view down the Avon pier.

Today we went to Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant...Anyone from NJ will know...what a blast from our teenage lives this was! We played mini golf and had beer at Martell's, and some yummy ice cream!

What a fun anniversary trip :)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Self Striping Wars

I think I'm in love with Star Wars. I don't know why, but after seeing Episode III, this weekend, Furry put on the original film (I refuse to call it Episode IV: A New Hope, I prefer "Guerra de las estrellas"). It ALL made sense for the FIRST TIME! Does anyone feel this way? I was only one year old when it came out, so I wasn't gung ho as a child, but now all the Empire vs Republic stuff makes sense!

I even bought the Cantina Band song on iTunes! It's so catchy...

Onto knitting content (ok, dyeing content!). I sent off my Dye-o-rama package yesterday! I hope she likes it!!!

Over the rainy weekend I tried my hand at self striping techniques. I don't have any pictures of the dining-room-chair method in action, as I think you've all seen that before.

But, I DO have pics of the colorway. This one is inspired by a purple, pink and green striped shirt I saw at a boutique in town.

Stripe-ed goodness! I'm so excited! My first striper! I used a mix of icing dyes and Fruity Punch koolaid (forest green: green icing dye, one packet lemonade kool aid, pinch of fruity punch kool aid, purple: blue icing dye and fruity punch koolaid, pink: 2 packets pink lemonade kool aid and a pinch of fruity punch koolaid) . This time I used the immersion technique rather than hand-painting. The superwash yarn literally sucked up the color so fast I had to make 2 dye batches for each color! I do see a strange little bit of stray green dye... that didn't mix properly, but I think I'm gonna keep this one.

Koolaid 101
A Closeup
Koolaid 109
A mini swatch on size 3s...just to test the striping. Obviously, on size 1s with the amount of st needed for a pair of socks, the stripes won't be as thick!

Oh, and there is another addition over at the etsy shop. One you will find strangely familiar...

FYI - I am knitting. I am working on Fad Classic, finishing the Pomatomus, the wrath-of-my-existence-Grumpecue and finished another Anthropologie Capelet this weekend. FO pics once I weave in ends.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Out on a Limb...

Thank you all for your votes in the poll! Sherbet was the clear winner, but I went out on my own for this one...I'm such a rebel!

My dye-o-rama pal wasn't very specific with her color requests, but I wanted to seem more advanced than a kool aid dyer, although the kool aid was really easy to work with! I had some icing dyes from my Williams Sonoma Cookie Decorating Kit I bought last Christmas (or 2 years ago...actually, maybe three!) It came with blue, yellow, red and green. I mixed the blue and green together, the yellow and green together and used straight blue and straight green and hand painted (with a squirt bottle) each quadrant. Here it is on the swift:

Koolaid 080

And here it is all skeined up:
Koolaid 082

And a macro:
Koolaid 090

Oh, and a Buster...lounging in the window...
Koolaid 071

I hope my pal likes it! It's off to her this weekend, once I get all the acoutrements!

I hope to have some knitting time this weekend...I haven't picked up the needles in a long time now!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Check Me Out!!!

I am loving dyeing yarn...and my apartment can't support all the prettiness, so I set up an etsy shop!

Check it out :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

So which one???

I'm probably going to experiment more...but, which one of these three would you like as your Dye-O-Rama swap yarn? (click for bigger)1. Tums 100% merino, 2. Sherbet 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon, 3. Watermelon 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon
Take My Poll

Monday, May 22, 2006

Fruity Goodness!

The house is full of the smells of fake fruit and Eucalan tonight, as I type with colored fingers. Finally, I had time and all the necessary materials for dye-o-rama! I'm in the WTF group, so I decided that kool aid was about my speed. Started yesterday, and I'm addicted! I'm nor sure anything I've done yet is worthy of my DOR pal...but, if you are reading this and like any of these colorways, please tell me!

Day 1, Sunday:
I ordered 2 skeins of 75% superwash merino/25% nylon from Beth at Socks That Fit. This yarn is a dream. It soaks up the dye so fast, the dye bath ran clean before microwaving! The red is two packets of fruit punch, and the green is arctic green apple. I call this one Watermelon. It's really the colors of the skin and fruit of a watermelon!

Buster watches patiently as the yarn swings from the rod...(heh, i said rod)

still wet, i couldn't wait to see it skeined up!

and a closeup!

twisted ala Purl Soho...


all dry and ready for the custom wrapper...

Day 2, Monday:
Today, I received a package from Marie with some "practice yarn" (AKA Knitpicks). I used lemonade, artic green apple and grape. The purple raaaaaaaannnnn....the yellow got overwhelmed by the marathon grape, but the green came out swimmingly. Compared to the superwash, this yarn don't stand a snowball's chance in hell at holding color! I call this one Tums. I think the colors stand for the candy flavored tablets I will need to chew after dyeing with Knitpicks!

Tum t-t-t- TUMS!!!

I had to go back to the superwash...couldn't end the night like here's one more: 4 packets of pink lemonade, 2 lemonade and 2 cherry. Aahh. Much better!

more swinging yarn!

Clockwise left to right: Watermelon, Rum from the Dominican Republic (Thanks Jess!), Tums, Sherbet.

More tomorrow! I didn't even get to tell you about my weekend, and that I met Monica at stix-n-stitches, where we had a bit of stash enhancement, started Fad Classic, Debbie had the baby and I'm still not done with Grumpecue!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

White Trash Party?

Has anyone ever had a white trash party?

Both Furry and I are turning 30 in the next 2 months (GASP!) and I had the bright idea to have a WT party once we're in and settled in the house.

Any feedback? Would you all come if you were invited?????

Monday, May 15, 2006

Who let the cat out of the bag?

Oh, nobody did, because he's still in there! Just like these cats.Update on Buster: he's getting on just fine - and likes to hide out in the Bloomie's bag. No comments about the messy floor please...I need a weekend at home to clean!

I never got to post this, since I've been away like every weekend, and busy at work. April 28, we went to New Hope, PA for a friend's bachelorette weekend. It's such a cute town, with lots of trendy shops, and even a kitchen supply store where I decided I needed to stock up for Dye-O-Rama!
Here are my dyeing utensils...I loved the mustard squeeze bottles! So kitchy...and only a dollar each. Now, to my DOR pal, I'm still waiting for my yarn to come in from Socks That Fit, then we'll get to dyeing!
In other bag-related news, I swapped some good ol' Brooklyn Handspun for this cute sock bag made by fellow NJ blogger Trek! She calls this fabric "Starry Night" here's the obvious connection with my dining room artwork ala Van Gogh. Stop by her blog to check out her custom fabrics and request one of your very own!
It even has this cute teddy bear applique (and dons my Knitters without Borders pin I bought when the Yarn Harlot came to town).

Not much in knitting news to report, but on the way down to a college roomie's wedding in Baltimore, I decided to use some of my newly acquired Brooks Farm Limited Edition 2 from MSW to make, yes, an Anthropologie Capelet. Even I'm not sick of them, folks. I just didn't get a chance to finish it. It would have matched my dress so perfectly...but I was 2 bind off rows away from completion...

Is anyone still knitting this? If so, I've decided to set up a reader gallery. Email me and I'll add your pic!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


For my dye-o-rama pal:

Specific to this swap:
Your favorite colors?
Pink, Green, and cools with cools, warms with warms

Preferred yarn weight (Fingering, Sport, DK, maybe even Worsted)?
For socks? Sport I think…

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?

If your buddy is able to do so, would you like a variegated, self-striping, or self-patterning yarn? Self striping is really fun. But I love variegated too!

Would you be interested in a wool blend sock yarn (nylon, tencel, silk, acrylic, alpaca, etc.)?

Imagine the perfect colorway. What would you name it?
Peonyknits. HAHA…I’m such a selfish brat.

What was the biggest appeal to you for joining this dye-along?
I collect hand-dyed yarn. And the challenge of learning a new skill.

General yarn/fiber questions:
Have you dyed yarn/fiber before?
Only once – at Marie’s. I learned from the best!

If so, what’s your favorite dye and method?
We hand painted. I’d like to learn immersion dyeing, and self striping.

Do you spin?

Have you knit socks before?

Do you use sock yarn for just socks or in other patterns too?
I haven’t used much of my sock stash yet. I’m not planning on strictly using it for socks though.

What are some of your favorite yarns?
Brooks Farm, Sundara, Vesper, Brooklyn Handspun, Sweet Georgia, Scout’s Swag.

What yarn do you totally covet?
Socks that Rock. (Sorry Yahaira). I’ve never been able to get my hands on any to see what all the buzz is about.

Favorite patterns?
Glampyre, Saunshine, Phildar

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
Lady Eleanor. I already own the yarn for it though.

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
Susan Bates circs. Although for socks, I’m a big fan of my Addi’s. Magic loop baby!

Nothing to do with knitting/yarn/fiber in any way but seemed kinda fun:
Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
Sour skittles, twizzlers.

What’s your favorite animal?
My kitties.

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages?
2 cats, currently. Buster, 9 years old. Very sick. Niblet, 6 years old. Healthy!

If you were a color what color would you be?

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).
My variegated pink, yellow and khaki Banana Republic diagonal striped button down. I wish it fit me.

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
Peony. Definitely.

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read.
“All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars.” – Rush (the band, NOT Limbaugh)

Do you have a wishlist?
Yes. Here.

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today?
I can’t wait to see all the hand dyed wonders!!!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Maryland Sheep and Wool

I'm sure you've heard quite a bit about the fun we all had at Maryland this weekend...and yet, here is another account. Carrie came in from NYC on Saturday, and we made it a spidery outing. My Furry was kind enough to drive us down from NJ. On the way, we picked up his sister in Delaware so she could join the fun! We got there a bit late for Cara's meetup, so we didn't get to meet our spiderly friend Sandra, or Mama-E, or Trek to name a few I was hoping to run into), but I did get to meet both my March (Amanda Cathleen) and April (Suzanne) Project Spectrum Postcard Pals!! How ironic is that?
Suzanne, Me and Amanda Cathleen on the lawn
And what's a Project Spectrum meetup without its creator, Lolly? Here we are in front of the Brooks Farm tent (where else would we be?) I really love Brooks Farm. Can you tell? I got a few skeins of the Limited Edition 2 (can't even find it on their website) Even a natural one to dye...but not for Dye-O-Rama. (It's not sock yarn...sorry DOR pal!)After the shopping, we had to eat! (Ok, we ate before too...I didn't want you to see me pig out on corn dog AND cheese fries!) Here's furry chowing on his favorite...FUNNEL CAKE!! Ain't he so cute?
Mmmmmm.....Funnel Cake... (Ala Homer Simpson)
Then, once we were fed and watered (again), we watched the animals eat...Llamas and Alpacas, but surprisingly, we didn't take any pics of the sheep. Maybe it should become the Maryland Alpaca and Llama Festival?

On the way back, we knitted, slept, and sang to 80s hair bands...Sorry, no photographic representation of said tomfoolery. But here we are displaying our haul!

Carrie and I at the end of a long day!

It was great meeting you all! To be on a yarn diet till Rheinbeck!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Appreciation for Knitbloggers!

I just wanted to thank everyone who commented or emailed in the past few days about my kitty Buster. He feels really loved right now by all of you. He's not doing well according to his blood levels (for anyone who has experienced feline CRF, his BUN is >180 and creatinine 13.5) but he's eating and is in good spirits. Thank you so much for all your well wishes!!! Knitters are so awesome! I can't wait to meet so many wonderful knitbloggers at MSW on Saturday!

Speaking of knitters being awesome...Scout and Suzanne are the two awesomest!

Scout just started selling her hand painted sock yarn here, so I wondered...could she custom dye me a self-striping colorway??? COULD SHE! Working together to find the right shades based on the combination of pink, yellow and green, Sweet Pea was born!

Here she is on the cute tissue paper (I think it sort of matches her website!)
and the yummy smelling insense she came packaged with!

Our heroine, ready for her closeup!

The colors came out perfectly! Thanks Scout! What she will become shall be revealed in due time! (yes, sweet pea is a she)

Today, after a long day at work, the vet and the dentist, I came home to this lovely postcard in my mailbox, from my April Project Spectrum Postcard Pal Suzanne! Yes, April is over, but we had a "special agreement" that late is ok (I just sent hers out yesterday...) Thanks Suzanne! It's so happy and springy, and I really needed the sunshine today!

Springy Orange and Yellow painted flowers! So pretty!

Lastly, (Lisa this is for you), I FINALLY received my Asparagus from Knitpicks for Eunny's Deep V Agyle Vest. Now that it's 80 degrees, do I want a 100% merino wool vest??? Well, it can be worn in the fall, right?

Knitpicks Merino Style in Asparagus and Petal

That's it for tonight! See you at the festival on Sat! Save me some STR!