Memorial Day weekend

I hope everyone had a great long weekend. I went camping with my husband and some friends; a great time was had by all. And we weren't eaten by bears (unfortunately, we heard last night that a couple of people were mawled by bears at other parks over the weekend...not good)! Here is where we slept for 4 nights:

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In knitting news: I got a wonderful goody package from Amy at Good to be a Girl If you visit her blog you can see what an effort she put in to the packages that she sent out to celebrate her blog-a-versary. It was nice to come back from my weekend to find this stuff waiting for me on the doorstep.

I also got my Knitpicks order - I will post pics soon. I can't wait to get knitting with the yarn I ordered. I think I mentioned in an earlier post what I bought. I'm hoping to get back into some serious knitting over the next few days. Work has really kept me from getting down to it. I want to finish up my Kyoto too!!!


Secret Pal 5 Questionnaire

Well folks, here it is, my questionnaire. Hopefully it will be of some help to whomever is my SP.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? I’m not a yarn snob at all; budget generally makes me use whatever yarn I can. I’d love any yarn sent to me. I do have a yarn wishlist that I made up myself just from a list of projects I want to make, so SP5, if you want it, you can email me. I feel funny posting it out for everyone to see. I will also probably be making up a wishlist on Knitpicks as well since I placed my first order recently.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? No.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.) No.

4. How long have you been knitting? A little over 6 months maybe.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, here is a link: Beck's Amazon Wishlist. A word of warning: there are knitting books on there, but you have to wade through everything else. Also, secondhand books/used books are fine with me. The reason so many of my books on this wishlist are political or foreign affairs related is because I'm majoring in International Affairs at college, plus I'm just interested in that kind of stuff.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Vanilla and Mango, plus I like most fruity smells. I also like most floral scents. The ONLY scents I don’t like are the spicy scents like cinnamon, ginger etc.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Yes, but I’m a chocolate snob! I only eat Cadbury’s chocolate. Some of my other favorite candy/sweet stuff are marshmallows (just the white ones), Werther’s soft chews, and jelly beans (just regular flavors, not gourmet flavors).

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Scrapbooking and sewing.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like R&B/Hip Hop, but also artists like Rob Thomas/Matchbox 20; Lenny Kravitz. And yes, MP3s are acceptable.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? Blue. I do like green, pink, and orange, but blue is my #1 favorite color.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I’ve been married for 7 years with no kids. I don’t have any pets (unless husbands count), but would love to get a dog (can a secret pal send one of these in the mail?)!!

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know) At 27, I’ve just decided to go back to college (well I started last year, but I’m picking it up again). I want to get a degree in International Affairs and either become a translator, or work for some govt organization. I would also like to write and be published. I want to travel the world (well, not every place, but quite a few). That’s about it – nothing too drastic.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I guess I don't really have the yarn experience to say what my true favorites are.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Scratchy ones; ones that break easily.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? I want to try and start knitting socks, but don’t have any easy patterns or yarns, so I’m kind of obsessing about that. Also I’m obsessing about starting the clapotis, just need to choose a yarn and get going. I also want to make myself a poncho. I've been looking at several patterns, but haven't decided yet.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I don’t have any.

17. What are you knitting right now? Trying to finish my Kyoto from Knitty.com

18. What do you think about ponchos? Love them!!!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Straight, but will use circs if I have to. I think it’s because I just don’t feel comfortable with them yet.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Plastic and aluminum. Please, NO bamboo or wooden needles. I have this weird sensation reaction (i.e. horrible goosebumps) to wood and wooden spoons etc. And yes, I did say "weird" so I'm aware of my odd problem.

21. Are you a sock knitter? Nope, but if you read #15 you will see that I want to.

22. How did you learn to knit? My grandmother taught me a long time ago and I just picked it up again last year.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? What is a UFO, other than an unidentified flying object? Okay, I found the answer to my question. I guess my oldest UFO is about 4 months old, but then, I've only been knitting for about 6 months.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? I love Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet. I love dogs, although I don’t have one.

25. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!! (Can you tell I love Christmas?) My birthday is four days after Christmas and then comes New Years, so that time of year is one continuous celebration for me.

26. Is there anything that you collect? Not really. I love books though.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Family Circle Easy Knitting & Knitting Digest. I love Interweave Knits & Vogue Knitting (I think the international one), but don't have subscriptions.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on? A good book on easy sock patterns and a knitting book about Christmas stockings, plus the Viva Ponchos books (on my Amazon wishlist).

So now that I feel totally exposed, I think I'll go for now.


Mail call

I finally got around to ordering from Everything Australian. I usually place an order every couple of months, or whenever I run out of Vegemite. I used up the last bit of Vegemite at the end of last year, but since we were moving up here to Virginia, I decided to wait and order once we got settled. Well, a couple of months later...I finally did it. I love that they use UPS and it arrives in a couple of days!! So here are my goodies:

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I ordered some Sao Biscuits (like crackers, but not quite); Ginger Nut and Milk Arrowroot Biscuits, a.k.a. "cookies" (great for dunking in tea or coffee); Vegemite (two small jars and some travel packets); Minties; Sliced Beetroot (the beets over here just don't pack the same punch); and some orange Cordial (kind of like Kool-Aid, but in liquid form).

So for all you Aussies living over here in the States, if you really crave some good old fashioned Aussie food head over to Everything Australian, or even try About Australia. Both are great businesses.

Anyway, on the knitting front, I placed my first order with Knitpicks last night. I ordered some Sock Memories in Gladiolus; orange Andean Silk; and Simple Stripes in Snapdragon. I'm going to use this to make my first pair of socks (hopefully). I'll post a pic when it comes in the mail.


Kyoto Comeback

I've picked up the needles for my Kyoto sweater again. I'm working on the collar right now, which should be done sometime tomorrow hopefully. Then, if I can swing it between my work schedule this weekend, I'm going to work on the sash. And then I just have to put it back together.

I finally got my Last-Minute Knitted Gifts from Crafters Choice. I picked it as one of my intro books, but it didn't ship with the others and I was beginning to get worried that it wasn't going to make an appearance. I've flipped through it a couple of times, and as usual, I want to make a couple of the things. I'm going to make the Purl Scarf (page 80) for a friend of mine for her birthday in Sept. I know that's a long way off, but I'm hoping that if I start early I will get it done on time. School will start back up for me at the end of August so I don't want to leave it to the last minute and then be swamped with other stuff. I think I'm going to go with the colors they've used (the red version).

On the life front, I've returned to the dentist after a long time (I won't say how long because it's embarrassing; although the main reason it's been so long is that we've lived in a couple of remote areas where acess was limited) and I need a lot of work done. I've been twice this week and will go back in early June. I don't really have a dentist phobia, but I have highly sensitive teeth and hated the cleaning they gave me today - and it wasn't even the full cleaning. Anyway...enough about my teeth. Maybe if I get braces I will post a pic.

In other news, do you think it would be wrong to do some knitting while camping? My DH and I are spending the Memorial Day weekend with friends camping at Gambrill State Park. We'll be sleeping in a tent, our friends will be in the cabin. I figured I would take a knitting project along with me.


Look what I got!

My unofficial Bead-It pal, Amy sent me these cute little stitch markers. There was a little mix-up and Amy ended up with 2 Bead-It pals. I don't know who my original Bead-It buddy was, but I'm looking forward to seeing the stitch markers they create. Anyway, look at this:

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She sent me a cute little notebook, little purse and stitch markers.

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A closer look. See the little sprinkles on the donuts! So much detail!!


No Knitting

While I don't have any knitting content, I did something today that falls into my other obsession - BOOKS! I went to Borders in town and it has been ages since I took a look inside. Now I know why...I walked out with three books and a magazine (about books!). I didn't intend to buy anything, but oh well. I now have some interesting reading material (none knitting related).

As for knitting, if anyone reads this blog (and I'm starting to wonder...and yet I still continue to post), you will see that I ripped out my shrug and don't really have any stuff going on. I do have to finish my Kyoto, but I'm not feeling it right now. I think I'm going to start a new project tomorrow - a scarf from the book Scarf Style. I'm also thinking of splurging on some Colinette Giotto for a different shrug from the latest issue of IK, but since I just dropped $60 on books I might have to put that on the backburner.


R.I.P. Shrug

Well my shrug is gone. I had to pull it out. You can find the story at Shrug-Along. I'm annoyed that I'm going to have to start again, but I wasn't really getting into it anyway. I think it was because I've been working so much that I haven't had any time to knit anyway. So I think I'm going to switch to a different shrug and see what happens.

Also, here are the stitch markers I made for my bead-it pal:

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Just bead-it!

UPDATEYeah! I finished those stitch markers. I did start on them a couple of days ago and just had to finish them off by attaching the split rings etc. I think they turned out pretty good for my first attempt. But let me just say this - it's not as easy as one might think to make stitch markers! Once I send them out I'll post a pic.

I still have not finished my stitch markers for the secret bead-it pal. I've still got a little bit of time before they have to be sent out, one day, and they are mostly done. I just have to do the finishing touches and get them organized to send.

The reason I haven't had time to scratch myself is that I've been working so much this week. The only day off I've had was Monday. I was called in on Wed and Fri to cover someone. So that made it so I worked Tues-Sun. At least next week I can take a bit of a break since my schedule is so light.

Sadly, I also haven't done any knitting since Tuesday evening!!!! Sometimes I'm just so tired when I get home that I can't bring myself to pick up the needles - AS MUCH AS I WANT TO. So my poor little shrug is barely going.



Not knitting related, but we have a couple of flowering shrubs in our backyard. I decided to share.

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I had forgotten how much working takes out of you. I only work part-time (not in a knitting store, but something fun: The Disney Store), but it's hard to juggle time now. Knitting has dropped off a little bit. I'm still working, slowly, on my shrug for the KAL.

I finally got the Summer IK yesterday - a whole week after I first tried to get it. As usual, there is plenty inside that I want to make. I really like the bath robe on page 28. I saw one that was really nice, and similar, but obviously not hand knitted, in a Victoria's Secret catalog once. I think it was cashmere and I KNOW it was very expensive. I really liked it though. The yarn called for in this pattern is Blue Sky Alpaca, which would also make this a really expensive piece to knit...so I will have to substitute.

I have to get my A into G and drive to Fredericksburg on Friday to hit up the bead store, BeadL*Jewlz. I've never been there, but I need to get some beads for my secret Bead-It stitch markers. Yeah, yeah, this is leaving it to the last minute since they have to be sent out by May 9th and I work both Sat & Sun this weekend!

Anyway, I'm off to do some knitting while watching my Wednesday ABC tv line-up.


Mother's Day Present done

I finished my mum's scarf. You can see a pic in the sidebar. Here are a couple of other pics for you. One is a close up of what it turned out like (after a little bit of felting) and the other is the present almost packed up and ready to post.

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Eeyore is going to have to live with having his nose squashed for the duration of the trip to Australia. I'm sure he can live with it.