Goal Trackers

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's the Final Countdown!!

No, not the song, but it is the countdown to the end of the school year!! I'm trying to firm up my plans for the summer and plan some getaways when I can. I was kind of hoping to spend my birthday and a few days before summer school starts up in Chicago with Mr. X & Baby M, but I don't know if that's going to happen. At least maybe not the birthday weekend trip. He's been stressed lately because he's been laid off for about two and a half months now. He had a great interview a few weeks ago and it seemed very, very likely that he was going to get an offer, but then there was a hiring freeze. A real bummer.

He hasn't been sleeping well lately either and I'm sure that all ties in to the stress over the job hunt and worrying about his little girl. Usually when he is stressed like this he doesn't really want to be around people, so needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised when he said yes to my visiting (provided that I go my Masters +30 salary increase and that these trips wouldn't hinder me financially). I didn't talk about the trips again for fear of stressing us both out, but when I go the salary lane change I let him know and he asked about the trip. He also mentioned that his mom had offered to let him stay at their vacation home in Santa Clause, Indiana (think it's in Indiana at least) and he asked if I like to go there when I came up. He warned me though that there was no cable and therefore no television and no Internet access.

So, I thought about it over night and sent him some dates of when I could come up and visit. I also let him know that if he had ulterior motives for wanting to go to SC while I was there that maybe it would be better for me to not to come up. Reasons being that 1. I didn't want him to miss his visitation with his daughter while I was there and I enjoy spending time with her as well, and 2. Baby M's mother just moved in a few miles down the road from him and he's trying to keep as much of his private life away from her as possible, so I didn't know if he was just trying to avoid us from accidentally crossing paths. Not that I am all that interested in meeting her, but from what all he's told me about her, I have no idea how she would react to realizing that he's not actually "pining" over her. The last thing I want to do is add anymore stress to his load right now with how she might react. I'm not sure what he was thinking when he read that email, but it apparently threw him off. Anyhoo, I think everything got cleared up, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet on the dates. I figure when he's ready he will and if he doesn't then I guess I'll make other plans.

Sorry got a little sidetracked there, getting back to school. Technically there are 16 official student days left in the school year. Things get a little wonky at the high schools in the school system I work for around this time of the year. Seniors are taking their finals this week and once they take their final they are done with their class for the year. Seniors will be done with their classes on Friday, May 29th, but graduations isn't until Friday, June 5th and technically the last day of school is Tuesday, June 16th! It just boggles my mind how things are so different. My senior year, I was in school taking finals until the 2nd to last day of school and then the night of the last days of school was graduation. Oh well, gotta go with the flow right?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Today is for Remembrance

Please takea few minutes to send a prayer up to your creator and ask him/her to watch over and protect our brothers and sisters who are in the military.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What a GREAT Start to the Weekend

This weekend started of with, none other than....


Several of my friends and I went into D.C. Friday evening. We took the metro down and our first stop was the Chocolate Moose! What a funky store! My friend Naomi loves this place. Talk about eclectic! This store ran gammet from $2 gadgets and gizmos to nice martini glasses *very hard to resist not buying myself a set of 4* for gorgeous jewelry! We had a blast walking around and checking everything out.

Next stop was Hello Cupcake, sounds like a strip joint doesn't it? But in fact, it is just that, a cupcake place. I don't know who comes up with these ideas, but places like these certainly show me that Americans just have money to burn! The cupcakes are $3 EACH!! Sheeeet, for $6 I could have made a dozen at home! But, we all bought cupcakes while we were there. Kathy was the only sane one to buy 1 and just try it. The rest of us crazy gals, we bought either a box of four or six. I knew I was having company Saturday night so I bought a box of six. *Bellview called and they're looking for me* What the hell was I thinking??

Last stop on this crazy train was Happy Hour!! Finally!! Our final destination was just down the street from Hello Cupcake. We went to Cafe Citron for food, drink, music and laughs. My friend Sarah found this place on some "Hot DC" Happy Hour list. Just as we sat down at our table Sarah remembered we were in DC and that the Power Ball Lotto could be purchased in DC. So we started asking our waiter, who was oh so hot!, about Power Ball and if anyone had won and where we might be able to buy some tickets. It was quite amuzing. I'm sure the hot waiter thought we were all nuts when we played the number that corresponded to his name and then we asked his age. Oh if I was just 10 years younger! Of course Sarah said he was the perfect age for me *laugh*

We had pitcher after pitcher of Mojito *hell, no one was driving! We metroed it!* we shared several different appitizers, had great music playing the whole night and laughed it up. It was the perfect start to the weekend!

Saturday was nice and relaxing. I cleaned up a bit since I was having company and then finished knitting my Forest Canopy Shawl. It took me all while to find the right pattern for this skein as there are many colors through out and I wanted to create something that would show off the gorgeous colors without the colors detracting from the pattern. The FCS was the perfect match. This shawl was such a quick knit and with a great yarn. This dyer has a real eye for mixing colors together. This was one of the skeins I received in my first shipment from the club. The dyer's Etsy shop is called Fresh from the Cauldron and the club is the Vampire Sock Club. The shawl only took me 5 days to knit.

I wanted to use as much of the skein as possible. so I just kept repeating the main pattern. As the skein was dwingling down, I would put a lifeline in at the end of the repeats. I put one in after repeast 12 and then 13. This was if had misjudged how far I could go with what's left, I could just rip back to the lifeline and be safe. Turned out I was able to get 14 repeats out of a skein with 440 yarns. It was such a gorgeous day that I was able to take pictures outside when the shawl was dry.

Forest Canopy Shawl
Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl
Yarn: Fresh from the Cauldron - Silk Sock
Colorway: Debbie Pelt
Needles: KnitPicks Harmony size 8
Modifications: completed 14 repeats of the main pattern and then completed only 4 of the 8 row edging.

Here's a close up of the stitch pattern. Just look at those amazing colors!

FC close up

Here's what little yarn I had left after binding off.

left over Debbie Pelt

Saturday night I had my good friends Kozykitty and KnitRedSox over for dinner. We had a blast. KK brought the fixin's for Pomatinis and a broccoli slaw salad, KRS brought roasted red potatoes and I grilled up some T-bone steaks for us all. We drank, we talked and just enjoyed each others company. At one point we started talking about 80's music and before we knew it, it was 1 AM! Now that's what I call a great night! When time just flies by like that.

It's nice to have good friends you can hang with on a long weekend like this!

What a great was to start off a long weekend!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Special Deliveries!

I've received two very special deliveries this last week! Last Saturday I hung out with my friends Kozykitty and Sheila all morning long. We actually met for breakfast and knitting, but suprisingly none of us knit a single stitch that morning! Sheila was mailing out her latest sock club shippment, but since we were meeting, I got mine hand delivered! Sheila asked me to be the test knitter for all the patterns in her club, so I already knew what the pattern and new colorways looked liked. Here are the socks I knit up and were used in the photo shoot for the pattern. *Girl, you better work!*

Obviously the pictures that Sheila took were a lot better than mine :) I love the colorway and how well the pattern went with it. The funniest part - I had no idea what Sheila had or was going to name this colorway, but when I saw it I had to send a little teaser out to the rest of the club members telling them to think:

"Aruba,Jjamaica ooo I wanna take you
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why dont we go”

Little did I know she called the colorway - Kokomo!! You just can't match it better than that!

Pattern: Ocean Waves Socks
Yarn: Wullenstudio Sock Club yarn
Needles: size 1.5 on 32" circulars knit 2-@-A-time
Modifications: Cast on an extra 8 stitches so they would fit me

In this seasons sock club shipment was this awesome project bag that my friend Kozykitty made! She matched the colors so perfectly!! KK also has her own Etsy shop and you can check out her bags there. I love 'em!!


Next up in special deliveries is my swap package from the Eclips Swap. Check out this loot!! My partner, GirlyWithATwist, sure does know how to spoil me! I was delighted with everything in my Rosalie & Emmitt themed package.

Eclipse swap package
Here's what was in the box: a book (Dark Side of the Moon by Sherrilyn Kenyon), a cool bookmark, 6 different pins with Rosalie and Emmitt, a needles and hook gauge, KnitPicks circular needles 40" size 1 (2.25,,), Rosalie glove pattern, 2 bars of Endangered Species chocolates (yummy), a set of 5 great Twilighty stitch markers and the awesome items pictures below.

Check it out, another great project bag!! Two awesome project bags in one week! SCORE!! And this one so delights my hidden macabre side!

Awesome project bag

Here is a skein of Perfect Peds 100% Merino Superwash in the colorway "Emmitt & Rosalie." Suprisingly, even though I took the picture outside the colors in this yarn didn't come through so well, but trust me it a gorgeous skein of jewel tones!!

PerfetPeds Emmitt and Rosalie

She also sent me a skein of StitchyJones Glam socks in Garnet! So my color!! You can see the gret stitch markers she made me attached to this yarn.
Glam Sock - Garnet

And lastly, is this gorgeous knit Rosalie scarf!! She must have had ESP when she was picked this pattern to knit for me because about two weeks ago I bought enough yarn to make this scarf for myself!! I love it!! Too bad it's like 85 degrees here right now. A tad to warm to wear it.

Rosalie Scarf

I didn't take a pictures of all the goodies I sent to her, but I did manage to remember to take a picture of the cowl that I made for her, so she could cover those bite marks! ;>=


Playing Catchup!

So, I went through my spare room to take stock of all my UFOs and well, I have a few! Not suprising. I took updated pictures of the ones I really would like to complete before starting a new project *LAUGH* Oh I cracked myself up on that one! Anyhoo, here's the current listing of projects that I am hoping to complete by the end of June? Maybe? Hopefully? OK, so that's at least that's the game plan!

Then again, I did just find out that my cousin's wife is pregnant and her family is having a baby shower for them on June 12, while they are in town visiting, so right there I will be casting on for either a blanket or baby sweater. Considering that they currently live in Colorado, a sweater will be well used I am sure. I just have no heard if they know the sex of the baby yet. There are also three co-workers who are pregnant. One of these women worked with me a lot and wrote me a great recomendadtion letter for a summer position, so I would definately want to knit her a baby sweater and she knows she's having a boy so that makes it easy! And there's project no. 2 that will need to be casted on :) *as they say, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"*

OK, not on to the UFOs. First up Juliet (Rav link). This is my second attempt at Juliet. The first was almost finished when I tried it on and it was swimmingly big!! And before you even ask, yes I did swatch and yes I did get gauge. After looking around on Ravelry and reading others people's project pages, I understood that the pattern ran big and attempt no. 1 went to the frog pond and the yarn was put on the Naughty Step, or rather the Naughty Bag *ok, so I've watch the Super Nanny a few times* So, after being in the Naughty Bag for almost a year. I brought it back out and cast on two sizes smaller. It's turning out much better, so far. Sorry the pictures a little dark. I did not cast off the sleeve stitches as I'd like to add a little more to the length of the sleeve. The garter portion is almost under my bust line and just about an inch away from starting the lace pattern. I'm sort of going back and forth between increasing just enough stitches to complete the repeats or making the numberous increases the pattern calls for and having the extra bulk. Oh decisions, decisions!


Next, I found my cashmere cowl. Just a simple 2x2 ribbing. Not suprised that this project got lost in the stash mound. Ribbing is so boring to knit, but with the colorway, I didn't want to knit something to elaborate and have the pattern get lost in the colorway. Even thought this one is boring to knit, it would be a perfect TV watching project, expecially since all my shows have ended for the season and all that's on now are reruns! It's nice that the yarn is super soft too!


Here's are the Horcrux Socks Take Two. The first time I started these I was a relatively new sock knitting and didn't cast on enough stitches. So, these too went off to the frog pond and were recast-on with more stitches. I think these have lapsed to the bottom of the pile because there were suppose to be my Halloween socks and then Halloween came and went and the socks were put on hold.


Here's yet a third "Take Two" project. Only the first were actually completed. The socks were just a tad too small to get on my feet, so I gave them away and started another pair for myself and went up two needle sizes. I think these will work out much better for me :) The STR yarn is medium weight, so it makes for a nice thick sock. The pattern is a lot of fun to make and it makes a stunning sock in the end. Well worth the effort of a "take two"


Oh my, look, another "Take Two" *anyone see a theme building in my UFOS?* I have actually completed a pair of these socks earlier in the year. I was test knitting a pattern for my friend Sheila's sock club and I knit straight according to the pattern without making changes as that was the assignment - test knit the pattern to make sure there were no errors. So, again the first pair were too small for my feet and are on the "Gift" pile for my sister. They'll either be her birthday gift or her Christmas gift. Since the first ones didn't fit, I went ahead and cast on for another pair for myself and added a few stitches to the cast-on. These should fit nicely when I finish.


Finally, a first draft! *laugh* I took a yarn dyeing class about a year ago at Lovelyarns in Hampden, MD. I was aiming for a purple and brown colorway, I had not realize the range of colors that came out until I wound up this skein and started knitting with it. I just LOVE how the colors are coming along on these socks!! Makes me wish I could somehow reproduce this colorway and make a shawl with it!! Because the yarn is so thin, I went ahead and cast these socks on size 0 needles. I must be crazy, but I really like the tightness in the stitch and the feel of the yarh is FAB!! Of course, knitting on such small needles, these are taking me longer than normal, but I think they will be well worth it in the end!


Something other than socks!! Here's the Tiger's Eye Scarf. I wasn't thinking at the time that I cast this on, but this scarf is make in two halves and then grafted together in the middle so that the "eyes" are all facing in the right direction on both halves of the scarf. So today, I went ahead and cast on the other half and I'm knitting that half until I'm up to the same repeat as the first and then I can knit them at the same time. I really like this colorway with this pattern.


Last up is actually a FO! A bread basket liner. I followed the pattern, but I think the basket would have to be pretty small for this liner to work. I have more of this yarn in this colorway and other and intend to make more of these bread liners as Christams gifts, but I think I will knit the center square larger before I start the edging pattern.


I think I'm all caught up with projects now. Would I swear to that, well no. There could still be a project or five lurking around my home!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hi-ho, Hi-ho, It's off to work I go....

*pretend you hears the dwarves whistling their part here*

I have to say that switch jobs or rather switching schools this year was very much what I need to releave most of the work related stress that I've been dealing with at the other school for the last two years. Is it 100% better, well no. Every school has its quirks, every staff has its quirks and something never change no matter what school one works in, but I won't go into that. I am happy to have my job in this economy and I am pretty much happy with where I am right now.

Several family and friends have not been so luck during these economic times and I pray each and every day that something will come along soon. Mr. X and my BIL are the last two people in my daily prayers that I hope will be getting jobs soon. Mr. X is in the IT field, so I'm sure something will come up soon. My BIL has taken this opportunity to go back to college and get a degree.

Well, here's more on the Sheep & Wool update *I did my part to stimulate the economy and it wasn't a raise to my own paycheck!*

Stopped by the Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth as they always a wide selection of Indie Dyers at their booth. I picked up this little lovely green skein from Neighborhood Fibers. This rich green color just called to me. It told me to buy it and knit it into a Top-Down Baby sweater for my niece, Maya. She looks really good in green. Must be the wee bit of Irish in her ;)

Neighborhood Fiber's Studio Worsted

Then, I came across this pale green yarn at Tess' Designer Yarns booth *yup, more Tess' yarn*. It was the only skein left. I walked around in the booth for a good half hour with this yarn. I kept going back and forth between getting and putting it back. I have not a clue as to what I will knit this skein into, but I bought it anyway. It's a hefty skein of 560 yards, so I should be able to come up with something.

Tess' Superwash Merino Eucalyptus

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Better Late than Never...

...but never late is better
- Anonymous

I try, but certainly things in my life have just been SO crazy this past week, that I hadn't thought about bloggin'. I know, bad girl.

I went to the MDS&W Festival both days. Saturday turned out to be a really nice day, even though it didn't start out that way. I saw lots of sheeps, llamas and alpacas. I had an awesome Lamb Kabob (Sorry, KnitRedSoxs) and bought skeins of yarn and even bought some roving this time. No, I do not have a drop spindle, nor do I have a spinning wheel, but my friend Sheila has more than one wheel and I asked her if she would teach me (and yes, I asked BEFORE I spent money on the roving). She said she would teach me after she got her next shipment for her Sock Club in the mail and after she finished up with a few other personal matters. So maybe one day after school is out I can go over there and she can teach me :) In the meantime, you can drool over the lovely different rovings I purchased!

I purchased both rovings from the Cloverhill Yarn Shop booth in the Main building. This booth had tons of stuff from several different indie dyers - especially my friend Sheila's yarn!! Here is the first roving from Dragonfly Fibers- it's a merino and silk blend that was just oh-so-soft to touch!

Dragonfly Fiber's Roving

Next up is Fat Cat Knits - merino. Squishy soft!! I can't wait to see this one all spun up!

Fat Cat's Roving

I bought a 3rd bag of roving, but I can't post a picture of it because it's for a swap partner and I don't want her to see it before she gets it. I had a very specific idea in my mind of what color rocing I want to get her for her swap package and I was getting discourage when I couldn't find any! I finally came across one, but it had mohair and I didn't know if she liked mohair. I know some people have a real aversion to it. So i kept searching. Finally, just before the end of the day, I finally found exaclty what I was looking for!! I was exstatic!!

I don't have a picture of everything I bought, but I will share a few more things with you all and some things I may need your opinions on :)

Had to stop at Tess' Yarns. I had some ideas in mind for baby/toddle items with their Superwash Merino. I had this Child's Poncho in mind to make for Baby M and I knew I wanted to make it either hot pink or a nice purple.

First trip into Tess's I found this pretty hot pink skein and I bought it.

Tess's Superwash Merino Rose Blush

But then as I was searching patterns on Ravelry for some of the other yarns I bought I came across this cute Little Red Hoodie Cape pattern.

Then I started thinking I would use the hot pink for this pattern and then use this colorway, supposedly Tess is calling this one the Unofficial Poodle Skirt, for the poncho.

Tess' Superwash Merino

Soooooooooooooo, I'm thinking Little Red in the Hot Pink colorway and the Girls Poncho in the Unofficial Poodle Skirt colorway. What do you all think??

More from Sheep and Wool to come...

Thursday, May 7, 2009