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This is definitely going to

This is definitely going to be a long post (fair warning!)

Christmas Knitting: Done and Done!

Popsocks2

My second ever pair of socks are done!!!
Pattern: Thuja from Knitty
Yarn: Art Yarns Supermerino in #119
Needles: Size 6 Double Pointed

This pattern was great to make and quick to knit.  The first sock was slow going but the second took me three days! Just in time for my dad’s birthday/Christmas present.  I’m now a full flegged sock maker as I now have requests from my boyfriend and a bunch of his friends!

*********

Juliehat

A great pattern: Basic Cable Hat from Stitch N’ Bitch
Yarn: Koigu
Needles: Size 8

I definitely could have doubled the yarn for this but I like the way it came out just the same. 

These two gifts, plus my very first socks are all the Christmas knitting I’m doing this year.  I did have delusions of grandure that I would complete a shawl for my mom but that’s not going to happen.

I picked the Birch shawl from Rowan and to my delight it seems that it’s a very popular one out there in blogland.  I saw Felicia’s from Sweet Georgia’s, Ann’s from Mason Dixon and of course the Queen herself, the Yarn Harlot’s.  I have been having trouble getting past those first few rows without skipping a YO or a KTBL and yes I have considered pulling my hair out.  But after two botches it seems that one more time is the charm it seems.

I’m also thinking of doing the Flower Basket Shawl.  That was what I wanted to do originally but when I went to my LYS she didn’t have the pattern and then showed me Birch… now to my sheer joy I got the IK e-newsletter and lo and behold the Flower Basket Shawl pattern was attached for free!! Cara has done the Flower Basket Shawl and lucky for me has all these wonderful links for good research. So now I can choose, Birch or Flower Basket Shawl.  Any suggestions which one first?  Now, I have yet to get yarn for the Flower Basket so that would require me to go back to the LYS (twist my arm will ya?). 

Blogging has certainly made me a better knitter.  Since discovering "blogland" in August I have not been able to stay away!  There are SO many knitters out there that I admire that make me love knowing how to knit.  What’s even better is that they are so Open to sharing their skills and talents with newbie/intermediate knitters like me!

I’ve come a long knitty way since last January.  I had learned to knit that summer of ’04 and had finished my first FO’s – Christmas Stockings.  Since then I’ve gradually begun to challenge myself more as a knitter.  I kept telling myself, "no, no wait, you’re not there Juuuust yet."  But I think I can finally say I can tackle any type of knitting – I’m certainly not saying it will come out all pretty on the first try – but I won’t be frightened away by "super spicy" or "four skein" patterns.

With that in mind I do have some good knitting resolutions for 2006 (taking a page out of Sweet Georgia’s post):

  1. Lace!  Now that’s an easier res considering I have two patterns ready to do.  But now I have to follow through and DO them. 
  2. Learn better finishing techniques.  I feel that although I have my knit down, I certainly don’t have my finishing skills sharp.  What’s worse than knitting something with such care and then not really knowing how to put all the piece together??
  3. Crochet!! I used to crochet when I was younger all the time… I haven’t done anything in so long.  I need to find the right pattern and just get to it!
  4. Design something.  Now I’m thinking something muy facil and it would be for Moi.  But I have to at least try!
  5. Lastly, start my Jaywalkers!  Oh what’s that below… oh yes, I’ve aquired myself some Socks That Rock!! Jaywalker KAL here I come!!

                                             

Socksrock

All that’s left is to decide which color to begin with first…. hmmmmm.

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saturday = funday

i am so f’in happy it’s the weekend!

I had possibly the MOST stressful week of my life in both personal and work circles.  I said my prayers last night that this would be the last for a very very long time.

I did get some good knitting done as I am one sock away from finishing another wonderful Christmas present.  AND on top of it all I got some More Yarn to make a shawl for my mom.  The pattern that I am using is Birch from a past Rowan magazine.  I did a little blogland search and found that this is a very commonly made shawl and although the pattern "simple" the yarn (Rowan Silk Haze) can make it a bit tricky.

More pics to follow, promise!

Today I’m off to my parents house for a Christmas Dinner Part One.  It’s a couple night since my parents are hosting their close friends and their kids (plus their own significant others).  We have been close friends with this family for as long as I can remember.  Their two children and I were in 3 consecutive years at school and became close friends.  I split the two (a younger boy and older girl) age wise but we all treated each other as if we were the same.

We would go to the beach every summer with our mothers and shared many milestones together (3 confirmations, 3 High School graduations, 3 college graduations).  I’m even going to be the Maid of Honor of the girl this coming September.  It’s amazing to think how far we’ve come from the kiddie table in the kitchen.  Playing video games or with Barbie dolls while the "older folk" seemed to laugh about non-sense in the dining room.

Life goes on and soon we’ll be putting our own children at the kiddle table in the kitchen.  I shudder to think that, so for now I’ll just happily drink my wine laughing loudly with my parents and family friends about non-sense.

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dedication

even though i cannot stand their first single: don cha. there’s something about the pussycat doll’s next single – stickwitu (i also dislike the title, but oh well, the lyrics are what gets me)-  that goes with the drama I had to deal with this weekend…

Nobody’s going to love me better
I’m going to stick with you
Forever
Nobody’s going to take me higher
I’m going to stick with you
You know how to appreciate me
I’m going to stick with you
My baby
Nobody ever made me feel this way
I’m going to stick with you

I don’t want to go another
So I’m telling you exactly what is on my mind
See the way we ride
In our privated lives
Ain’t nobody getting in between
I want you to know that you’re the only one for me

So don’t you worry about
People hanging around
They ain’t bringing us down
I know you and you know me
And that’s all that counts
So don’t you worry about
People hanging around
They ain’t bringing us down
I know you and you know me
And that’s why I say

Nobody’s going to love me better
I’m going to stick with you
Forever
Nobody’s going to take me higher
I’m going to stick with you
You know how to appreciate me
I’m going to stick with you
My baby
Nobody ever made me feel this way
I’m going to stick with you

I completely agree with anyone who says that you have to make true love work.  Against anything that gets thrown at it.  I know how blessed I am having a good man.  But like life everything is so delicate.  And no matter how well you have things on the inside outside factors are always there.

Despite the drama, my weekend also had it’s very good moments.  I went to see the Dave Matthews Band with my friend from Boston at MSG.  It was an amazing concert. Dave brings me back to high school, thinking of all the times we would pretend we were all so much older, tailgating in the Giants Stadium parking lot, coolers and sandwiches.

The best part of going to see DMB, is Dave himself.  The man is a
wonderful performer and he always has his funky dance going on. He opened with Rapunzel and finished with Ants Marching (a song by the way my dad loves to sing even though he knows None of the words). 

Thank you TK for taking me to the best concert ever! Till next time 🙂 

After the concert I joined my friends at my friend’s 25th birthday party.  The bar was really crowded but it was a good time.  I am looking foward to a quiet weekend at home coming up.

With all the action not much knitting went on. I did try, but couldn’t quite concentrate and had to frog things several times because I wasn’t paying attention.  With my mind racing so many different places I just had to put the needles down.

Which is why it feels so good to pick them back up.  My second pair of socks to debut soon!

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Snow Day

I definitely had two dreams before I actually woke up to my phone ringing alterting me to the school closing.  In my first dream, I imagined that I was having quite a long conversation with my phone chain person at 5:30am – much too long for that time of morning… In my second I imagined that I was left a message in which I woke to the sound of my alarm, kinda bummed but pleasently surprised.  Both felt so real and I had to keep telling myself that they were indeed a construct of my imagination.  After the second dream I thought, "listen, you’re going to go to work so deal with it."

But just as those words were being said into my head my Mom called.  It seems that my school phone chain didn’t update their records since I moved out.  So she was calling to let me know that I had no work today!  Happily I told my Mom at 5:30am that I would make sure they updated it on Monday so the poor woman wouldn’t have to call me like this again.

After the phone was hung up I sunk back into my bed so excited – no work today! Can a girl like me be this lucky?? (You all need to get jobs at schools, it’s the Best, I mean days like today, summer’s off and I’m out of work at 3:30 – Hello??!)

Around 8:30ish I decided to get up since I was just too excited to sleep with my new found day off.  And as I pulled back the shade from my window I saw the beautiful street below.

Snow_street_2

I love when the snow is really big! Although it means that the storm is almost done, it’s much more fun to look at instead of the real small guys.  I thankfully parked my car in a garage or else I would have had to worry about cleaning the sucker off.

So what to do with this day off you ask?  Well… first thing first: I get to spend my day in my favorite knitting spot.  To answer the meme:

Knitting_spot

My nice and cozy papasan chair.  You can see on the table that I’m working on another little project and just underneath that is a basket full of yarns and magazines.  My roomate has been so wonderful to tolerate all the yarn that’s around.  I think she’s waiting for me to knit her something.

Other things I could do today…
1. writing out my christmas cards
2. cleaning the apartment since one of my college friends is staying with me this weekend.
3. laundry

I’d rather knit, blog and read emails.  Time for some hot cocoa!

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Boo-ya-ca-sha!

Last night it happened.

Socks2_1

My first pair of socks.

Socks_1

Pattern: House Socks from Holiday Knits
Yarn: Classic Elite Lush in Blueberry and Natural
Needles: Size 5 circulars

They were definitely easier than I thought.  I made stockings last Christmas for my family and it was a lot of the same techinques but just on a much smaller scale.  I will definitely be making this sock again (hopefully I will pump out another pair as another Christmas gift!  i know… i’m dreamin’… but i’m hopeful!) 

I’m off from school today because it’s a religious holiday.  I did not however sleep in this morning as I had hoped.  I had to take my beloved Jetta in for an oil change early this morning.  So while everyone was fighting traffic to get into the always-30-minute-delay Lincoln Tunnel I was going the opposite direction on Rt. 3. (The Devil’s highway as I like to nickname it – freakin’ death trap)  Thankfully it didn’t take as long as I thought it would and after seeing Cara’s mittens I decided to cast on a pair of my own as I waited with some similar Manos I had… glove 1 almost done. 

I had bought the yarn at my LYS and while there discovered a SnB group in town.  I signed up last night for it and I’m looking forward to meeting some new people in this little village called "Sinatra’s Hometown".

I’ve definitely stuck with knitting longer than I have with any other "minor obssession" I’ve had in a while.  Ususally something like this will putter out – but I’m going strong.  I practically knit something everyday.  I contribute this to all the wonderful things I read everyday  in this wonderful place called Blogland.  I keep seeing things I want to knit, other knitters I want to know more about, yarn I just need to buy, patterns that are calling my name.   

For the most part the rest of my life is normal, but some things are slipping… I find I never read anymore!  I have The Kite Runner on my bedside table for as long as I can remember.  I even cracked it open to read the first few pages but stopped because I just wanted to knit one more round.  I even joined a book club to help remedy this but I never get to go, which has convinced the club moderator that I simply don’t exhist. There was a time when I would read constantly… I even managed to put away 13 books in one summer.  Thirteen! It’s pretty obvious that I didn’t know how to knit then.

Who knows what it is, but I’m glad it’s sticking and I hope I make it stick for years to come.  I do not want to be that woman who says, "Gee I used to knit so much when I was younger… now I barely pick up the needles."  I hope I always have these needles in my hands. I hope I’m always knit and purling away.  I hope I’m always creating.

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almost done…

One thing about having a slow week at work is that you get to blog a lot more during the daylight hours. Usually I don’t get to sit down to blog until it’s about 5 o’clock and by that time it’s so dark out that there’s really not a lot of good light to take pictures… and I cannot stand the flash.

But alas this week at work I’ve been able to take advantage of my down time to take some in my nice and cozy office.

Sock_tall

Sock_fuzz_3

Sock #2 almost done! It’s the House Sock pattern from Holiday Knits with the Classic Elite Lush yarn.  It’s so nice, soft and warm. I love them. I cannot wait to get a Finshed picture up.  I casted on for this puppy on Monday and I’m definitely finishing it tonight.  Christmas present #2 can be offically crossed off the list.  I’m certainly not stressing myself out if I don’t get all the holiday knitting I want done.  I’ve bought other back up presents just incase, but I just LOVE knitting for others.  I don’t know what it is… I love thinking of things that I know they would want/wear.  Granted I wouldn’t go out and knit a sweater for everyone I knew but socks and mittens are doable items.  So I have two more items to go before the big Two-Five.  I’m feeling optimistic… however…

You know What Really Grinds My Gears?

When you cannot find the F’ing yarn that goes with the F’ing pattern. You love the pattern and you love the yarn BUT the only thing is – no one seems to carry that yarn or perhaps (shocker) it’s been discontinued. I found two patterns I really like but I’m having a lot of trouble finding the yarn.  One of them is the stained glass scarf from Handknit Holidays.  Where the hell can I find Artyarns Ultramerino 4 or 6 or whatever number that is – in those colors?  Now I know I could just be creative and choose different yarns, but I kinda Just Want Those.  Is anyone feelin’ me on this one?  Anyone?

So here’s hoping I find the yarn in time but if I don’t OH freakin’ well.

Oh and another thing… what’s this with LOST not airing a new episode until Jan 11th?? WTF!?

General

Meme

I saw ths around and thought I’d give it a whirl

10 Random Things about Me…

  1. I used to be the captain of my HS Basketball team (Pos: Point Guard)
  2. I have ADD once I start watching a movie that I like.
  3. I used to have really short hair when I was younger – up until 6th grade.
  4. I like twitching my leg sometimes before I go to sleep.
  5. I still sleep with my Teddy Bear
  6. I have been dating my boyfriend since my senior year in HS.
  7. I once saw Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey at a club in NY. (tear)
  8. I went to Belize and Honduras on Immersion Trips.
  9. I was a religion teacher for one year. I taught World  Religions, Christian Lifestyles and the Search for Meaning – I also do not consider myself very religious, but very spiritual.
  10. I am 25 years old and have SO MUCH ahead of me.

9 Places I’ve Been….

  1. London
  2. Las Vegas
  3. El Progresso, Honduras
  4. Paris
  5. Miami
  6. San Fransisco
  7. Boston
  8. Punta Gorda, Belize
  9. Walt Disney World

8 Ways to Win My Heart….

  1. Being patient with me
  2. Lipsync to songs with me
  3. Hug Me
  4. Cook me dinner
  5. Play with my hair
  6. Hold me
  7. Listen to me
  8. Look at me that way

7 Things To Do Before I Die….

  1. See more of Europe
  2. Live on the West Coast
  3. Get married
  4. Showcase my photography
  5. Go to grad school
  6. See where my family is from (Puerto Rico)
  7. Be a mom.

6 Things I’m Afraid of….

  1. Clowns
  2. Global warming
  3. Heights
  4. Not being able to do the above list of things.
  5. Showing people my photography
  6. Moving away from my parents

5 Things I don’t like….

  1. People who steal cabs
  2. Radio Phone taps
  3. Poverty
  4. Being helpless
  5. Being alone

4 Ways to Turn Me Off….

  1. Not being genuine
  2. Assuming things
  3. Making fun of people
  4. Being disrespectful.

3 Things I Do Everyday….

  1. Email my friends
  2. Laugh.
  3. Tell someone I love them.

2 Things That Make Me Happy….

  1. Mi Familia
  2. JH

1 Thing On My Mind, RIGHT NOW….

  • I should probably be doing work right now
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What’s that white stuff?

The threat of global warming has made me think about how I wish I could walk to work everyday but also about whether or not we’re going to see any type of snow this winter.  As someone who works at a school snow is one of the best things that can happen to me – especially as an administrator – if I were a teacher I’d probably feel obligated to correct papers or something.  It’s like getting a Get out of Jail Free Card.  So alas upon waking up this morning there it was!!!  Now who knows if this is going to "stick" but it’s sure nice to feel like December is finally here!  Cold weather is only good for two things: making snow and allowing us to wear all of our wonderful knitted garments.

I am one sock in to finishing another Christmas present! I’m using the House Sock patter from Holiday Knits.  It’s slightly tight around the cast on edge but everything is smooth sailing.  I can’t believe how wonderfully easy it was to make a sock! I used the two circular method too.   I did have to sit there though and start at the darn thing when I was about to turn the heel.  The one thing about reading how you have to knit is in visualizing it.  I need so SEE it before I believe it.  One thing I noticed though about my heel turn was when you’re picking up stitches along both gussets the pattern then tells me to knit across the heel stitches one last time and then divide the gusset/heel stitches on one needle and the other 20 or so stitches on the other… now (If you’re still following me) the pattern almost assumes that I’m starting my round and the front 20 stitches but I still have the 10  gusset stitches to knit before I get there… so basically the left side gusset stitches have one more row than the rest?  anyway, I did knit down the left side than I began the pattern again where I picked up… I was just curious if that was what it should be… I remember knitting Christmas Stockings last year and having the same curiosity – although the finish products did look wonderful. 

I also bought Handknit Holidays after browsing through it last time I was at B&N.  I kept trying to tell myself, "no more knitting books, no more knitting books (at least for now)." but I came across the Nutcracker Slippers and that book was in my collection quicker than I could say Uncle Drosslemeier.  Then there’s the stained glass scarf that uses the double stockinette stitch method that frankly I want to learn like now.

This afternoon is going to be spent watching the G-men while finishing my socks.  I will also be praying for a SNOW DAY tomorrow.  Snow Day = knitting day.