Sunday, December 21, 2008

Busy with Christmas Crafting? Take a Break!

I've been busy getting ready for Xmas. Just one crafted gift this year but I did manage to get all of my trees, lights, wreaths and garlands up this year!

Big accomplishment for someone who barely got one tree up last year and sparsely decorated it! I guess you can say I'm really feeling the holidays this year.

Anyway, I'm off to bake doggie biscuits but I wanted to share one entertaining piece of news from the New York Times.

SantaCon 2008

This was hilarious and so timely! I think this year is all about individualizing the Christmas experience instead of everyone going mass-commercialization. I even managed to stick to a budget this year and came out pretty well!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Warning: Rant Ahead

I love Berroco yarns. And their patterns. And they employ my favorite designer ever, Norah Gaughan (Benissimo's designers are a *very* close second).

But this, well, I found it kind of offensive. And now they're on part 3 of a series on "recession fashion"!

In a recession, I realize they have to take a look at saving money. But are people really cutting back to where $50 is a deal>

Not in my world! My most expensive projects are in the $50-70 range. I like to buy expensive yarns and make smaller projects with them in a time of recession, not spend as much as my most expensive projects!

Here's a clue, Berroco - try listing smaller projects, not full sweaters, or giving a discount on your yarns (as in, buy a book or pattern booklet get 15% off or something) and don't try to kid that you're into the whole cutting the budget thing.

For those of us who have to cut our budget down, here are some better ideas:

1. Learn to unravel old sweaters from the thrift store. I can get all the cashmere/angora I want for $10 a sweater!
2. Learn to use expensive yarns next to the skin or places where the design impact will matter. Its not necessary to use the most expensive wool for a standard stockinette cardi, but it is necessary to use softer product for a pullover or for a cardi that will be worn on your skin, like with a tank top.
3. Buy some $10 gift cards from the store each month instead of buying yarn. Save them up to make a big purchase and it won't feel so bad in this economy (its already paid for!). If your yarn is "no dye lot", than buy one skein at a time.
4. Use your stash. Nothing costs more than yarn you aren't using. And if you just can't bring yourself to use something, donate it. Get it to someone who will be overjoyed at the thought of using your neon green fun fur (hello new crocheted Oscar!).
5. Learn to block acrylic. Its a different technique than learning to block wool, but once you try it, you'll never go back. I'm still learning it myself, but there are several projects that I need to photograph that show the results of learning to lightly block it.
6. Learn about knockoff brands. Like Noro Kureyon? Try Patons SWS. Like fancy sock yarn? Try Knitpicks. Like Malabrigo? Try some of the hand-dyed yarn on etsy. Hobby Lobby is especially famous for knocking brands off. I particularly like I Love This Yarn's selections!
7. Hankering for something new to learn? Purchase a set of knitting looms and learn how to knit differently. You'll be amazed at the way it will blow your mind at just how many ways you can enjoy knitting!

All of those will help squeeze some yarn time out of your budget without insulting you, making it seem like its a token gesture, or making it "fashionable" to be under budget.

Berroco, I'll still buy your yarns and avidly read Norah's blog, but like the parent of a five year old, all I can say is that I'm very, very disappointed in the company.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

One Dollar Giving

I regularly read many blogs, and Frugal Dad is one that I subscribe to because many of his insights are very good. (I also like Retire at 40 - he's very inspiring!).

Todays post was about small giving to charity - its been a rough, rough year for many people and charities are suffering for it.

The One Dollar Give

So here's the idea, 31 charities, 31 days, and all they're asking is that you put forth $1 through Network for Good.

I decided to skip my weekly hamburger and throw my buck in for Community Access. I encourage all of you to do the same - and they are looking for etsy sellers to donate $1 from each sale of items on etsy to the various causes.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Quiz

13 out of 20 - not too shabby if I do say so myself! He he...

Click on the link below and see how much you know about our American

New Job, New Crafting

Hello all!

As I mentioned before I started a new job in September. I think I grossly underestimated the differences in timing required to do proposals on this side of the business.

In a perfect world, on the architecture side, I would spend about three days putting together everything that everyone wrote for a proposal. Sometimes I got it down to one and half by working an insane amount of overtime and really rushing it. And that's with a team of three working on it. And then I'd send it off to print and be on my merry way.

On the other side, there's not only the time spent writing, there's also the time spent writing for subconsulting, and time for printing (since my new job isn't stupid enough to spend $4K/month on outsourcing). I'm looking like more at a week. And that's with overtime, a lot of the time. I was disgusted to find I had spent an entire day on subproposals this past week!

Anyway, that's enough ranting - onto the crafting!

I started Jeni's scarf on the train out of Paton's SWS in plum. I've been really pleased at so far how its worked out - the color changes are nice, and the initial scratch factor of the yarn has pleasantly worked itself out as it tumbles around my bag. For those of you who are interested, it is the "One Skein Tapestry Scarf" on Ravelry. I think I entered the project...

I had heard many bad things on Ravelry about SWS, but I got the yarn for free, so I said what the heck. Jeni has been a very good friend and dance teacher and I wanted to make something nicer than usual. Of course, now I have to figure out what to make Jason, but that's doable, right? ;-)


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Updates and Such

Hi all!

I've been working on the long standing Friendship Afghan project - its been sitting in my queue since October 2006, so I thought October 2008 was a good time to repick it up! haha...

Its all sewn together (slip stitch crochet) but... its just not there yet. Its too wild, too crazy with all the different patterns and textures. Some people's idea of fuchsia, for example, is vastly different - the afghan has everything from pink to hot orange, in my opinion.

So I'm going to make a black border for it. Got the needles, gauge and stitch count right for the I just have to do it. :-( Five feet of the most boring knitting possible. On each side. Ick.

I've got to get the new photos on Ravelry. I've finished the black raspberry scarf and started a hat - well, I'm at 50% completion on the hat.

That's all for now. I'm going to a special event for the Western Suburban Purlers tonight at Stitchcraft.


Open the 1926 Irish Census! Please help!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What's the Deal?

Okay, so I haven't written a post in forever.

I bet you thought the blog was dead, and nothing new was going up.

Weeelll, not exactly.

There's been a lot of personal turmoil going on.

1. I got a new job.
2. I got into a scooter accident.
3. My husband's job is being shut down.
4. I got an insulin pump finally!
5. I've been doing Yarn Smackdown all summer.
6. There's this little addiction called Ravelry...

So I've been out, but not necessarily about for the past couple months. Luckily, none of these things are particularly bad - I walked away from the accident with only an arm injury that's much better now, and the husband is looking for new work - so I'm around.

Here's what I have planned for this blog for the rest of this year:

1. Updates on the Dolce Cabo dress started this summer. I started it, then had to drop it after gauge problems. I want to get that one done before next summer!
2. The Happy Okra pattern. He's cute and cuddly and I want to make him a star!
3. China's Sweater pattern. China the stuffed panda and I share the same birthday, and I always make her a knitted or crocheted item each year. This year, I've got an adorable cotton sweater almost done for her.
4. Some new loom patterns. Inspired by what I've seen the Spanish and Argentinians doing, I've seen some *interesting* new ideas and want to get some internationally inspired patterns up here!
5. Some holiday stuff...not sure what yet, but the Halloween --> Christmas time of year is great and I want to share the joy!

So, in short, stick with me, guys and gals, and I'll be back strong soon!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Busy Swapping

I know I haven't posted in a couple weeks. Sorry about that. I've got some new patterns almost ready. I've been concentrating on getting a swap package done, getting over my injured hip (no, I'm not secretly 80 LOL), and trying to stay out of the heat as best I can.

I've also re-joined the Project Runway fray. I LOVE that show! Its so addicting.

Talk to everyone soon!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Support the Illinois Jaycees - No Money Required!

Hello Friends, Family and fellow Jaycees,

The Illiniois Jaycees are participating in the “Make My Non-Profit Run Better” contest for a chance to win an office technology makeover from RK Dixon. The winning organization will receive new office and network equipment valued at $20,000. The second prize is valued at $10,000 and the third prize at $5,000.

This is a great opportunity for us, as you know firsthand the time it takes to raise this amount of money. This makeover would allow us to be more efficient in providing services for those who need it most. And, typically, money raised tends to support our mission, rather than offset business technology costs.

How can you help? For once, not by donating money, but by voting! The organization with the most votes will be selected as a top five finalist. The more votes, the better chance we have to win.

Go to starting on Monday July 28th and vote for the Illinios Jaycees until Aug. 4. Please vote once a day. This is tracked as a 24 hour period so if you vote at 8:00am you will not be able to cast another vote until 8:00am the following day. But, stay tuned … if we are chosen as a finalist we will need your votes again! We need this makeover to help us run better.

Please forward this email to any friends or colleagues who you feel would be willing to vote for us.

Happy voting and thank you for your support!

Tanya Lee
2008 State President
IL Jaycees
"Quest for Success"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

New Loom Knitter Circle! Kitchen Cooking Apron!

And my pattern is in it! Yea!!!!!

If anyone attempts it and struggles with the 3 needle bindoff imitation, I've created a video and put it on YouTube to help people with it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hey everyone, happy...

Hey everyone, happy 4th of July. I'm sitting here at the Westmont fireworks, listening to the lovely sounds of big band music and watching the high(?) ____ dance, it's entertaining. 9:30 the fireworks are going off, I'm excited. I'll put some pictures up in my blog if I can get them. Hope everybody have a happy 4th. Bye. listen

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Friday, June 20, 2008

The Anniversary Cowl

So this one has a good story behind it.

I had originally gotten this yarn from a swap partner who had no idea what to do with it. "Its slubby" she said, and "wool" so I can't use it, it "itches" and such.

So I boldly said I shall take it! And make it into something nice!

I tried it on my looms. It didn't look good. In fact, it looked so bad I rolled it back up again and stuck it in my stash.

It then went to a garage sale my mother had two years ago. Everyone looked at it - "too itchy" "too slubby" "too...something".

So it went back home to Illinois from the garage sale in Minnesota. Mind you, this yarn has went through three states of moving now from its home to me to the garage sale and back to me.

The colors were right for Relay for Life. Kind of a silver, a purple and a white, I thought to myself that this just might be something unique. It didn't feel that scratchy, now that I'm more used to what wool feels like. And it didn't look "that" bad.

I tried the "Peasy Scarf" pattern. Didn't work. I tried crocheting with it. Didn't work. I tried a drop stitch scarf pattern with it. Not quite it, either.

Then it hit me. I could knit it larger than suggested, to make something that would account for the largest slubs while accentuating the laciness of the smallest slubs. And now I have a pattern that works great for any unusual yarns, great for handspun, and it shows off every yarn to its greatest potential.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Okay, so this is more about righteous indignation, or something like that.

I love Ravelry. Its no secret. But sometimes the forums drive me nuts. I'm not going to name any names, but there was a post on corn fiber yarn and a person from another country used it to try and snub the US for providing GM foods. I played it off, but after thinking about it, well, it's frying my eggs.

Now, do I like the idea of genetically modified anything? No. I don't want my kid to be allergic to shellfish someday and not be able to eat tomatoes becaus they have fish genes in them to tolerate cold better. Nor do I think we need a corn that has double the amount of sugar in it. Americans are fat enough without having to worry about the carbs we eat doubling due to genetic modification (myself included).

But, I don't like the idea that people from other countries just try to jab that remark in whenever someone talks about an alternative fiber yarn - like corn, soy, hemp, milk, rice, whatever.

There are lots of other countries providing GM foods to the world. Brazil is a huge producer of GM soy and GM corn. India is a huge producer of GM cotton. China produces GM corn and is working on GM rice. Its not just the US at fault here. GM's even shown up in Mexico as blow-over from the US and as corn prices rise there.

Recently I read that Monsanto and other companies were promising that they could "double" the yield of corn and soy crops and more countries were falling prey to the GM promise. Let's think about this. Did they "double" yields in the last twelve years? Did the products live up to their promise? Further, did these companies cause some of the price rate jackings because they patented corns and soybeans and made them more expensive to acquire?

The last article I read about the topic explained that the GM contingent was moving into China to give them GM corn so they could boost their yields. Have anyone ever stopped to think that maybe that it was a good idea they weren't using GM product? That we are supporting a world population that is nearing unbearable?

More important are the people who insist that using wool is sustainable and GM free. How can that possibly be? Are they monitoring the diets of the sheep they get their wool from? Are they only buying from farms that have food logs to make sure no GM foods get into the sheep diet?

Further, does wearing a fiber made from a GM food give you side effects? Does the turning of corn from non-resistance to resistance of BT mean you're going to turn green? Does anyone know the safety of this?

Ugh. This whole topic just fries my eggs. There's just not enough known about it to be spouting off on Internet forums. Personally, I'll take what I can get, recycle my yarns from the thrift store, drink my soy milk in the morning, stay away from corn (it upsets my stomach anyway) and try to live in the world the best I can.

I'm more concerned with what the product is made from. If its removing food from the system, I'm not interested. Something made with unusable byproducts is much more sustainable in my mind - using product that would normally get thrown away. Now that's ingenuity! And not using as many chemicals to do it - another ingenious idea! Or not using as much energy to make, releasing as much greenhouse gas, etc.

And bringing it back to what I was originally writing about, this isn't just about the US anymore. This is about the whole world. No one should be tossing in remarks when their country could just as easily be part of the problem.

Salt Lake City Climb4Life

I am deathly afraid of those kinds of heights, but I encourage everyone else to have a good time in Salt Lake City this September.


Some of the Ravelers pointed this awesome project out, so I'm sure there's going to be a large contingent of knitters and crocheters there.

Maybe I can talk my husband into climbing. Anyone know if an AMA or MotoGP race is there in September ;-P

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hi everyone, I am testing...

Hi everyone, I am testing out a new service. This is from where I can say things over my cell phone and they gonna put them in my blog. Talk to you later. listen

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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy (did I mention busy?), new tunes

I've been working up a storm lately. First for Hiawatha, then Canstruction, and its going to start up again next week with 4 submittals due.

But while that means it sucks in regards to my time, it means my music intake has expanded exponentially!

Here's my new faves:

Ladytron - Ghosts

Katy Perry - I kissed a Girl

The Spill Canvas - All over you

Sandrine - Where do we go?

South - Wasted

Friday, May 30, 2008

Save Knitty Gritty!

Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition:

"Save the Knitty Gritty Show"

hosted on the web by, the free online petition service, at:

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider signing yourself.

Best wishes,

Concetta Phillipps

oh my God!!!!! A super fiber tragedy

The Malabrigo yarn mill caught fiber! Luckily, no one got hurt so we can semi-joke about it being a major fiber tragedy instead of a human tragedy.

All that yarn! All those records!

I thought my heart was going to stop for a second when I saw the post on Ravelry!

The Day of, it storms, again

So its once again the Relay for Life, and once again its storming and there's a tornado watch.


There's storms abrewin' at work too, so I'm just not happy. I was up until nearly 2, so I really was hoping for a calm and pieceful day. Of course, that won't happen when the bosses who were going to go golfing today don't.

Then, my addiction reared its ugly head. I saw this when I tried to log onto Ravelry this morning!


Its one of those things. I don't log on for a day or two at a time sometimes, but I always know its there. Its like a fiber arts community blanket, that keeps everyone in it warm all the time.

Then they take it away to get it washed. And then people go crazy!

So I ended up with a bag and part of a box full of stuff to sell at the Relay. I'm hoping to get more done during lunch today.

I really just want to go home and go to bed, but obligations arise, I suppose. I'll have some new patterns off of what I did last night - a couple new scarves. And we'll see what I get done between the time I get to Relay, the time it starts, and the time I'm probably going to spend in the car, waiting out the rain.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Much Less Frilly Moccasins

This pattern can now be found on Ravelry! Check out my latest post on the moccasins for more details.

Purple Flower Power!

You guys will probably see a flurry of posts from me in the next couple days as I try to make stuff to sell at the Relay for Life.

I know, I know, I got talked into another charitable thing. Again. With a tight deadline. Did I mention I know?

Anyway, this was an idea for something quick and fun and I think they should be a big hit with the kids!

Feel free to use them for your Relay for Life projects!

This project has two parts, the flower and the "chain". Here's what to do:

Creating the "Chain"

1. Slip knot (leave a nice bit of yarn free) and Chain 120.
2. Single crochet into the 2nd chain from the beginning, and each chain thereafter (118 sc)
3. Chain one, then turn, and Single Crochet into each Chain. (118 sc)
4. Slip stitch into each single crochet (118 slip stitches)
5. Fasten off, and make sure to leave a nice bit of tail.

Creating the "Flower"

1. Chain 6. (6)
2. Do 12 double crochets into the space (like doing a granny) (12)
3. Chain 3, and do 2 double crochets into each double crochet from row 2. (24)
4. Chain 4, and do four treble crochets into the first double crochet from row 3.
5. Single crochet into the next stitch, then chain 3 (so essentially you will have a single crochet with three chains on top of it).
6. Repeat rows 4 and 5 through the entire circle.
7. When you reach the last set of treble crochets, you should be back at the beginning with no space for a single crochet. This is okay! Do the single crochet in the stitch where you had started the treble crochets (they should scoot over just fine).
8. Then join the first treble crochet and the last single crochet with a slip stitch. Fasten off, and weave in your ends. Your flower is complete!

Creating The Necklace:
1. Take your "chain" and fold it in half. Make sure it lies flat against itself! Take the pesky beginning yarn tail (from the beg. chain) and thread it through a yarn needle.
2. Weave this through the back of the flower, preferably into the first set of double crochets nearest the center ring. DON'T CUT THE YARN!!!!!
3. Once that's completed, do the same for the tail from the other side of the "chain".
4. Now, while I mentioned "don't cut the yarn", I really mean "don't cut the yarn!" here, also!
5. Now, take the remaining tails and thread them through the other side of the yarn, and weave them in. NOW, you can cut the yarn, LOL! If you're much more adept with a sewing needle, you could use some new yarn, but I'd just as same use the same thread from before.

And there you have it, a cute little flower necklace, modeled here by my bear Groovy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Relay Scarf

My newest pattern, created just for the Relay for Life of Berwyn Cicero.

I could REALLY use your help...if you can possibly donate your time or your dollars, here's where to go:

Concetta's Relay For Life Page

Anyway, to get the pattern, head over here:

Relay Scarf

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The El Paso Bolero

If you're on Ravelry, you've already read of my trials and tribulations with this pattern.

The sizing is crazy, the gauge is way off and its written in the most confusing way possible.

So if you choose to attempt it, and you've read my other notes, this is the shaping for the right front. As Lion says, work the same way on the other side, just "reverse". (*&*((&&&(*

Row 2 N2A: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 3 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 4 N2A: dc
Row 5 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc, 2 dc in last stitch
Row 6 N2A: dc
Row 7 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 8 N2A: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 9 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 10 N2A: dc
Row 11 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc, 2 dc in last stitch
Row 12 N2A: dc
Row 13 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 14 N2A: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 15 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 16 N2A: dc
Row 17 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc, 2 dc in last stitch
Row 18 N2A: dc
Row 19 A2N: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 20 N2A: 2dc in first stitch, dc
Row 21 A2N: dc
Row 22 N2A: dc
Row 23 A2N: dc, 2 dc in last stitch
Row 24 N2A: : dc
Row 25 A2N: dc
Row 26 N2A: : 2dc in first stitch, dc

When the piece measures the same as the back to armhole (aka the place where the marker was on the back piece, not called the same thing here), place a marker on each side. Decrease 1 stitch at the neck edge every row 4 times, and then every other row 3 times.

The work it until it measures the same length as the back, and do the funky neck shaping that they've developed.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Funny!

He he... I'm waiting on the boss to come take a look at what I'm affectionately calling the "kitchen sink" powerpoint (as in, "everything but the ...).

I'm randomly surfing Ravelry and in This Week in Ravelry #14, there was this project posted:

Yes, that's right...its a chicken wearing a sweater. I had a good laugh over it, and then I saw how nice the photos were in the users account.

So without further ado, thank Squiddles from Flickr for the lovely chicken sweater (and her photograph thereof) and I highly encourage you to waste some time on this lovely Friday looking at her other excellent photographs.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

We need your help!

This was posted to the Records Preservation and Community Access Blog yesterday. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO WRITE YOUR REPRESENTATIVE.

America is a young country that needs to preserve its history for future generations. What we have gone through in the past may very well repeat itself, and how are future generations to learn?

With the downfall of many genealogical and historical societies, without these grants, the remaining ones may not survive.



Action needed for the Preserving the American Historical Record Act
Congressmen Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Chris Cannon (R-UT) have issued a “dear colleagues” letter to the members of the House of Representatives, inviting them to sign on as original sponsors to the “Preserving the American Historical Record” (PAHR) bill.

PAHR proposed to increase federal support for state and local archival records held by government agencies, historical societies, libraries, and related organizations. This initiative would establish a program of formula-based grants to states for re-grants and statewide services to support preservations and use of historical records. The program, to be administered by the National Archives, will provide a total of $50 million per year nationwide. Each state would receive a portion of these funds for redistribution to organizations within its borders. This program would be in addition to the existing national grants program within the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

How can you help?

Contact your Representative in Congress and urge them to sign on as an original sponsor of PAHR. Write a few sentences telling him or her how PAHR would help his or her constituents — you! (Tell them how vital it is to have records preserved and available to the public.) Also, spread the word about this action alert!

Time is critical. Deadline for action is Saturday, May 10.

Faxing your Representative is the preferred method of communication. The Humanities Advocacy Network maintains a website with all of the contact information for legislators:

Further information about PAHR, including the bill, background information, and the amount of funding for each state can be found at:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

After all, work's well, that ends well

So after ditching two deadlines (stupid work - we'll never grow if we can't give up micromanaging marketing), I found myself today with a bit of free time.

Here's what productively came out of that:

So I look a lot like Beyonce, Jesse McCartney, and ... Bob Dylan?


That thing is so off. If I use a different photo I get totally different results - a newer one I took and it said I looked like Halle Berry. Yeah right!

Here's another one - alright...

And what's really entertaining is that in real life, everyone says I look like Nichole Richie, but weigh more! ha ha ha ...

Thursday, May 1, 2008


So I'm sitting here at the computer, working a "tight" deadline supposedly. the guys are supposed to be helping me with stuff, and one's doing a webex, and the other's on a conf call denying reality.


I decided to take a fifteen minute break to chill out some. And took a Meyers-Briggs test at the urging of a staffing company email.

Here's what came out:


Interesting. Here's what an online profile says about them (brief excerpt):

ENFJs are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or
grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with
their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's
usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their
dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually

ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is
expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or
projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial

ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and
decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in
organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are
organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may
not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about
people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than
those of their NFP counterparts.

I like that! It very much fits me. I juggle a TON of different things at a time. I would ADORE having my own business, just lack of financials right now is the only thing that prevents me.

I particularly like this part:

Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

Resilient. Hehe. My husband more commonly calls it "being stubborn". I make an opinion and then I stick with it, unless it can be proved wrong. And there's only a few people who can prove me wrong - the husband, my good friend Emiel, and my two best girlfriends Amy and Lorraina.

More disturbingly, this is also true:

Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare.

Hmm. Interesting.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Its here! Its here!

I was SO excited to find the package notice in the mail - and then my camera decided it wanted to not turn on.

Grr. That is SO frustrating!

Two trips to the K-M repair center later, I have a camera back - and I have been DYING to post these photos!

This was the only one I got before the camera went cuckoo:

Everything was so pretty wrapped - but I wanted to show my knit club and ripped them right open :-)

First off, the fun stuff:

Yum! Regia and new needles!

Then the stitch markers, of which I ALWAYS need small ones. For lace, for socks, these things are the bestest!

Allitrya went above and beyond and found me a little Lucky the dalmatian from 101 Dalmatians, my favorite movie ever! She is one awesome swap partner :-)

She also got two bags of sugar-free candy for me, which, unfortunately, didn't make it to the camera shooting. Needless to say, they were very tasty chocolates and mints :-) (DH said thanks for the mints - those are his favorite)

And the grand finale......

That is the most GORGEOUS bag I have EVER seen. My entire knit club was superbly jealous and wanted to know how I had got it. I love it and am SO glad to have had Allitrya as a partner!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Catching up... first I want to say I'm really sorry to my partner that I had to get an extension.

My grandmother died, I really apologize - but Dad and I got kind of involved with it and I spent hardly any time crafting the last piece of the bag (which is a 46 inch strap).

Its almost done! I've got six inches to do and sew it on. Then its pack it up and GO! Off by owl to my charming partner.

I can't wait to see if she likes it!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wear Orange on April 10, 2008


Please support this great organization by wearing orange, and maybe kick them a little money? They support animal rights, and not in that weird, college age hippe, PETA animal rights.

I mean the ones that animals should never have to endure - mental and physical abuse, cruelty and torture.

My poor Heidi was an ASPCA pick, burned by a cigarette by her former owner and beaten so badly her pelvis and her back eventually fused together from their malformation. And she was a great pet - kind and sweet, loved to play with her rope. Her only fault was that she got a little nippy when people touched that sensitive area of her back, the poor thing. RIP, babe!

Please help them in anyway you can. I've been a member for years.

Friday, March 14, 2008


1. When Rita Skeeter prints a bad articles about Hagrid in the Daily Prophet, which Professor teaches Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class while he is away?
a. Professor Trisonikly
b. Professor Snape
c. Professor Grubbly-Plank
d. Professor Meshdeh

2. What was the article Rita Skeeter wrote about Hagrid called?
a. The son of Fridwolfa the Giantess
b. The Truth About Rubeus Hagrid
c. Dumbledore's Giant Mistake
d. Half Giant at Hogwarts

3. When the school champions were being chosen from the Goblet of Fire, whose name cam out first?
a. Fleur Delacour
b. Viktor Krum
c. Cedric Diggory
d. Harry Potter

4. What is the spell Ludo bagman says to magically magnify his voice when he commentates?
a. Sonorus
b. Sonafy
c. Lumos
d. Sonatus

5. What kind of dragon did Cedirc have to face in the first task?
a. A Hungarian Horntail
b. A Swedish Short-Snout
c. A Welsh Green
d. A Chinese Fireball

6. Who raised the trophy after winning the world cup?
a. Troy and Moran
b. Troy and Quigley
c. Quigley and Moran
d. Lynch and Connolly

7. How many bedrooms did Mundungus Fletcher claim to have?
a. 4
b. 8
c. 10
d. 12

8. For what did Moody mistake his birthday gift of a carriage clock?
a. An intruder
b. A basilisk egg
c. A bomb
d. A Blast-ended Skrewt

9. What did Mr. Ollivander produce for the end of Cedric's wand?
a. A bunch of flowers
b. A fountain of wine
c. Twittering birds
d. Silver smoke rings

10. The dark mark is on Snape's left arm.
a. Yes
b. No

Picture Scavenger Hunt

A Basilisk

Mundungus Fletcher

Amos Diggory


Friday, March 7, 2008

The end of the week?

Nope, not for me. I'm a bit crocheted out - thank god my bag for the HSKS4 is knitted!

I think I should be able to get far with it, but it may depend on the ability of the Elgin interview to get finished quickly. I don't know. With DB, who knows?

I'm a bit tired out of crochet for the week. I literally, spent the entire week doing nothing but blankets, booties and a little jacket, and buying baby clothes. My dance studio is donating everything to charity, and there was a nice little contest about it.

I figure I have everyone beat - I made some stuff, bought some stuff, and my mom even sent a baby picture for the "do you recognize me?" contest!

Fun stuff!

I also joined LinkedIn this week. Yup, I finally joined the adults and plan on using it for networking. I deliberated inviting my boss to my network, but decided against it and only invited the boss I like.

Talk to y'all later!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

LOVE the New Norah Gaughan!

I have a love of Norah Gaughan's knitting work, even though most of her stuff is for the *really* skinny people and probably not for me to wear. However, I just ran through the Preview for her "Objet d'Art" booklet for Berroco, and can we just say "WOW!" - Stuff that's original, exciting AND wearable. She's hit a good one here.

The above picture is "Veil" which is a really cool looking cardi that reminds me of one I had in high school that I absolutely adored to wear to my job selling pantyhose and purses to old ladies. This one is different in the shape of the back and shoulders, which almost remind me of a shawl or very loose shrug. Loads of fun there at my old job LOL, but at least it afforded me some of the classic shoes and purses and such that I still own because they're in fashion today. And it helped me refine a sense of style that I don't think I would be able to wear to my current "real" job!

Roundup in Hogwarts Land...or Happy Leap Year!

This week has been absolutely fascinating.

-Monday, I worked on my HSKS4 bag some. Got really frustrated and decided to put it down for a little while. (stupid yarnovers...)

-Tuesday, I fell asleep on the couch at like, 7 pm. WAY too many nights of going to bed late, I think!

-Wednesday, I went to dance class and worked on merengue, salsa, bachata (sp?), and waltz. So fun! I also found out about the next dance party is going to be "Ballroom Baby" where they're going to collect things for the local "abandoned/chronically ill/abused" baby shelter.

-Thursday I spent in bed due to a strained calf muscle - yech!

-Friday (aka today), is Happy Leap Year! I've basically found out they don't need me for the addendum, so I've been looking up baby patterns based on the suggestions of the people from Ravelry for Quick yet useful items. I don't want to give them a bunch of headbands, for example, and find out the shelter can't use them!

Normally I would go to the dance party at the studio tonight, but I'm not going to bother since it would be a bummer just sitting along the sidelines with an injury.

So this weekend I plan to make baby items and intersperse that with rows on the HSKS4 bag. I'm on row 33 of 63 for the first side - I've got to pick it up a bit!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quidditch, Round 2


1. With whom does Ginny go to the Yule Ball?

a. Neville

2. When Harry arrives at the Burrow and Mrs. Weasley makes them all dinner the night before they leave for the Quidditch World Cup, what does her wand turn into?

a. rubber mouse

3. Since some of the sixth-year girls didn't have any quills on them, what did they think Krum might sign their hats in?

c. lipstick

4. How old does the Quick Quotes Quill say that Rita Skeeter is?

a. 43

5. What color cloak is wormtail wearing in the Riddle house?

b. Black

6. What color is "Mad Eye" Moody's magical eye?

d. Blue

7. What color are the robes that Rita Skeeter was wearing when Harry meets her at the Weighing of the Wands ceremony?

b. Magenta

8. What does Sirius Black tell Harry, Ron and Hermione to call him when speaking around anyone else?

b. Snuffles

9. Which team beat Wales, disqualifying them from competing for the Quidditch World Cup?

c. Uganda

10. What does Madame Maxime say is the only thing her steeds will drink?

c. single-malt whiskey

Picture Hunt
Goblet of Fire

Madam Maxime

Dragon from first challenge

Viktor Krum

Madam Pomfrey

Monday, February 18, 2008


A poster on Ravelry was talking about how she basically pierced her tongue where a DPN got stuck in her mouth...

...but the best part of the thread was this:

That is the funniest graphic I have seen in awhile- that one and the Time magazine article that said Architects are the happiest people in the world. Yeah. Right.

Quack Here and There

Sometimes, I just have to get something done. Little guys like this are what come out of this feeling that irks you until something happens.

I was sitting at home staring at a pile of Red Heart Super Saver that had been donated to me via my aunt-in-law and my grandmother-in-law. Bright yellow, orange - very odd colors I wasn't sure what either of them could have thought to do with them!

Then it occurred to me - this was a baby duck in the making! With a beak to grow into and cute little wings, this was a great idea!

I thought about how much sewing I would have to do if I followed the pattern in my Crochet project deck and decided to make my own. This isn't so much a pattern as a description of how I did it, and you can judge for yourself if you like the idea - or not.

I started by chaining five and then gradually expanding out in a circle until I had a small bowl sized shape. I then started decreasing until I had a ball shape, but enough room to stuff - which is what I did then. I closed off the circle and then used that as the beginning of a "foundation" for the back of the neck. I single crocheted around in a circle, I believe five stitches, and after that was tall enough, I stuffed it and closed it off as well. I then took the string and pushed it through the inside back to the other ball and made fan wings - cast on eight stitches, treble crochet into the fourth stitch eight times, slip stitch into eighth stitch - and then stuck the yarn through and did the same thing on the other side.

I then took some orange yarn and did fans for the feet and looped them through the bottom of the yellow ball - these were only four tc's instead of 8. Last, I did the beak, in which I kept doing single crochets until I got the shape I wanted. Then of course, I had to do eyes, which became simple French knots.

So a cute little duckie was born, and he lives on my tv now.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Accio - yarn and needles!

I went up to MN for the Knit Out and Crochet Out at Mall of America. It was great fun - and I got a ton of free yarn and needles.

So "accio yarn and needles" and "accio patterns" from Patons, Lion Brand and others.

Lion Brand is coming out with a sock yarn! I'm so excited - it will be great if they do Harry Potter colors next year!

Friday, February 8, 2008

All Knitted Music Video

This is really amazing work - this band, Tricot Machine, did an entirely knitted music video! I haven't had time to work the entire lyrics, but here's what I've heard and can verify its the right words:

T'as les joues rouges, boréal
Tes couettes noires virent au blancs
comme l'asphalte
Ils tombent des peaux de lièvres sur Montréal

On s'éclipse du party
la neige glisse sur nos pieds
les flocons dansent doucement

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Giants Win!!!!

(Photo by Pinkus at the Giants Website)

DH and I got invited to a Super Bowl party yesterday - nothing fancy, just us and two other couples with a bit of food and liquor and the game.

It was hilarious! I've never had such a good time at a football party. I had brought the dog collar with me and the pattern just didn't work. I'm going to try something new.

Quote of the Party:

TV Commentator: "The Giants are going to bursting onto the field any minute..."

Friend: "They're bursting! They're bursting!"

And all I have to say about that is....

"Ding ding ding dong"

Saturday, February 2, 2008


Woohoo for Cassandra Grubbly=Plank!!!!

She totally rocks!

I worked on my bag for HSKS4 at KCGB today - the darn thing, you *really* have to pay attention to what you're doing!

I am just thrilled to come home and see such good news!!!

(Photo by TV at Flickr Creative Commons Pool -

Evening and Weekend Hour Restoration at NARA


- - - - - -

NARA Requests Comments About Restoring Research Room Hours
The following was written by the U.S. Naional Records and Archives Administration:

For public comment - NARA rule restoring DC area archival research room hours

The National Archives and Records Administration published an interim
final rule in the Federal Register on February 1, 2008, to restore the
weekly evening and Saturday hours that the archival research rooms at
the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and the National
Archives at College Park, MD are open.

Comments on this rule will be accepted through March 17.

To review the rule and make comments, please go to
and type "NARA" in the Search box. The rule is titled Locations and
Hours; Changes in NARA Research Room Hours. Additional information on
the rule is provided below.

The FY 2008 NARA Budget in the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2007
signed by President Bush on December 26, 2007, includes $1.3 million to
restore evening and Saturday hours in the research rooms in the National
Archives Building and the National Archives at College Park (Archives
II). Prior to October 1, 2006, these research rooms were open three
evenings per week (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) and every Saturday.
Under this interim final rule, the research rooms will be open from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday. On Wednesday, Thursday,
and Friday they will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. We decided to make
this adjustment to the previous schedule so that out of town researchers
will have consecutive evenings along with Saturday to work. This
schedule will also make staffing the rooms easier for managers. We set
the effective date of the new hours as April 14, 2008 to allow time to
hire and train the additional research room staff and to adjust the
terms of the security guard contract.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A beautful scarf pattern - Harry Potter colors?

I was surfing the Interweave Knits forum over at Ravelry and a girl posted this lovely pattern based off of a design she saw in IK two summers ago.

Shazam Scarf

That's her image above - so, so pretty!

So I got looking at it, and it immediately brought to mind Gryffindor - can you imagine this in burgundy with gold (the color hue, not the metal or shiny) beads?

It totally brings it to mind. If I ever get through my current slog of projects, this one will be on the list!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Quidditch Answers!

Quidditch rocks! Here's my answers:

Please post these questions to your blogs.
If you have a character blog do not post them to your muggle blog.
The Snitch is still looking for it's home. I'll notify you of the release time soon.

1. What was Harry dreaming about the first time he woke up with his scar on fire?

b. Voldemort and Wormtail plotting to kill him

2. What is the problem with leprechaun gold?

a. It vanishes after a few hours

3. Why did Mad-Eye Moody turn Malfoy into a ferret?

c. Malfoy attached Harry when Harry's back was turned

4. Sirius warns Harry to be careful around Karkaroff because he had been a Death Eater. Which one of the professors at Hogwarts, who also used to be a Death Eater, is frequently bothered by Karkaroff?
(Answer is One Word, Last Name Only)


5. Voldemort could have used the blood from any foe to make the potion that revived him work, but he held out for Harry's blood. Why?

c. The special protection Harry received from his mother would also pass to

6. How old would Frank have been on his next birthday?

d. 77

7. Amos Diggory works for?

b. The Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures

8. Who shared a carriage with the three friends on the way from the train to Hogwarts?


9. What date in October did the delegates from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive?

a. 30th

10. What color were Percy's dress robes at the Yule Ball?

a. Navy Blue

Picture Scavenger Hunt
Please either post the pictures to your blog or link to where the pictures can be found.

Mr. Ollivander
I don't think he's as crazy as he looks here!

Mad-Eye Moody

Isn't he dreamy? LOL

World Cup Tournament
A scene from the Tournament:

The Tournament Stadium:

Dark Mark

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Red Dress Campaign

I read this in my Daily Candy newsletter this morning. I'm in - I just need to iron my red dress and I'm all set!

"Join this women’s heart disease awareness campaign by wearing red on February 1 (the first Friday in February). Whether you choose a shirt, shoes, or Red Dress pin, your good taste will deliver an urgent wake-up call to women nationwide.

You’ll be in good company, since Heidi Klum is Diet Coke’s spokesperson in the cause of promoting women’s heart health. Her specially designed red Oscar dress is the grand prize in the Diet Coke Red Dress Sweepstakes. For each sweepstakes entry, Diet Coke will contribute $1 to support women’s heart health awareness and research, up to $250,000.* Visit to find out more about the Diet Coke Red Dress Program and Sweepstakes. Sweepstakes ends March 10, 2008. No purchase necessary."

(Photo from LST1984 in the Creative Commons Pool at Flickr -

Gryffindor House Quiz Answer!

Okay, so I am dreadfully out of practice, and as a good Gryffindor, I usually rely on the help of my friends to solve puzzles in a time of need.

Since I had physical therapy last night, I had only one friend upon which to rely, but I think I have the answer correct:

"Hogwarts. Hogwarts. Hoggy warty Hogwarts.

Teach us something, please!

Whether we be old and bald or young with scabby knees, our heads could do with some interesting stuff.

For now they're bare and full of air, dead flies and bits of fluff. So teach us things worth knowing.

Bring back what we've forgot.

Just do your best, we'll do the rest, and learn until our brains all rot!"

Roar, Roar Gryffindor! We'll win the house cup for sure this week!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

HSKS4, Genealogy, and Google.

Wow that's a totally rambling title. Maybe I'll change it. Maybe I won't.

I was just reading on the Upstate NY Blog that Google cofounder Sergey Brin's wife is the head of a new genealogy DNA company. Google DNA

Won't that be awesome? The price should drop, I hope! Hopefully they will be cooperative and share information with the National Geographic Society. Can you imagine? A real and bonafide way to connect just about every human being in the world.

Speaking of which, it brings me to knitting - I've got to try the bag over tonight. The first real row of the pattern really has me f***ing it up - I can't seem to add to save my life today. I should only imagine that an awesome pattern like this is good, and oh, say, not needing errata. Grr. I also got in my stuff for HSKS4 in the mail - that certainly came fast! It looked even better than the photos I saw. Its too bad I can't post pics of it, but then I'd blow the surprise!

I spent all of my time so far today trying to help a woman with ancestors on Amherst Island. What a trip - it really sucks when you get back to nearly the 16th century and things just dead end, drop off, no forwarding address.

Ugh. I'm going to try and work on my two swaps this weekend.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sketching, and searching!

I found's one of the reject patterns, since I know my partner might see it.

I love it when you go through book after book after book, only to find that the real pattern that you are looking for will just "pop" out at you as this sudden realization like you've been searching for it your entire life! I love that feeling!

So now its off to yarn choice. I got one at the store today, but the gauge is wrong. Have to try again tomorrow at IDEA Studio or at the HL. I'm thinking I have the right color for one but not the other. And its a bugger to find - I've been searching all over the Interwebs to find it. I may have to ask my dear friend to work some muggle magic over the local YS owners to track something down in the right color.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Contemplation, Anticipation and HSKS4


So I've been working on sketch after sketch of what I wanted to design for this project, and nothing's been clicking. I think I've figured out why- I am just too darn tired to do it.

Today was the first day that I was fully awake, and the sketchpad is doing things that look possible for once! I am so excited, I have to get test knitting....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

HSKS4 - Hogwarts, here I come

So I'm bumbling through my first year at Hogwarts. I didn't even realize you weren't supposed to contact your swap partner! That's so weird - I've never done one where I felt like I was ... duh, duh, duh, out there.

But I'll get through! I've been doing some sketches on what my swap partner is going to get - I think I'll start this weekend!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ha ha...Santa is secretly a woman!

I was over at this morning, and this topic caught my eye while I was poking around - and then I read it and nearly spit out my milk I was laughing so hard.


I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe Santa Claus is a woman.

Think about it: Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing, social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy (and a "straight' guy at that!) could possibly pull it all off!

For starters, the vast majority of men don't even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. On this count alone, I'm convinced Santa is a woman. Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the shopping bag.

Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, here would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen's rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist. Even if the male Santa did still have reindeer, he'd also have the transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions.

Other reasons why Santa can't possibly be a man:

# Men can't pack a bag.

# Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.

# Men would feel their masculinity is threatened... having to be seen with all those elves.

# Men don't answer their mail. (But then, I've never had a reply from Santa....)

# Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described, even in jest, as anything remotely resembling a "bowl full of jelly."

# Men aren't interested in stockings unless somebody's wearing them.

# Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.

# Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

1st Year at Hogwarts! (AKA Induction into the sock world), and progress on Ginny's Vest

Ooh! I am SO excited!!! I was accepted for my first year in the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap Round 4!!!!

Gryffindor, here I come!

Not that I'm a regular sock knitter, persay (ref. my earlier blog post), but on occasion, they are a good thing to work with. It all started with the making of a cast sock for my brace, because barefeet in December is well, not a real good idea in the midwest! And it took me no longer than a day, so it was a super easy knit, too.

So then I searched out how to do them better, because, while the cast sock was comfy and warm, it wouldn't fit over anything but the brace it was so huge! I went to my friend YouTube and discovered a way of making them WITHOUT DPNS.

Earth shattering, I know, for you sock knitters. People have been doing it forever, blah, blah, blah. It was earth shattering to me!

So I tried it - and while I haven't actually done one I'm proud enough to photograph, I'm working on one now in baby yarn (thanks to the advice of the awesome people in the Ravelry forums), that will probably put in the KCGB Mothers Day sale, but is turning out well enough to be photographable and put-table into Ravelry.

So anyway, back to Hogwarts. I am SO excited to be accepted into the swap - it is one of the most prestigious Blogger swaps to take part of, IMO. 100 members, kits worth $30-40 each, classes, quidditch, and other games. I can't wait!

Onto the progress on Ginny's vest from OOTP, its, well, conflicted. I had the idea to do it all modular until I saw this LiveJournal. I think she's got the general shape right, however, the problem is that to me the cables don't look like they go down as far as she suggests. I really think the main portion is hexagon modules!

(just in case you don't know what I'm talking about)

Of course, not knowing what the bottom looks like since you barely see this in the movie, well, who knows.

Edit: I just got some high-rest screen shots but I can't seem to get them to post as nicely using photoservices. I'll post them when I can!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Supernatural Impala Dishcloth

Revision 6/26/11: I've decided not to release a pattern, since you guys are making such cool things with it without me! Enjoy!

Okay, so I did this chart awhile ago and posted it on Ravelry with the idea. Someone actually did a really cute version of it there and posted it - so awesome! Once I get around to actually doing it I'll write up the full-hand pattern.

"The black is stockinette, the white is garter on the outside, purl bumps on the inside. The red and orange are special stitches to set off the attributes of the car. I'm thinking some kind of bobble perhaps?

Anywho, that's where I'm at with figuring out something :-) Its 20 x 44, so it could easily fit inside a 50x50 cloth."

(this photo is huge and Blogger alters the ratio when I post it, so just click it and it will take you to Flickr where you can see the whole thing in its proper ratio)
Supernatural Car

Thursday, January 3, 2008


After taking stock of the 1600+ messages I recieved in my email over the holiday, I decided to take today to clean out my Yahoo groups memberships.

I was a member of 49 different groups, all looming, knitting, Jaycees or Freesources related.

After going through and deciding which ones were really worth it to belong to, because I mainly read a TON of headlines, I thinned that down to 24.

4 screens of groups, down to one! Yea!

What I discovered, however, is best about it is - I feel so liberated! No more time spending countless hours wondering why I'm a part of this group or that group because its covered by this other site or another group.

I suppose its part of January cleaning fever. I hate spring cleaning, I never bother - but in January, I suppose being inspired by seeing my mother's clean house, I always go into a cleaning tizzy.

Plus my "fall down the stairs brace" is off! I didn't wear it for the first time today! Yea!