Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Tuesday Tool for Procrastination

This is the latest distraction I've found on the internets. Enjoy, and you can make your own quiz too!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Yard Sale Queen

In preparation for yard sale-ing this weekend (and if you need a little distraction from work), check out Yard Sale Queen's site.


Like most American families, we are at the extreme of the minimalist spectrum (and I'm not talking about being too minimalist) but trying slowly to reside somewhere in the middle. You see, Mom and Dad lived in a fairly well-sized home for a long time, for about 12 years or so. After Dad passed away, Mom and I boxed everything up, put it in storage and my aunt’s basement, stayed with my aunt for a while and then moved into a town home. From the town home, after a short stint of living with a friend, we moved into our current home. After seeing our home now, you wouldn’t believe that we have purged ourselves of any of our possessions, but you should know, we did. The man who buys used books came to our house and took hundreds of books away (we were a family of very avid readers). We had the junk man come to haul away some junk that had been sitting in the basement for years on end. We went through Mom’s closet and gave over 12 garbage bags full of clothes to the Salvation Army. We even had a yard sale, and sold half of our furniture. Believe or not, there’s still so much more.

My goal for the past few months has been finding a profitable yet stress-free way to get rid of all this stuff (if you haven’t noticed this goal from my previous posts). Noah and I have been making some progress, by finding things in the house to use in our new home in Charlottesville. Of course, I’ve been continuing to give clothes to the consignment shop in town and sell books on Amazon.com. But we still have so much more to go through. I even see another yard sale in our future.

I also discovered Freecycle, a group on the internets dedicated to passing along unwanted items to people who wants those items, with members residing in the same community. There are Freecycle groups for hundreds of towns in the country. While Freecycle doesn’t directly pay you, it does save you time in the car and money on gas. In fact, Freecycle saved me a trip to the dump. In our old home, we had a deck, with lots of outdoor furniture. In our new home, we don’t have a deck, only a car port. We had a chair and lounge chair which has been sitting outside, soaking up the extreme conditions of all four seasons for over a year. Finally, Mom mentioned to me that we needed to bring these items to the dump because we obviously had no use for them anymore, they were rusting and had taken a beating from being outside for so long. Instead of driving them to the dump, I took a picture of them, posted the picture on Freecycle, and voila – they were picked up yesterday from the driveway. No meeting the picker-upper to see if he liked them, no needing to be home at a certain time, just went out to dinner, and when we arrived home, the chair and lounge chair were gone, poof, disappeared. Noah is not convinced by the genius of Freecycle, but it really does avoid all those trips to the various deposit places for unwanted items. And you’re still giving these items to people who not only want them but also need them. I’ve even picked up some unwanted items, such as a paper-towel holder and toothbrushes, new in the package. You also avoid any awkwardness, because all items are left on the porch, so you come and go as you please. Very simple, I’m definitely a fan. If you want info on this group, let me know and I can give you some.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Swag from Crazy Aunt Purl

For all those Crazy Aunt Purl fans, check out the merchandise she has designed here. The print on the shirts are really funny!

My So Called Scarf Revisited

I wanted to show you what the back of My So Called Scarf looks like, since it’s very different from the front (right side). The back side looks like repeating rows of purl stitches.

Sorry for the fuzzy picture. I wasn't going for artistic genius with this one.

I haven’t played with the pattern enough to see if there is a way to knit the scarf so that the front looks identical to the back, but nevertheless, it’s still a great pattern.

Also, if you were planning on using Manos del Uruguay for the scarf or for any project for that matter, you should know that no two skeins are alike. When I picked up two skeins, color 113 Wildflowers, they looked like they were in two different dye lots. I can’t recall whether this type of yarn has distinct dye lots or not. Regardless, just make sure that you choose skeins that resemble each other. The owner at my LYS was telling me that she made a shawl using this type of yarn, and when she was finished with the shawl, there was a distinct line where the first skein had ended and the second began. Moral of the story: Be picky about which skeins you buy.

Monday, May 22, 2006


This weekend, Mom and I went to my cousin Stephanie’s baby shower in Denville, NJ. Though it was a long drive there and back for a few hours with family, it was worth it nonetheless. Mom and I got to spend some quality time together in the car, and really got into to silly conversations once the coffee kicked in.

We got to the country club where the shower took place, and there were a ton of friends and family there to celebrate with Stephanie. She looks absolutely gorgeous, with a beautiful round belly. I couldn’t help but touch it, which I know annoys many expecting mothers. Don’t worry, I asked first! She and her husband Adam have decided to not find out the gender of the baby, so it was lots and lots of yellow and green. Definitely convinced me to find out whether it’s a girl or a boy (when it’s time, which is not anytime soon – just to clarify), just to make it easier when preparing. Some guests said screw it and gave clothes that were obviously for either a boy or a girl. The best gift of all was a gift certificate to Merry Maids, which I think is a brilliant idea. It’s one of the most useful gifts for new parents.

Along with some yellow clothes, baby accessories and bath products for Stephanie to use when she gets home from the hospital, Mom and I gave Stephanie the white basket weave baby blanket that I knitted a while ago. I started it very soon after I found out Stephanie was preggers, so all I did this weekend was sew on one of my personalized labels.
I spoke to another pregger friend, Ginny, and she’s due in one week from today I haven’t decided whether to give her the pink or the purple baby blanket I have stashed. I should make up my mind soon cause from what Ginny said, she’s huge, ready to pop, and she’s ready for this child to be born already!

Here's a family pic from the baby shower:

From left to right - Me, Stephanie, Aunt Carole (Stephanie's mom/my dad's sister), mom, Kim (my cousin, married to cousin Jeff [Stephanie's brother/Carole's son])

And for those who were yard-sale-ing with me on Saturday, you will be pleased to know that I've already put to use two yard sale finds - see my shirt and my pants in this fuzzy picture? Yup, all from yard-sale-ing. I love yard sales!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My So Called Scarf

While watching Law and Order last night in amazement as Assistant District Attorney Alexandra was killed off, I was knitting this:
This is the latest result of my planning efforts. My So Called Scarf is knit with Manos Del Uruguay, in color 113, Wildflowers. This yarn is much too expensive for my budget but it was my one splurge, at least in a while, and I just couldn't get over how colorful the yarn is. It's not so much vibrant as it is "soulful" if you know what I mean. The colors don't bling or anything, they are subtle but different. And I love that the yarn is different widths, which makes any pattern that much more interesting. The main thing I love about this pattern is that it makes "Xs" and NOT resembling anything close to a stockinette stitch. The pattern is just a repeat of two rows, making it VERY easy. This is a great pattern to use for scarf, even if you don't have exciting yarn. A good stash buster if you will. I haven't decided whether I'm going to gift this scarf or keep it in my stash. Lord knows I have way too many scarves, but one more isn't going to hurt anyone...maybe just my coat closet.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

With Pictures

Once I got the camera home, and found some spare batteries, I took pictures of my current sock project.

These are the socks I'm working on for Noah, the first pair I've ever made for him. He picked out the sage green sock yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. He did make it very clear that I shouldn't get upset when I don't see these socks outside of the house, because these are specifically house socks. It was very thoughtful of him to preface this project of mine with communicating his intended use for these socks, so I don't go whining later "You never appreciate anything I ever make for you. You don't even wear the socks I made for you outside of the house. What, are you embarassed of my sock-making abilities?" We have just avoided that whole problem with such wonderful communication on his part. Seriously, we are very good at communicating...and him predicting my reaction to certain situations.

As you can see, I'm avoiding the whole one-sock syndrome by making both socks at the same time. This is not as hard as it may sound. I got the idea from the pattern I used. Once I knit the leg for the first sock, I replaced the needles with different sized needles, and casted on the for the second sock and knit the leg. This way they are identical. Then I traded needles and knitted the heel flap for the first sock, and traded needles again to knit the heel flap for the second sock. If you were really cool, you'd have enough needles of the same size to avoid the whole trading-needle tango, but I'm not that cool, so I just keep trading the needles when I'm done with one part of the first sock and need to work on the same part for the second sock. This technique also ensures that the socks turn out identical. For example, if you knit the first sock completely and then start the second sock, any alterations you made to the pattern may be forgotten by the time you get to the second sock. With this two-socks-at-once technique, the socks are more likely to be identical, and you are more likely to end up with two socks. I'm at the point on the first sock where I need to measure it with Noah's foot to get the correct size. Hopefully these will be finished sometime next week.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tuesday Joke

A tour bus driver is driving with a bus load of seniors down a highwaywhen he is tapped on his shoulder by a little old lady. She offers him a handful of peanuts, which he gratefully munches up.

After about 15 minutes, she taps him on his shoulder again and she hands him another handful of peanuts. She repeats this gesture about five more times.

When she is about to hand him another batch again he asks the little old lady, "Why then don't you eat the peanuts yourself?" "We can't chew them because we've no teeth," she replied.

The puzzled driver asks, "Why do you buy them then?"
The old lady replied, "We just love the chocolate around them."

Too Many Favorite Moments

Is the Fall tv show lineup beginning anytime soon, because after last night’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, I’m not sure I can wait the whole damn summer. Words cannot express how good last night’s finale was. So many great story lines, Izzy and Denny, Christina and Burke, Meredith and Derek and Vet McDreamy, Callie and George, the list could go on. I have so many favorite moments, but the one that tops my list is when Alex, who I usually consider such an ass, picked up Izzy from Denny’s bed and held her in his arms, kissing her and rocking her. That was such a powerful moment; tears were running down my face. I just can’t get over how good this show is, I mean, really people.

So, we’re taking a poll as to who Meredith will pick. Right now, my vote brings the poll to 1 for Finn and 0 for Derek. Anyone want to chime in with a vote?

While watching the finale, I returned to the Very Easy Ripple Shawl that I’m making for my co-worker Brenda. Still on the 2nd to last skein of yarn, but it’s coming along well. It would be done by now if I hadn’t gotten sidetracked knitting these for Noah, but I needed a little distraction considering I’ve knitted this shawl before. The shawl is at work with me now because I am determined to finish this thing before June. That is my goal and I’m stickin’ to it. Oh, and I am no longer making promises about posting pictures, because as we can see from this pictureless post, I am not fulfilling any of these promises. So, y’all will just have to remain in suspense. But, I do hope I can get my tush in gear and get some up here.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Monday Musings

Mother's Day was wonderful yesterday. JaKnit, Vade and Noah came up to our neck of the woods for a late lunch at Eggspectations. If you've never been, you must try it. Though the wait can be long, especially on a Sunday, the food is worth it. Eggs, any way you want them, with other options for lunch and dinner (though breakfast is served all day long). Afterwards, Mom and I went home for a few minutes of R & R before we headed to a family gathering to celebrate Mother's Day. It was nice sitting around the table, listening to family stories, as I knit socks for Noah. I asked Mom, while in the car on our way home, if it was rude to be knitting while gathered with family. She reassured me that it wasn't rude, and actually, I find that talking while knitting keeps me more engaged in the conversation. Also, knitting is a great conversation topic, and it's one way to keep your family involved in what you love to do. They get to learn more about me and my passion of knitting, and I've learned quite a bit about the crafts they enjoyed during their lifetime. Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of my socks soon, since I got a call from Best Buy informing me that my camera was back from being repaired. I've felt so naked without my camera these past few weeks.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Sunday, Noah and I headed to the Sheep and Wool Festival (and let me tell you ladies, there was no begging or whining on my part to get him to go. He was completely willing...such a great guy). Admission was free, so once we parked the car, we walked right in to the Fairgrounds. We were starving and started the experience off with some Lamb Gyros. Kinda weird we were eating lamb at the festival considering there were lambs all around, but we wanted to try it considering we had never had a lamb gyro before. Afterwards, we wandered around trying to find all the yarn, and believe you me, it wasn't hard to find. But before we could make our way to the vendors, we got sidetracked by the cutest sheep! Noah took lots of pictures so I'll be sure to put up a link tomorrow. They were everyone these sheep, and considering how cute they were and how easy it would be never have to buy yarn, but tend to sheep, I am definitely contemplating owning my own sheep. I could keep it in the yard and anytime I needed more yarn for a project, I would just spin my own. Okay, maybe it's not that easy, but I sure would like to have a sheep for a pet. But, as the day wore on, we saw some sheep before, during and after the sheering process (not sure if that's the technical term) and though it may not hurt the poor sheep, it looks like it could be painful. Eh, not painful, just uncomfortable, kinda like a little kid getting his hair cut, squirming in the chair. After admiring all the animals, we walked the barns of the Fairgrounds, examining vendor after vendor. After a while, you saw the same stuff, just sold by a different person, but I didn't leave empty handed. I picked up some sock and other things I can't talk about yet cause they're presents. But as soon as they're given, I'll hopefully get some pictures and post. Gosh, it's frustrating not having my camera. Oh, woe to me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sock Pattern for Men's Sock

I am reaching out for some help on finding a sock pattern, using sport weight yarn (which we picked up at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival - I'll write more about it tomorrow), which is written for a man's size foot. Any ideas of where to look?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


This is untitled cause it's a list of random thoughts.

1) There will be no pictures from me for a while, because, sadly the lens cover thingy that covers the lens broke. I dropped off my camera yesterday at Best Buy and I was given a sentence of approximately 2 weeks until my camera is returned. So hopefully in a month, I'll have my camera back. Given the fact that my camera was stolen in Paris 4 months ago, and now the lens cover thingy broke, I am convinced I should not own a camera. If one more thing happens, I will seriously consider disowning the dang thing.

2) The move from Brooklyn went well. Despite the fact that everyone else bailed on us and we were left to fend for ourselves, we did pretty damn well moving everything into the truck and driving down to NOVA...I mean except for the little fender bender I got in with Noah's car and the red pole at the gas station. Dammit you darn red pole for gettin' in my way and all.

3) I've been working on the Easy Ripple Shawl from Lion Brand for my co-worker Brenda. I made one for my mom about a year ago. Mom loves it but never wears it (seems to be a trend with moms and handmade gifts from their children) so I brought it into work to keep me warm. Brenda begged me to make her one, and even though I swore I wouldn't ever make another one, despite its beauty, I couldn't resist her southern charm. It takes 6 skeins of Microspun yarn to complete and I've already used up 4 skeins. Second time around isn't taking as long considering that I'm forcing myself only to work on this project cause I want it done and over with. If I start another project, it will never get finished.

4) I'm heading to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this Sunday. I may have convinced Noah and Mom to come along. Maire, you in?