12.31.2006

I'm Back!

I took this photo in Jackson Square. I'm not sure why that man is using a Ken doll as a model, but to each his own I suppose...

Made it back from New Orleans after a flight cancellation on Friday night that kept us there an extra day. Still in St. Louis and was uploading some photos, so I thought I should post a quick hello! I've got a lot of things cooking right now, including some fun knitting stuff, so I want to get back to that...more later.

For now, Happy New Year, and I'll see you all again in 2007!

12.25.2006

On Vacation...

So take a look at my Christmas Tree and the presents that have likely been opened by now. I'm in St. Louis and New Orleans, won't be back until the New Year...and hopefully, I'll have some new knitting goodies to show with my return!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

12.21.2006

I'm such a joiner...

Remember this post? It's time for me to seriously consider this KAL (or would it be a Stash-a-long?) I don't need to buy new yarn. I just spent too much money on enough Noro to make 5 adult sweaters (no joke.) I'm trying to make 2007 the year of getting myself in order from head to toe, and that stash yarn is not helping. This is my public declaration that I am going to Knit From My Stash in 2007, abiding by the following rules:
  1. Timeframe - January through June, 2007.
  2. I will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:
    2.a. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that I really and truly do not have the yarn for, I can buy yarn to knit that gift. And if I participate in the next round of Secret Pals, I can buy yarn for my pal.
    2.b. If I am knitting something and run out of yarn, I can purchase enough to complete the project.
    2.c. If I am in another state, I can buy yarn, or if I'm shopping at a store that is going out of business, I am allowed to buy yarn.
  3. I am allowed to receive gifts of yarn.
  4. Spinning fiber of any sort is exempt.

So, here it goes! Wish me luck, and hopefully, 2007 will be a more knitterly year for me!

Edited 1/4 to change rules to ending in June 2007, and to be able to purchase yarn if out-of-state or if a store is going out of business. Go figure I'm already adjusting the rules...

More sad news...

The Village Knit Wit in Des Moines will be closed by December 31. It's so sad because it's only been open for a year, and it is the best yarn store in Des Moines. Best needle selection, best prices, best everything. They are selling everything at 40% off right now, and I went last night and got so much Noro I could probably open my own store. It's so sad to see them go. If you're a Des Moines knitter, I highly encourage you to get out there and support them in their final days.

12.19.2006

HUGE loss to Des Moines

I just got this e-mail from Donna Martin, owner of Donna's Country Collections in Valley Junction.

News from Donna,
Because you have been a loyal customer of my store, I would like you to be among the first to know I plan to retire from retail. I will help my daughter with pattern designs through Indygo Junction.

You have made it possible for “Donna’s” to be a successful destination inValley Junction for 25 years. To thank you, I’d like you to benefit from upcoming sales of holiday d├ęcor (25 – 50%), select Brighton, includinghandbags, luggage, shoes, sunglasses and jewelry.

Knitting classes continue through January – come sign up or give us a call.Many yarns are now priced 25 – 50 % off. Prepare for your winter days ofknitting.

Thank you for your continued support,
Donna Martin
Donna’s Country Collection
234 Fifth Street
Valley Junction
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
515-274-2522

Is the store closing? Sure sounds like it! Huge loss to Des Moines there. I took several knitting classes there, and loved the teachers - Sarah Jane and June! I'll have to find out where they end up!

E-bay Woes

I'm an E-bay fan...I've purchased many things on there, from a bridesmaid dress to collectibles. Until now, I have NEVER had a problem. I won an item off there on December 8. I paid via pay-al immediately - it was about $20, so it wasn't too much. Well, the seller has not acknowledged my payment, sent me the item or responded to my requests to do so. I'm almost at the ten day mark, which means that I can file a grievance with E-bay, but I don't know that I want to. The seller had 99.1% positive feedback, so I didn't think there woudl be an issue. Plus, the seller has recieved feedback over the last few days so I know they are shipping something out. What should I do???

Updated to add that thanks to Kaitie's suggestion, I have requested contact information and will call her tonight. Thanks! I'll keep posting on this saga!

12.18.2006

Heading to New Orleans

So J and I are going to be in St. Louis for Christmas (our hometown) and then New Orleans until New Year's. I've been to NO for Mardi Gras (in 2005) but I didn't get to do touristy things then - other than party. So, does anyone out there have any suggestions for what to do in New Orleans? We're staying in the French Quarter...

12.14.2006

My New Toy

Attention all organization crazy knitters: get thee to Bath & Body Works and buy the "Perfectly Polished Manicure Kit." (Sorry, it's not on their Web site or I'd link it.)

Why? Because it makes your knitting

O.k. - I lied. It doesn't make your knitting flawless. But it does help you organize all of your knitting tools and gadgets! The open view:
That center piece is clear plastic so you can see through it, and it pops out!

This bag is pretty small - I'll measure it tonight and post dimensions later, but you can stuff it with your stuff! It's amazing how make-up bags can become the best storage units for all of your knitting gadgets and gizmos! This is a new favorite of mine. I'm not too hot on the color or the "flawless" on it, but storage is storage. Oh, and all the manicure goodies that were inside have a home in my manicure box! I paid $20 for this. It was $29.00 but I had a coupon for $10 off a $20 purchase. One thing to look for, especially after Christmas is when they clearance all of these kits...you can probably get it for cheaper than $20!!

There is also a hidden pocket:




12.13.2006

Knitting + cats = crazy??

What is it with knitters and cats? We have some barn (outside) kitties to keep the mice away on our property( I live in the boonies and my nearest neighbor is the beaver family in our pond.) Mice used to be a huge problem when J (my boyfriend) moved into the house and traps wouldn't contain them all. Since getting cats, the numbers have gone from 15 a year, to maybe one or two. Cats are good.

So anyway, we have these barn cats that think they are lap kitties. We do spoil them (as evidenced by the dog bed they are in.) and we even cook hot meals for them in the winter (not all of the time, just some of the time, like last night.) I do have to say that our kitties make great garbage disposals - they eat all of our leftover food! They especially love chicken and deer meet (J hunts. )

Our kitties are all boys - the black one is Biggie (after Biggie Smalls the rapper - yes, I am a rap music fan) the striped one is Skunky, and the little one is Oreo. They are all brothers, just out of two litters. The two older ones don't get along too well - they kind of fight over who is the boss cat, but they both take care of Oreo like he is their baby.
So last night, Biggie and Skunky were "helping" us put up weather stripping on the door (and by helping I mean rubbing on our legs so we would pet them.) They were being sweet, and then all of a sudden it was scrappin' time. They were rolling around fighting like you would see in a cartoon. J had to use a broom to seperate them. Then I go back out there (in the garage) a few hours later, and they've obviously made up because that's when I took the photo. Reminds me of me and my brother when we were little. :)

12.12.2006

See that!!!???

I added links all by myself! I'm so excited about the new blogger...it's much easier to use when customizing pages! My next trick...maybe adding a photo or two!

I started a new project last night from the latest issue of Knitty. Boy, do I LOVE me some Knitty!!

And did anyone notice this pattern? It looks just like the sweater I wanted to buy from New York & Company. See this post. I'll have to make a few modifications, but I think I can do it!! Could that be my first sweater for myself project?? It might be!!!!

12.11.2006

New Blogger Notes and Recipe Contest Post

Obviously, I've switched to the new blogger. Good things - I like that I, as someone who has little HTML and/or coding knowledge, can change things around. Bad thing - I added one link - Hi Liz! and for some reason, I can't go back and add more??? WTF?? I'll get there one day I suppose! Edited to add that I somehow figured it out! Now, how do I add my Webrings back in???

The recipe part came to me this weekend, when I had an epiphany of sorts. You see, both the boyfriend and I came down with a sickness. It started out like food poisoning (I'll spare you the details on the symptoms) and then resulted in a flu-like stupor for both of us. He is actually still home sick today. Me, I needed a break, and headed to work, only to find out four of my co-workers are out today with the same symtoms. We really need to wash our hands more at work or something.

So anyway, my Secret Pal 9 hostess, Patty, asked us to post a story about a recipe that was dear to us and what it meant to us. Well, after this weekend, it was really a no-brainer. My mom can cook - very classic stuff - grilled pork chops, whipped potatoes, spaghetti, etc. But she always had one recipe that I could never duplicate - that of her homemade chicken noodle soup. I remember that stuff from when I was a kid - it was magic. At the first sign of a cold she would have it on the stove, and when we ate it, it was like it just killed our cold. The amazing part - there was never really a recipe. So, I thought I should share my mom's non-recipe chicken noodle soup. Oh, and I will say that it certainly saved me this weekend - it's all I could stomach!

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup (serves about 6)
Take one @ 2lb chicken (remove giblets/neck/etc.) and rinse, pat dry. Place in a pot that is big enough to cover the chicken with 4 or so inches of liquid.

Pour two cans of chicken broth into the pot. Fill it the rest of the way with water (chicken should be covered by about 3-4 inches of liquid.)

Bring to a boil. When chicken is cooked, it will literally start falling apart in the pot - about 45 to an hour. Take it out, and let it sit on a cutting board for about 10 minutes. LEAVE THE LIQUID IN THE POT!

Pick the chicken apart into pieces suitable for soup - One thing I like to do is pick half the meat for soup, and then save half the meat for a casserole or something else. But I'm usually only cooking for two, so that might not be a great idea if you have a bigger family!

Put the chicken pieces back into the soup. Add 1/2 bag of wide egg noodles, bring to boil to cook noodles, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve when noodles are done! I like to add a dash or two of parmesan cheese to my bowl just before I eat it.

Optional add-ins for when you put the noodles in: carrots, celery, beans, spinach, onion, asparagus, etc. This is a basic recipe, but it's soooo good! Hope some of you get to try it!

12.06.2006

Attention Des Moines Area Crafters

New event in town - check out Craft Saturday, a bi-monthly craft selling event. I haven't gone to one yet, but it looks interesting. The vendors are listed on the Web site. No yarn dealers yet (or hand spinners) but my guess is it's only a matter of time!

Sock yarn tangle


sock yarn tangle
Originally uploaded by The Knitting Fool.
The other day I decided to wind the Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn my Secret Pal gave me. Yeah, it turned out to be a bit of a mess. I didn't know this at the time, but that stuff is notoriously hard to wind. And I have a ball winder and a swift. So, I got it wound about halfway, then the ball exploded on the winder and went everywhere. Then I went to the swift and had to find the other end to start winding again. Needless to say, it because a bigger and bigger mess. So big that I took a photo.

Now I have it fixed into a nice tidy ball. One of these days I'm going to actually knit a sock instead of talking about knitting a sock.

12.05.2006

The moon came out really early...

This was the view out of my back door on Sunday night. It was so pretty, but so COLD! I think it was about 5 degrees at this point. I took this around 4-ish...it seems it was dark really early that day. In person, the moon looked much bigger than this photo shows. What's really funny is that when I used PhotoShop to adjust the color, it takes the moon out!! It's much prettier with the moon in, and I would say that the photo above is of pretty accurate color.

I might have started knitting something else. I was going to give away this yarn, but I started a scarf with it in the Chinese Waves pattern. I like it so far...

12.01.2006

The human head weighs 8 lbs.

Or maybe it was six pounds...I don't remember. I need 8 pounds gone for my next goal. I would like to have them gone by Christmas. I think I can do it, but I'm going to have to work hard!! And I'm a hard worker so that shouldn't be an issue! Give me good weight loss vibes! I'm working it!!