Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Things are nuts! We are PCSing (that's moving for non military folks) to Fort Leavenworth, KS! The movers are here today packing us up so I'm crazy busy! Promise some post holiday pics. Maybe when we are at Mom's for Chrismukkah (we do both-blended family so that's what we call it)? Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for the comments to the blog--I'll be back once I dig out from boxes and craziness! P.S. DH has come to accept the yarn (as if he had a choice!) but swears I own the most stuff in the family. Whatever!! Happy Holidays everybody!! Alicia

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Apparently, you can have too much yarn!

Okay, so I haven't blogged about it much. Only a phrase or so but DH was deployed to Iraq for the past year or so. He just got back and so we are steadily getting back into the swing of things. Let me describe this. First, you have the initial honeymoon period. Oh, I missed you so much, etc etc. This lasts a few days to a week. Then, you have the he/she's really beginning to irritate me period. Give that a month. Mostly it goes like this: Why does he put unrinsed dishes in the non-garbage disposal side of the sink?? Grrr! Finally, you have the okay we won't kill each other because we have a good time together period. DH and I are currently in the Irritate period but that's okay. We've been thru this before and once you get past a month or so, you get to being back to normal. As proof of the irritation period, I offer you the following tidbit from DH to me in regards to yarn.
DH: "You know, we really have to talk about the amount of yarn you have."
Me: "What?" Feigns look of complete innocence and ponders current rate of knitting and potential hiding spots.
DH: "Um, it's a lot of yarn." Looks at me earnestly.
Me: "Hmmm, I guess it is." Avoiding eye contact like crazy.
DH:" Okay, here's the thing. You just can't buy anymore yarn until you've used up most of what you have. Your yarn is taking over the house. Also, when you go in Barnes & Nobles, you need to only leave with a cup of coffee and one book or magazine."
Me: Stunned silence. Mulling over amounts of yarn while thoroughly disregarding the low blow B&N comment. In a moment of rare concession, the following phrase popped out of my mouth before I could stop it. I was feeling all diplomatic and crap. : "Okay, I"ll concede I need to use at least 75% of my current stash before I get anymore but that doesn't preclude yarn gifts. As far as B&N, we don't have one here locally so I refuse to address that at this time."
Now, I have to quit blogging because I apparently have agreed to use a buttload of yarn up before I can buy more. Must quit typing and begin knitting. Later, Alicia

Sunday, November 18, 2007

On death and life.

All day Thursday I had a prickly uneasy feeling. Something wasn't right. Bank accounts were okay, kids and hubby were okay. I hadn't forgotten about anything really important. The prickly uneasy feeling wouldn't go away. I pushed it aside and waiting for the inevitable moment I would find out why I had it. The next morning, about 6:15 am, my mom called and I found out what the feeling was all about. My grandma had passed away in her sleep the night before. Her health had been bad and it was a miracle she lasted as long as she did after the stroke. Still, I'm not sure why it hit me so hard. Today was her funeral. I don't want to talk about it too much. I just want to say some stuff about my grandma. Her name was Leitha Powers nee Bryan. She was a very accomplished gardener. I don't think there was a thing that she couldn't plant that wouldn't grow. Her home was always meticulously clean. She worked hard as hell all her life. Despite the fact that she never learned to drive, she traveled more than anyone I know. She made beautiful quilts for all of us granddaughters by hand. She loved a good soap opera. She could fry up fish, make biscuits and cookies. She was a great lady and I miss her. That's all I have to say today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

As the world turns..and turns, and turns

Okay, been awhile but that's really nothing new! DH will be home soon!! Yay!! That's the good stuff. The bad stuff, my grandma had a stroke and is recovering. Well, it's not really all bad because they initially did not expect her to survive. She's starting to come around though. That's my grandma. She's tough! I cannot tell you the tears I shed and the anxiety I've had over this. I know that she's had a great life and all but she's my grandma. I would go to her house in the summer time and snap purple hull peas while drinking iced tea and eating fried apple pies. I really have to learn how to make those pies. She rolls the dough paper thin and fills it with the cooked apples and fries them up. Yeah, we can even make fruit fattening in the south. We haven't met a food yet that we haven't found a way to fry. Best part is, those pies are good!! See, this is why I exercise. I'd be as big as a house if I didn't. Let's face it, I'm not giving up fried pies any time soon. My grandma also hand quilted quilts for all of us granddaughters. My Mom still keeps my quilt. Apparently at 33, I'm still not responsible enough to have it. My grandma is a great gardener too. She loves flowers and plants. I used to play in her rose garden and pretend I was a princess. I have a zillion other stories about my grandma. She's really a neat person and incredibly resourceful. I can only hope to be just a little like her. Okay, before I start getting all teary again, I'm going to move on to knitting news. I've finished a good many things up since I last blogged. Let's start it off with the Somewhat Cowl. Okay, I dig it a lot. I used Elann's yarn--I think it was highland silk. Anyway, it was a nice yarn even if it was a bit splitsy. It has to be nice and cool for me to wear it though. Any sign of heat and I get itchy. Now, the pattern is nice and Wendy has added some changes to get a better fit. That said, you have to use your brain when you knit this if you want a good fit. That means stopping and trying it on to determine if you need to make any pattern adjustments. I like that because I get a custom fit. If you want some mindless knitting, this may not be it. Don't get me wrong, there are mindless parts of it because it is stockinette but you do have to watch it in some criticial areas for proper fit. Overall, I like the pattern and the yarn. I'd recommend it. Next up, Not your standard issue sweatshirt. Okay, I'd been dying to knit this for awhile. I used Knit Picks Main Line for the yarn sub. Okay, let me say now that I really like most of knit picks' yarn and haven't been dissatisfied yet. This particular just isn't my favorite though it does have some good qualities. The colors are nice and it is reasonably soft with good stitch definition. The down side is that it seems to show wear very quickly. My sweater has a soft fuzzy halo to it already. That might be okay to some it just wasn't what I expected. So, while I love their other yarn, this particular one is not my favorite. I dont' hate it but I can't say I love it. On to the pattern. It's well written and an interesting knit. The only part that I didn't like was the hood so I left it off. It came up too short and was very pointy. Has anyone perfected the knit hood? There just has to be a better way. I had to do a do over on the seaming but that had nothing to do with the pattern. Let's just say I remember why I prefer knitting in the round. Overall, I'd recommend the pattern sans the hood. You can decide whether you would use main line or not. It was an economical alternative for my purposes but I'd recommend buying a skein and swatching it to see if you like it despite the drawbacks. So, what's on my needles now? Well, lots of stuff! To my kids' amazement, I'm knitting them some stuff. Yeah, I normally only knit for myself but the kids are big martin mystery fans so I've designed a cardi based on his shirt. I'm using Knit picks Swish in red pepper and some bare I dyed yellow. Let me tell you, this is the softest yarn! Even my youngest, who screeches if he touches wool, loves it! The pattern is my own so I'll let you know how it goes, The other kids knit is EZ's moebius vest. I'm using some handspun from a CVM named Andy. I got his fleece from Shepherdchik (her fleece rocks!). The fleece is really springy and is knitting up nicely despite my beginner's thick and thin spinning. I dyed the fleece a blue color that didn't turn out at all how I expected. I actually hated the color but my oldest liked so I decided to make the boy's a vest from it. I've also started the icelandic lace shawl using a kit from Sarah's yarns. I love buying from her. She ships so fast! I'm mulling over which of my own designs to get going on next. I might put the names in a hat and draw them out. Who knows? So, until later, take it easy! Alicia

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Out golfing

Yep, I've been knitting, spinning and crocheting. I've also been golfing. I took a beginners clinic in September and October. I suck but I like it. I even have a set of (cheap) clubs and a (expensive) pair of golf shoes. So, I'll post a pic this afternoon/late evening with my log cabin afghan that I finished. Yay! I love it! I'm almost done with my Somewhat Cowl and hope to finish it this weekend. I'm planning on sewing and embroidering a pair of gauchos to go with it. No, I don't care if the gaucho is out of fashion. For us pear shaped gals, the gaucho is a classic friend which should never go away. Skinny pants, on the other hand, are our bitchy arch nemesis sent here to make us look huge. Take heed curvy ladies, skinny pants are not your friend. They will make your thighs look huge and your hips even huger. Who let those things come back into fashion anyway and how much do they hate women with hips? If you don't know, Kristi of Red Dog Knits is shutting down blog shop. I'm going to miss her. Really, I do understand. She's got so much going on not to mention two little babies. How she kept it going so long I don't know. So, stop by and wish her a fond farewell. She and her hubby have set up a family blog so we can keep abreast of her boys' growth. Bookmark it cuz those boys are cute cute cute!!!! Well, my mom has arrived with breakfast in hand so I"m going to run eat. Later ya'll!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Because I'm not a total sour puss!

As promised, here are some pictures of knitting stuff! First, these are my socks from Amy H., my sock pal! Thanks so much for the beautiful socks! I've worn them several times and they hold up to machine washing and drying beautifully! I'm pretty rough on socks so the ability to hold up in the wash was really important to me. I've finished my Fifi for the Sexy Knitters club KAL. I loved working on this top even though I had to frog it twice because I was on the fence on size. Then, I failed to cast on enough underarm stitches so had to rip back and correct that. It was a great learning experience and I highly recommend it. My somewhat cowl is close to finished and I can't wait. I ripped the bind off out to add length. I'll either do a tubular double rib bind off or a suspended bind off. Suspended is quicker but not as elastic. It's probably better to take the time to do the tubular. Sigh. I'm also crocheting a lapghan. Yep, it's acrylic. Any blankie in my house better be machine washable AND dryable. I'd love to do one in a luxury yarn one day but honestly, it would likely get ruined. Still, I'll give a review of the yarn I"m using which happens to be Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand. The price is reasonable at $2.00 per ball and about 220 yards. It's fairly soft and comes in a range of "grown up" colors. I'm finding it a bit splitty but not to the point where it's difficult to work with. As far as pilling, I'll have to let you know after I've laundered it a bit. The pattern I'm using is from Vanna White's new afghan book which complements the yarn line. The only modification I made was to use 4 colors instead of 5. In good news, the man next door paid up. Apparently it's just his wife who is a complete heifer. Really, she was angry with him and not me. Still, whatever. Oh, even better news, I got my ravelry invite yesterday!!!!! I spent half of the day on there. I still have more stash to enter. It's really neat and well worth the wait for the invite. Later! Alicia
PS I threw in a pic of some roving I spun up. I'll get the info on where I got it put up on next post. It's a merino/tencel blend and the colorway is called banded iguana. Thank you Lime and Violet for enabling me to get that.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ommmm, Ommmmm, Grrrrr, Grrrrr

Sigh. Where to begin? This has been a long summer for me and for the kids. Here we are now with school beginning next week! Tonight we went to meet their teachers. Yay! I really hope they have great teachers. They seem very nice. This week seems to have been jam packed with landmines. On Sunday, my neighbor inadvertently sprayed my husbands' truck with paint. Yeah. That was a joy to wake up to. Of course he sweared up and down he would take care of it. So, I had a truck detail guy come by and clay bar and buff it out and put a new protective coat on. The total damage was $200.00. Much less than a new paint job. Instead of honoring their responsibility to pay, my neighbor is now refusing to pay. Lovely. F***ing assholes! Sorry. I normally try to keep this blog clean but right now I am livid. Just livid. Now, I have the money to cover this repair but that's not really the point. If my neighbor had been responsible and asked me to move my vehicles before painting, we could have avoided this whole mess. Instead, he got paint on our truck. Now, he doesn't want to own up to the responsibility of paying for his mistake. His wife had the audacity to act angry and pissy with me! Uh, hello! Not my fault!!! This has just got to be the universe testing me. I'm trying to transition to a vegan diet and get more in touch with myself etc etc. Why is it that when you try to get all spiritual every crapbutt thing in the world happens to completely piss you off? Now, a lesser me would say screw it all and munch on some cheese toast and down some wine while grousing away. The trying to be spiritual me is still going to grouse (hey I'm pissed what can I say?) but I'll avoid the dairy and wine. I wish I had the wine. I'll just make a vegan curry instead and drink some green tea. Then, I'll knit a bit and think about all the reasons that this, while unjust, is truly just an annoyance. There are bigger things to feel indignant and upset over. This just isn't worth the energy. Lest you think I'm all negative, let me throw some positives in there. I got my sockapalooza pal's socks and they are so lovely!!! Thanks Amy H! I love the rain hat as well! I have to send a thanks out to Alison of Blue blog who organizes this whole thing. You rock girlfriend! Oh, side note to Sam, hope you are doing better and getting ready for your vacation! It's been sort of crazy here. I'm seriously considering a potential destash sale on ebay. I've acquired more than I can knit. The big question is what would I part with? I have issues letting go of stuff. Pack rat-itis runs in my family. I promise some pics on the next post. Ones of my beautiful sock pal socks; my Fifi in progress; my somewhat cowl in progress, and my crochet blanket in progress. You get the idea. Lots of stuff in progress. Must force children to learn to knit and do my bidding! Alas, they show no interest. So, I"d better get on that curry and bust out some yoga and meditate. It's the only thing that's holding me back from making a mad dash to the store for some wine and cheese. I still haven't ruled out the wine. Butthead neighbors. Till next time, Alicia

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The week of Mondays

This past week has been like Monday repeating itself over and over again. You know those kind of weeks. The kind where you can't manage to be on time even when you get up early; the kind when the car just seems to suck up gas like water in the desert; where no matter how much you clean the house is dirty in the next two minutes. It's just been that kind of week. Whatever. Last night I watched the season premiere for Monk and for Psych. I love those shows. I have to say of the two, I enjoyed Psych more. Not that Monk was bad, I just really loved Psych. My feelings have been a bit on my sleeve lately so it just felt like such a relief to just laugh. Laughter helps after a week of some expected disappointment that stung a lot more than I thought it would. My husband sent me a great email that made me feel so much better. My sister was also a great encouragement too. Happy Anniversary to my hubby! 10 years and we're still going! I love you hon!! My cousin and her daughter are coming to visit next week so I really must clean my house. Hopefully it will stay clean. Yeah, right! In knitting news, I've completed my pals first sock and am past the heel in the second. My goal is to get it done by Sunday. I've got the Somewhat Cowl on the needles and have done my gauge swatch for Fifi. Now to cast on for Fifi. Did I mention that I love Rowan Calmer?? I do. I love it so much I've composed an letter to it. Here goes:

Oh Calmer, I love your Rowan-y goodness. I'll confess I was skeptical and did not believe in your sproingyness. Indeed you are the most sproingy wonderful yarn ever. You, Calmer, are like a marshmellow without any stickiness. You're spongy, soft and surprisingly fun to knit with. Why, dear Calmer, must you cost $11.95 usd per ball? Why? Don't realize I must knit with you and can only afford discontinued colors on sale? Please consider lowering your cost to $9.00 per skein! BTW, I know that I can get you for $9 usd per skein but that's from overseas. Now, I'm not above ordering you from an overseas source but I lose that lovely discount with the cost of shipping. So, my dear Calmer, you must somehow consider making yourself available at discounted price in the US, where I happen to live. Also, do you think you could manage some tweed and heather selections? If not, I'll manage. You know I'll knit with you anyway even if I have to sell other belongings on ebay to do it. Sincerely, Alicia

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hot Summer

Well, I've been around and very busy lately. I've just decided I won't ever get unbusy so I'd better make the time to blog regardless. DH was home for two weeks in June so that obviously took up much of our time. We went to Sea World again which was lots of fun. Let me tell you, we stayed there for 10 hours. Yes, 10 hours. Our legs were actually sore from all the walking. Still, we had a great time. My friend Carolyn moved to Colorado. Boo. I miss her very much. I made her a pair of socks to wear when the snow touches the ground. Sigh. Her daughter, Cady. whom I taught to knit, graduated high school so I made her a necklace that I hope she gets much enjoyment and use from. (Yep, I ended my sentence with a preposition. My English teacher would cringe!) That is such a special age. Damn I feel old!! My friend Samantha sent me a birthday present from England. It arrived at the perfect time. I was in a bit of funk with Al leaving and sort of sitting around here just doing the same old thing. The summer blues are still here but that's just because I have too much time on my hands. Too much time to contemplate and dream. Time is so funny that way. One day you think there just isn't enough and another it seems to drag on mercilessly. I'm working on my sockapalooza pal's socks. The pattern I've chosen isn't particularly difficult but I'm concerned it may not look as attractive as I hoped. Really what I mean is that I don't want this lady to think I'm some dunce knitter who can't do a complex pattern. I'm a bit scared that the simple pattern I"ve chosen will look too simple. It's a baby cable rib pattern, I chose it for it's elasticity to make sure of a great fit. The yarn I'm using is variegated so I"m concerned it won't show very well. I'm reluctant to break away from knitting for fear of making a too big or too small sock. Maybe I'll whip up two pairs of socks and then decide between the two. I just don't know yet. Well, I'm off to watch some Shark Week stuff I got off itunes and drink the rest of my Merlot. Good wine and sharks. What more could a gal want? Here's some photos of what I've been up to. The fleece in the bag is some CVM from a sheep named Andy that I carded into roving. Dreamy. Andy, you rock. Oh, the couch is my new couch. I ditched the couches I painted because hell, they were old. Also, the new couch was on sale. I love a good sale. I love my new couch. Sorry if the whole post is choppy and rambling. I'll get back in the groove of things shortly. Till then, knit on. Alicia

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Belated Mother's Day

One word. Gastroenteritis. So, that is why I'm sending a belated Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms out there. Hope you didn't spend your day barfing up cinnamon rolls like I did. I will be back once I can keep food down. For the record, I won't be eating any cinnamon rolls any time soon.
ps. Got my sister's bday gift in the mail today. The primavera wrap kit from Alice Starmore. IT ROCKS!!!!! Love ya Lea!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yarn inventory and public humiliation

How much yarn is too much yarn? Do you buy yarn as you use it or do you collect and hoard it? Apparently, I am a hoarder. Last week, I inventoried my yarn stash. This took me two hours. TWO HOURS! I have, officially, 419 balls of yarn in my stash. This does not include fiber that can be spun into more yarn. We won't discuss that. The next two hours consisted of me entering all of the yarn info into an excel spreadsheet. This is how I discovered the actual total once I summed up the quantity column. At first, I misread and thought I had 719 balls of yarn. I was so stunned I believed this to be true for a full 24 hours before I looked at my spreadsheet again. Now, 419 doesn't seem so very high. In fact, I was quite relieved to know I did NOT have 719 balls of yarn but only 419. What's the end result of this knowledge? I have to knit, weave or other wise use 200 balls of that yarn before I allow myself to buy anymore. Moving on now. In other knitting news, I have purchased a copy of Alice Starmore's Tudor Roses. I MUST KNIT CATHERINE HOWARD! Why? Because it's purty and challenging. I must also knit several other items from this book in order to justify what I paid for the book. Trust me, you really don't want to know what I paid. Ridiculous I tell you but if I knit damn near everything in there (and I probably will) it will be worth it for me. In completely non knitting news, my digital camera has died and I've ordered a new one so this post will be photoless. I cannot bear to put up another crappy phone camera photo. Should be here next week so until then, no pics. Now, for the public humiliation news. Thursday morning my oldest son woke up sick to his stomach and had to stay home from school. Magically, by mid morning he felt better so I had him accompany me on many errands. He hates that beyond words. One of those many errands involved me scouring local libraries for other Alice Starmore books. At the final library stop, my son sat behind me while I perused the bookshelf. Keep in mind he had been impatiently whining about going home at each and every stop prior to this. So, when I heard a whisper behind me begging to leave, I naturally assumed this was my son. I went into this long spiel about not whining and leaving when I was done only to turn around and see a stunned little girl sitting beside another grinning mom. No hole was available to crawl into so I apologized profusely as the other mom said that my response to her daughter sounded good to her and to not worry about it. I was mortified!!!! Note to self, ensure child you are scolding is actually your child. Thanks for the understanding to the other mom!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Well, I was going to post yesterday a really tongue in cheek piece since I inventoried my yarn stash and all. Then, I watched the news and decided it just isn't the right time. I'm at a loss for words about the whole Virginia Tech massacre. Stunned. Just stunned. I'm so sorry for the victims, their friends and families. I'm also wondering what in the hell would motivate a person to do that? How do you get that damn crazy, brutal and filled with rage? It just is beyond my comprehension. Unreal. At a more appropriate time, I'll be back with my yarn stash post but until then, I'm keeping it to myself. For now, I'll be watching, along with everyone else, to try and figure out just what the hell happened and how to keep it from happening again.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blocking saved the day

You know those pink tube socks that I was afraid would be too small? Well, I finished them last night and blocked them. I love blocking now. I will block whenever I can. My pink socks don't have to be gifts. They can be for ME ME ME!!! Yes! It's the yarn. I love the yarn. Fleece Artist in some pink and creamy white color. Purty and girly. I also finished about a week ago my Scottish Wave Scarf from Cat Bordhi's Treasury of Magical Knitting. Okay, my shawl is really more like a capelet because, ahem, I didn't check gauge. Now, gauge is something I normally check. In fact, I usually plan one extra skein of yarn just for that. Why not this go round? Well, the LYS I got the yarn and needles from had it as a prepackaged kit. I don't have an LYS so when I was on vacation at my Dad's, I went to the one there. Normally, I shop online. I had to buy the needles special since I don't normally have circulars that long so I was rather stuck with those needles. Okay, I could have bought new needles but I wasn't going to do it. That would have required waiting for a pair from mail order and I've been dying to do that pattern for awhile now. I love it even though it's a capelet and even though I messed up the stitch pattern a few times. No, I did not rip it. It's moebius knitting for crying out loud. I was too afraid to rip it and end up with a mess. The mistake isn't that glaring and if you're that close to me that you'd notice you'd better be my husband. And believe me, he is sure not gonna notice. So, the end result is that I'm likely going to end up with some new knitting needles with really long cables. I might give the knitpicks set a try. So, here are the socks and the scarf/capelet. Ignore the nonmatching pajamas with the capelet. Still using the crappy camera phone but I'll get some new disks for my camera next week. Till later, Alicia

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Beads and Wool

Better frame of mind today. Much better. I have an appointment to get my teeth cleaned tomorrow. No cavities I hope. Here are a few pictures of some jewelry I'll be listing for sale on Etsy in May. Why May? That get's me through birthdays and is towards the end of school. Plus, it's enough time to get a nice amount of items made. The pictures are really not great since they were taken with my phone camera. I need to get my digital one some new disks. Till then, the old phone camera will have to do. The shell bead necklace was made with beads I got while in Virginia on Spring Break. They had two bead shops there and it was heaven!!! If you like yarn shops, you'll like bead shops. So much color and texture! Also, I wanted to include a picture of some wool fleece that I bought from SheperdChik. I loved it so much I ordered more. The chocolate brown is from a Romeldale named Pepper. If Oliver (my cat) were to meet her in person, he might be her boyfriend. He loves her fleece. He actually frolicked in it until I caught him and shooed him away. Scandolous little devil!! The grey is from a CVM named Andy. If I had a farm, I'd ask to have Andy come for summer visits. Like Oliver, I would have frolicked in his fleece if I could have. I also got a small bit of black Shetland wool. A bit advanced for a beginner like me but I've been known to throw caution to the wind on occasion. The way I figure, life's short so go for it. If you screw it up, at least you can say you tried. BTW, if you spin, SheperdChik has lovely fleece and I highly recommend her. I'll link to her blog as soon as I, techno doofus, figure out how to do it. All of the fleece I received was so nice! I even ordered a drum carder because I realized that hand carding all of it would drive me batty. Now, for an update on what's on my needles/hook/bead board/etc.:
Somewhat Cowl--I'm waiting on replacement needles since, after consuming two glasses of wine, I sat on my needles and broke one. That sucked but at least I wasn't impaled on the needle.
Tube Sock #2--I'm sick of knitting these even though I like the pattern and yarn. Maybe I'm sick of it because I know they won't fit me and will end up being a gift. Damn.
Crochet Afghan 1-
Crochet Afghan 2--
Scotland Wave Shawl--There is an error in the pattern that the errata doesn't explain. Must sit down and figure it out. Crap!
Coral Necklace--Need to order extra sterling beads and I can string her up and be done with it!
Plus, so much miscellaneous other stuff I may never finish it all. Best get back to work!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spinnin' the Night Away

Okay. I'm channeling the song Tubthumping here. Hit your itunes and search it if you can't remember it. They're an Irish band who had a hit with that song some years back. Not sure why I thought of that but I did. Spinning is such a relaxing thing for me. It is as calming to me as yoga. Probably one of the few times I can smile at my mistakes and not feel overly critical of them. I need to spin right now. Need it like you can't imagine. Why is it that when you move forward in life something comes along like a speedbump from hell to remind that nothing can ever be easy? I have to confess. DH and I have been in the midst of a legal wrangle amongst his dad and uncles over his late Grandmother's property which all of them inherited an equal portion of. The fact that DH inherited an equal portion of that property which seems to have his dad and uncles in twist. To make it worse, one uncle sued to be bought out and that's the legal wrangle. You don't even want to know the drama that caused all that. Dh was willing to do whatever his dad and uncles wanted at first. They want to keep the house at this point. You cannot imagine the grief we've had over this whole thing. They've tried to get us to be part of a loan on the house and even suggested Alan just sign away his portion of the home to his Dad without being bought out. To make a long story short, it looks like we are going to have to retain our own attorney in this matter. Dealing with this while DH is deployed has been a nightmare. After the correspondence I recieved this weekend, we are just insisting that they buy us out. I've had it with dealing with these people, who have no interest in us and only call when they want something. There is so much to all this, so much that it would take more room and energy than I am willing to expend to explain it all. I just wish it would be done with. I want to say, "Buy us out and leave us alone. Don't call, ever again. Don't pretend interest in our kids, whose names you don't even know and whom you tbought were girls until we corrected you. Just go away. Our lives are fine without you and will continue to be fine after you leave. You have only brought stress and frustration to us to this point." But, I know for DH's sake, I cannot say those things. So I will write them here and I will spin when I'm not writing. And I will knit and make jewelry when I am not spinning. I have some jewelry to show you but that will keep until tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be more positive and in a better state of mind. Tomorrow I will not let this stress seep into me like poison. I'll process it today and plan how I'm going to deal with it all. That way, I can enjoy the rest of my week. I'm going to spin up the rest of this fiber(pictured as yarn on the bobbin). It's a superwash merino tencel blend in tamarack spruce colorway. It came from Susan's spinning bunny. I love her fiber. Look her up on ebay. She is a dream to deal with and has lovely fiber and yarn if you happen not to spin. Spinning this blend is so wonderful. It's soft and silky. The colors are better than I even imagined. Susan, can you tell I'm going to be ordering more from you in the future? I'm also going to finish the mate to this pink tube sock. The yarn is fleece artist and I love it. The pattern is from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I love that book!! The socks a little tight on me so unless it loosens up with blocking it might be put away as a gift for next year. I really hope not because I love that yarn which is odd because I at first thought the color was too girly. Now, I can't bear to part with it. Guess I'm just feeling girly after all. Till tomorrow and in the hopes of better spirits.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Well, here is a really crappy picture of my Wicked. I wasn't actually going to do this one with the SKC but I saw Jeanie's and decided to give it a go. I used Rowan's Cashsoft Aran from Webs. Webs, you are evil and I spend more money with you than I care to think about. Please stay in business forever. Jeanie, quit making things you know I'll want to make. You are also responsible for my making the Simple Knitted Bodice too. Do you know how much that Tilli Tomas cost me??? Still, this was a quick knit and just what I needed for some instant knitting gratification. Now, I don't normally have folks flock to me and pet my knitting but this time they did. This sweater I got tons of compliments on and everyone loved the softness of the yarn. Rowan, don't ever quit making Cashsoft. I love it as much as I love Noro Silk Garden and that's a lot. If it were possible to marry a yarn, I'd marry Silk Garden and maybe date Cashsoft too. If you like casual knitwear and can wear a pocket around your middle (though you don't have to add the pocket), Wicked is nice pattern. I'd recommend it and definitely recommend Cashsoft Aran too. Let me add a note, I was a bit off on gauge even with one needle size smaller (6 I think) with Cashsoft Aran but not by much. I didn't change needle size down more than one size because I felt the fabric would be too stiff. Instead, I compensated by sizing down one size in the pattern which worked nicely for me. If you do this, check your fit often. Oh, a mistake I made was to accidentally use the size 7 needles for my pocket. I liked the larger pocket and didn't feel the difference was so obvious that I had to rip back and change it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rumpelstiltskin and straw spun into gold

When I was a girl I loved the story of Rumpelstiltskin. You know the one, where the dwarf, Rumpelstiltskin, agrees to help the miller's daughter spin straw into gold but for a price. She has to give up her first born child for the spun gold. When Rumpelstiltskin comes to claim her first born, the miller's daughter is now the queen and offers her entire fortune to save her child. Rumpelstiltskin agrees to relinquish his claim if she can guess his real name. The queen eventually does guess his name and Rumpelstiltskin jumps up and down and sinks himself into the ground in a rage. Well, I didn't jump up and down in a rage but neither did I spin straw into gold. Instead, using a Spindolyn and some Romney wool roving, I spun wool into some seriously lumpy bumpy yarn. Still, it's yarn I made so that makes me happy. I've been spinning everyday since then. What started all this? Well, Shannon Okey's Spin to Knit , a gift from my sister, started it! Funny, I recall that another gift from my sister, Stitch n Bitch, got me started knitting. I'm sensing a theme here!!! So, here's what my yarn looks like. Recently, I bought a majacraft Suzie and I love it. More spinning pictures will come. Right now, I'm busy spinning! I've also finished a good many projects that I haven't blogged about since I went on vacation. Instead of backtracking, I'll just update you on what I've finished and what is on my needles so far. Just finished, the Simple Knitted Bodice--smokin'!!! I love it! I used Tilli Tomas yarn which was very pretty but I have to say I found more knots that I think acceptable for a yarn of that cost. Would I use the yarn again? Probably so. I believe you have to give a second chance to see if the knots were an anomaly. I also finished Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style. I used Noro Silk Garden. I love Noro yarn!!!! I also just finished Wicked with Rowan Cashsoft Aran. It was a quick knit and just what I needed to satisfy my need to finish a project quickly. My other new love is jewelry making. I have several designs I'm working on both in jewelry and in knitting. I'm not a particularly fast knitter so you will likely see the jewelry before you see the knitting! Till then, here is some yarn spun on my spindolyn and a pic of lady eleanor while she was in progress. I've also included a pic of some lorna's laces sock yarn that I hand dyed with a tie dye tshirt kit I got on sale for $4. I love to do my own dyeing! It's pretty gratifying knowing you have something that was made just by you! Till later, Alicia

Oh yeah,
On my needles/hook/bead board:
Somewhat Cowl
Tube Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks
Cherry Blossom Top (my own design)
two crochet afghans
Prissy Powder Room Towel
Zebra jasper and coral earrings and necklace

Monday, January 01, 2007

Finland is lovely!

Here are some pictures from our trip to Finland. The boys and I had such a great time! It was so good to see my sister again! Finland was so much more than I'd expected it to be. It was so very beautiful. Like a winter wonderland. It reminded me of how I see Narnia in my mind when I read the book. The snow was like sugar powder. We did so much while we were there that it would take days to describe it all so I'll just hit the highlights. We went to Santa's Village and perused around while the kids slid down the ice slide. I even joined in the fun and slid down too! Later, we went snowmobiling. That was a first for me and I pulled the kids behind me in a sledge. It made me so nervous to drive that thing towing them behind because it was so dark outside! We were on a trail and it had lots of bumps and turns so I drove slowly just to be cautious. I totally want a snowmobile! At the reindeer farm, Kai (my oldest son) got to try his hand at snowmobiling on a mini snowmobile. He loved it! We got pulled in a sled by reindeer and they are much faster than I thought. Did you know they run faster than horses? I got to walk a reindeer as well. They are really lovely animals and their history with the Sami people is very interesting. The Sami are the only indigenous peoples of Europe and learning about them was fascinating. I was so inspired by their dress and customs for many designs. We also got to go to the husky ranch and get pulled by a team of sled dogs. Now they are fast!!! It was just like in the movies! The dogs were jumping and barking desperate to get going to pull the sled. You could see that they enjoyed what they did. We did and saw so many things that were so once in a lifetime. The only thing I didn't see was the Northern Lights because it was never clear or cold enough to do that. I know that I'm surely missing some big bits and pieces of our experience but there really was just so much. Thanks to my sister for inviting us! If you get the chance to go to Finland, I highly recommend Rovaniemi and Safartica tours. You should plan some time outside of the tours too because the tours really are full day affairs. It was a great time and I'd definitely do it again! Here's some photos from our time there.