Goal Trackers

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sad News

I just received a double dose of bad news today. I was already upset over an email that I had received when Eleanor, a co-worker, came to me. She asked how I was and I was very close to tears when I told her not so good. That's when she said she was coming to find me to tell me more bad news and asked me how the Prayer Shawl was coming. *sigh* I completely brokedown in the school hallway because I knew what she was saying to me. Our friend, Gloria, is fighting a losing battle with cancer and it doesn't look very good. She managed to get me to my office where I could cry in private. She told me of how Gloria was back in the hospital and that her health was deteriorating rapidly. After we cried and talked a little more, I showed her the shawl. I was hoping to make the shawl about 24" in height, but she said I better just go for 12". So I will knit as much as I can between now and Thursday. I am going to give the shawl to Eleanor on Friday to deliver.

It's a shame that things like this have to happen to make you realize how short and precious life is.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Whole new meaning to warm and fuzzy!

Here I am, sitting at home enjoying my last day off after having almost a week's vacation (3 snow days in a row and then a 3 day weekend!) I'm sitting at my computer working on my National Boards entries when Frisco, my cat, jumps into my lap demanding I pay him some attention. So I pet him for a bit before I go back to my typing while he just lays curled on my lap. He was content for a little while before he started wiggling around and wiggled right under the bottom of my sweater. Frisco has a tendence to like to be under this and he had settled down again, so I didn't think anything of it. He let me type for a few more minutes till he rooted around again and popped up and out to say "hi." Luckily I had my camera on hand and snapped a shot before he got away. Is this not too funny! I couldn't believe it. Gives a whole new meaning to being warm and fuzzy! *LAUGH*

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Prayer Shawl

A co-worker is out and battling her 3rd bout with cancer. She is a very sweet woman and I wanted to do something special for her. I knew she was a very spiritual person and a very humble person. I came across some sites that talked about Prayer Shawls, how they are made, meanings behind the colors and prayers to go with them. I just *knew* this was the perfect gift for Gloria. So I sent out an email to all my co-workers and told them of my special project. I solicited yarn contributions and emailed them the list of colors and their meanings and the only specification I stated was that the yarn be wool, otherwise, any color went. They could pick a color for what they thought Gloria needed during this hardship or they could pick a color that was significant to how they saw her. It was amazing to see the colors that people chose! I decided to make each row a different color. I have about 16" of tails on both ends of the scarf to do a pretty knot pattern at the end. I'm using a simple K3, P3 pattern in an odd numer of 3s so that every row starts with K3 to avoid ribbing.

I told my co-workers that I would bring the shawl to work everyday till it was finished. I invited everyone to stop by my office and they could add their prayers to the shawl and if there were any other knitters they were welcome to knit their prayers into the shawl. I can't wait till this project is done and I can give it to Gloria.

SEX and Entrelac

Those of you that don't knit or crochet probably thought you were going to read some sort of a racey posting, sorry to disappoint you! *laugh* SEX actually stands for Stash Enhanceing eXpedition, and you all thought knitters were boring people ;)

Yes folks, with as big a stash is this:

I added to it today. I know, like I *need* more yarn, but I couldn't help myself. Is there a Yarn Addicts Anonymous for yarnaholics like me? I was taking an Entrelac class today at Lovelyarns with my girlfriend Vicki and these yarns were just calling to me while I was sitting there, minding my own business, trying to learn to knit this new style. I swear! No really, they were whispering "touch me, buy me" I just couldn't resist! *giggle*

Anyway, here is the neat stuff that I have added to my stash. Here are two skeins of the oh-so-soft Malabrigo Merino! I will be using them for the My So Called Scarf pattern.

Here is what I worked up with scrap yarns while I was in the class. Horrid, itchy, cheap acrylic yarn! The pattern is actually a lot easier then it looks, but it does use up quite a bit of yarn.

Since I had just taken this Entrelac class, I just *had* to buy yarn to make a scarf in that pattern. I simply had to! So, after learning this tecnique I browsed the store to find some nice yarn to make a scarf using the entrelac technique. Here's what I found! Trensetter's Tonalita!

A pretty self-striping yarn that when you knit using the entrelac technique makes each square a different color and should make a really neat looking scarf. I will post pictures when I begin!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Call Me Crazy - Saffron Cables

OK, it is time to commit me. I have seen pictures for this blanket on the net and I have wanted to make it the first time I saw this! It's called "Saffron Cables" and it's in the Fall '06 Interweave Knits. Why have me committed.... because I've only been knitting for about 6 months now and I am *seriously* considering this pattern!

Is that not GORGEOUS! Yes, I definitely see this as a long term project with many -MANY- nice, quick, short projects in between to break up the monotony of such a daunting task. Of course now comes the challenge of finding just the right yarn, because certain wools are very itchy to me. It will have to be something super soft and cuddly. Not to mention that I certainly need to find the perfect color too! Something that would look great for years to come. Anyone for suggestions on yarn??

Friday, February 16, 2007

SP 10 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I like yarns that are soft and cozy to the touch like merino and alpaca - oh and of course silk and cashmere *dreamy*. Malabrigo Merino is *oh-so-soft*. I don't mind blends. I'm currently in the hunt for a nice 50/50 silk/cotton blend to make some nice summer tanks. I do not do scratchy feeling yarns! My skin is sensitive and I can get the itchies.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a plethora of needle and hook holders. I am on the hunt for some sort of neat way to display my needles at home instead of keeping them all packed away in the holders. I want to display my tools as art - after all, that is what they create!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting for, hmm..., I guess about 6-8 months now. My Nonna taught me when I was a little girl, but I never really took to it back then. Then about 6-8 months ago I had this urge to try again and downloaded some knitting guides off the net and did it. I would say that my skill is Intermediate at this point. I have been crocheting for 16 years thought!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Not yet, but I will have one on my blog soon :)

5. What's your favorite scent?
I have to be very careful with floral scents as they trigger migraines with me. Yucky! But vanilla bean, apple orchards and very sutle ocean scents are great.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Unfortunately, yes. I would have to say my favorites are Baci, Ferrero Rocher Chocolate , Chocolate Torrone, and Nutella. Yes, I'm Italian and like my Italian sweets :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I have been a crocheter for 16 years. I enjoy painting ceramics. I create Christmas wreathes as gifts. I do not spin.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Wow, this is a tough one for me. I'm some what eclectic when it comes to music. I am not much for country music, heavy metal, or punk. I enjoy most of today's hip-hop, classic rock of the 70s & 80s, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Barry White, music from the 50s & 60s, Italian music (old and new), any of the great musicians (Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, etc.). Yes, I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Another toughie for me because I tend to loves various shades of all colors. I guess my favorite colors would be red, black, smokey grey, rich teals(more blue than green), rich shades of purple. I am definitely a lover of winter colors for myself although a bright fuchsia or turquoise do look good on me too. I tend to stay away from pale colors as my skin is very pale and makes me look washed out. I stay away from yellows, golds, light or bright greens, and oranges.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I divorced, but in a committed relationship. I live with my kitty, Frisco, who is going to be 12 years-old on April 16th, but I swear he still thinks he a kitten! I have an older sister who lives 5 minutes from me and I adore my two nieces. My folks live in NY as does my younger sister.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear scarves and hats. I haven't worn mittens in years - it might be a nice change from gloves. Fingerless gloves and arm cosies are great. I'm more of a shawl or shrug wearing woman than I am ponchos.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Right now it seems to be the 3 S's - Scarves, Shawls and Stoles. I do enjoy knitting bags and hats. I have not tried my hand at sweaters yet, but I have a few I'm dying to start as well as some legwarmers, tanks and shrugs for my nieces. Oh, and I'm seriously considering start the "Saffron Cables" blanket that is the winter '06 issue of Interweave Knits!

13. What are you knitting right now?
On needles right now I have a pair of Arm Cosies, and a Prayer Shawl. In addition, I have a crochet afghan started for my parents.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes. Knowing someone put thought, time and love into creating something for me is special.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I *heart* my KnitPicks Options needle set and I *heart* my Addi turbos circulars. I also prefer wood straights. I stay away from plastic and aluminum in knitting needles, although I do have a set of Pony Pearls DPN that are really great!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
My parent's afghan. I started just after Christmas.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas and New Year's Eve.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Most definitely! Check out the Wish List section of my blog! I currently don't have any knitting magazines, but I'm contemplating Interweave Knits and Interweave Crochet!

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Entrelac (I take a course on it this Sunday!), Magic Loop, socks!

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I have not learn to knit socks yet, that's on my "To Do" list. I'm a size 10 ladies.

23. When is your birthday?
June 8th - a Gemini :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

First Cable project

Here is my first completed project with the cable stitches! The pattern is the Reversible Cable Scarf off the Lion Brand website. I used this neat yarn that I found at the LYS called Lana Grossa Bingo. First time I have worked with this yarn and I really like it! Might have to take a trip back and see what other colors they have and find something to make for myself :) The patterns was suprisingly easy to follow and had it memorized after about 2-3 repeats. It was great!

The scarf is going to be a
Valentine's Day
gift for my BF. Now I just need to wrap it up and ship it off to him so that he will get it in time :) especially with the weather he's been enduring in Chicago!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

My First Felt!

My first felting project!! I saw the Suki bag pattern on Knitty and just had to make it. So, I went and got myself some Paton's Classic wool in the colors I wanted and started knitting. I wish I had taken a picture of the bag before I felted it, but I wasn't thinking. Here is a picture after it has been felted. I still need to put the handles on though.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Yarn Sale!

OK, the worst thing you can do to a yarn addict is advertise a big 25% yarn sale over Super Bowl weekend! Needless to say, I purchased more then I should have! Here are the yarn I bought. There are Cascade 220. I think I'm going to make 2 shrugs out of these yarns.

Next here I have some more Casacade 220 in brown and lavender to make a neat bag out of:

Here is some Ultra Alpace a purcahse to make shawls out of: