Jun 26, 2008

A Little Knitting

I think I may have found the flip flops to beat all flip flops. Crocs sent me an email awhile back that had their new shoe line up and lo and behold they had a pair of flip flops....squee! In the summer I wear flip flops but most flip flops aren't geared for foot comfort and a lot of walking. Now all I need to do is find a store that has them in stock. I'd rather try them out in a store then buy them online.

I've been doing a little knitting on my own projects. I'm making great progress on the test knit and am looking forward to starting some socks for myself. I'll probably start a pair for myself here in a few days since the test knit is over the halfway point.

I did finish the sheepy washcloth and soap sack.


I changed the bind off for the soap sack to a picot bind off just because I seem to be obsessed with picot bind offs right now. It's my favorite way to bind off a pair of toe up socks. I can't wait for Woolgirl to get this yarn in stock. It would be great to use for spa sets to give to friends and family for Christmas, birthday, just because, etc. I can't pass up a soft cotton that doesn't kill my hands when I knit with it.

Here's what I ordered from Lion Brand.


I went there to buy the Rambling Rows Afghan (Rav)(non Rav) pattern which is what I'm going to use to make a baby blanket for my cousin and to justify the shipping I threw in a skein of Lion Brands new sock yarn Sock-Ease. The color is Lemon Drop. The yarn feels soft and has aloe in it. I really hope Lion Brand gets more colors and that my LYS, Ben Franklin Crafts or Michaels starts carrying it. Kaity is drooling over the Cotton Candy colorway. Ben Franklin carries Moda Dea Sassy Stripes, Patons Kroy and they use to carry Lion Brands Magic Stripes before it was discontinued. I have high hopes that they will stock this one too.

Yarn bought from Julia's Craft Store. She also has her own website and sells on ebay.


The yarn is Vinca. It's soft and the colors are pretty but I'm not sure who will get socks made out of this, maybe a pair for Kaity and Bree.

Shawn bought me a new drawer set for my knitting.


This twelve drawer set has replaced the 4 drawer set that I use to use. Course the 4 drawer one is holding yarn now. He picked it up from Costco the last time he went. It has a lot more drawers for storing my current WIPs. I love that I can now put my projects into drawers instead of into a bunch of bags. Specially since Bree likes to run off with my knitting bags. She thinks their fun to play with and has already stole several of my smaller project bags to use to carry toys around the house. So far she hasn't messed with the drawers, we'll see how long that lasts.

Bree needed a pair of tube socks.


These were knit with some leftover Cascade 220 Superwash. Bree has these black & white striped socks that had the rattles on them. The socks were never of any interest to her when she was a baby but she's taken a liking to walking around the house with the socks on because she loves the rattle sounds. The problem was the socks were too small since they were designed for a tiny infants foot not a toddler foot. I decided to knit a pair of tube socks and attach the rattles so Bree can continue to have lots of fun making noise.

I'm still working on Kaity's skirt and have about 4 inches left to knit before binding off. My Rogue is still waiting to be blocked and seamed. All other projects have been waiting for me to pick them back up again. I'm almost done with that cabled throw I start back in Sept. I need to finish 2 more panels before seaming and I'm about halfway through one of the panels. I need to start working on my Bee Fields shawl. It's been sitting in the drawer, sadly neglected for weeks now.

Happy Crafting!

Jun 23, 2008

Bestest Swap Pal Evah!

I have the best swap pal ever! Look at what Janice (Jarlady on Rav) sent me.


The yummiest scarf made out of Wollmeise 80/20 Twin, Pfefferminz Prinz which is a color I've been drooling over for awhile now. She also sent me Jelly Bellys (yum, I'm fighting Kaity over these), my favoritest Dove chocolate (no meltage at all), a Knit Picks 32" 2.5mm circ (my most favorite type and size of needle), the cutest felted bowl (it's holding my most used knitterly goodies), a TLE water bottle (already being used), a Starbucks coffee mug (love me some Starbucks), a skein of Sugar n' Cream Stripes (can never have enough dishcloth cotton!), pattern tamers (these were at the top of my "Want" list), CookieA's Mona sock pattern which was like the only CookieA pattern that wasn't in my Rav queue. How did I manage that one? It's in there now!

Here's a shot of Kaity helping me out by modeling the scarf.


Shawn wasn't around to take the picture plus I have to tell you something but you have to promise to keep it a secret (I was still in my PJs). Shush, don't tell anyone!

Here's a shot of the little bowl holding my goodies.


It's the perfect size to hold my knitting gadgets that are too small to fit in my big coffee mug that I use to hold my pens, crochet hooks, stitch holders, etc. I hate keeping these items in the drawer because I use them all the time.

Thanks Janice for being the bestest swap pal ever. I loved everything.

On a side note I got all excited because Shawn told me that he heard there was a Starbucks that opened up here on base. My excitement was shot down when Shawn called to tell me that it was an unmanned stand that serves brewed Starbucks brand coffee. It's the most piteful thing I've ever seen. Why even bother! If I wanted Starbucks brewed coffee I'd make it in my own darn coffee pot at home. I can buy the beans at the commissary. Sheesh! I don't go to Starbucks for a plain coffee I go for the yummy, carmel flavored, loads of sugar and whip cream type caffinated beverages!!! I save brewed coffee for my coffee pot here at the house. And here I thought I was going to have a Starbucks within walking distance. Oh well, at least the one down the road has a drive through.

Jun 21, 2008

Sample Knits

In lieu of photos of the two test knits I just finished I'll show you some I finished awhile back and give you a teaser of what I'm working on.

First up is a sports weight Monkey sock that I knit for Woolgirl.


I used Miss Babs yummy sports weight sock yarn. The yarn was a dream to work with. It's very soft and the colors are beautiful. I used the Van Gogh colorway.

This was a sample knit for one of the kits Woolgirl released.


The Hello Kitty sock kit. This one was sent out in mid May so everyone who ordered one should have it by now. I knit mine with the fingering weight sock yarn by White Oak Studio. The pattern is cool but I honestly can't remember the name of the pattern and I'm pretty sure it's exclusive to this kit. I really liked working with the White Oak Studio yarn.

Finally, here's a close up of what I'm working on right now.


Obviously as you can see it's a stranded project. This is my first finger weight stranded project. I'll let you know when the pattern is released. Promise!

Jun 18, 2008

Some Progress

There has been a lot of knitting going on it's just most of it is stuff I can't show you yet.

First up is the progress on Kaity's skirtsicle (Rav)(non Rav).


Isn't it amazing how much the pattern changed when I increase the stitch. Less the 50 stitches increased and it went into this cool spiral pattern. The upper half probably won't be seen much unless Kaity tucks in her shirt....which she never does. I have about 5-6 inches left to knit before it's finished. This time I remembered to turn the skirt around so that it's right side up for the picture. I also tucked in the waist band though I haven't sewn it down yet. I'll do that after I bind off.

Cute toddler distraction.


I need to throw in something to distract you all from noticing I haven't a lot of knitting progress to report. Hopefully it worked.

I can finally show you the socks I knit for my TLE swap pal Kristen aka Woolology on Ravelry.


Thankfully the socks fit her feet wonderfully and she loved them. It was so much fun spoiling her. The pattern is Tangled Faeries (Rav)(non Rav). I loved knitting this pattern so much that I'll be making a pair in the near future for myself. I did modify the pattern a tad. I used my own favorite short row heel and toe and I knit them both at the same time. The yarn used was ShibuiKnits sock (Rav)(non Rav), color Sky. The color is off in the picture. It's much more blue. The Loopy Ewe photo is much more accurate. I really liked knitting with this yarn. I have one skein left that will probably become socks for one of the girls. I bought a third skein to be safe. You never know when something can go horribly wrong.

I have made decent progress on the soap sack.


This goes with my sheep washcloth and is using the yarn (pima petite from The Unique Sheep) and pattern that came with my 7 Deadly S(p)ins club shipment. Woolgirl is going to be carrying this yarn in her shop soon and I can't wait. Its so soft and perfect for making spa gifts with.

Oh look cute puppy. Ok, ok shaggy puppy. He's going to the groomers soon!


I need to throw in a distraction every now and then.

I picked up some cotton yarn the other day at Michaels.


The Sugar N' Cream was on sale for $1 each but it had been picked through and there were only a few skeins left. Most of them were white and off white. So the three in the photo was all I got but I picked up a couple skeins of cottontots for Bree's facecloths. If anyone has unloved leftover cottontots that they don't want/need let me know. I'm more then happy to give it a new home and turn it into washcloths for my messy toddler.

Finally, this is my new favorite knitting gadget.


I bought a row counter from Muddy Paws Knit Knacks. It was really hard to pick just one since there are so many gorgeous counters to pick from. This has got to be the best row counter I've bought. It stays on your knitting so you don't have to worry about losing it and you don't have to worry about it fitting your wrist like the bracelets. Plus Darcie (the shop owner) is really great to deal with.....very nice! To top it all off Darcie sends the row counter in a little cloth pouch so you have a place to store your counter when not in use. I see a few more of these in my future. Plus I think they'd make great gifts for swap pals, knitterly friends, etc.

Well that's it for now. In a few days I'll be posting about some of the samples I knit awhile back and show you a teaser pic of what I'm working on right now.

Jun 17, 2008

Meme Tagged

Knittech has tagged me for a meme so here we go:

You have been meme-tagged. Pick up the nearest book. Open on page 123.
Find the fifth sentence. Post the next three sentences. Tag five
people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

This is out of one of those self care handbooks I found sitting on the floor next to my desk. The girls drag it around the house and color in it.

Anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium, may help ease pain but can cause stomach upset. Enroll in an arthritis self-management program. Participants in these programs usually have less pain and fewer limitations on their activities.

The funny thing is page 123 is part of a section talking about joint problems which is something I've been experiencing a lot of here lately.

Now as for the tagging part. I'm a rebel and never follow the rules so if you wanna play consider yourself tagged by me.

Jun 11, 2008

Snow's Not Right!

Anyone else agree with me when I say "there shouldn't be snow on the ground in June!"


It snowed last night. I'm not sure what the official total is but there was about 2 inches in my yard around 6am. As you can see in the pic, it's starting to melt and will probably be gone before the end of the day. We're suppose to get more rain later this afternoon and the possibility of snow again tonight. Sheesh! Life is never dull here in Montana. To top it all off we lost power some time last night/early this morning and when the power came back on at the butt crack of dawn it scared the crap out of all of us. When our power comes back on it sets off all the smoke detectors in the house. We have one in almost every room and they are all wired together. It's a lot of racket when they go off. The only one who wasn't woke up was Bree. How she slept through that I'll never know!

I'm so glad I was watching the weather or my poor babies would have been snowed on and more then likely killed.

DSC05005These are our two tomato plants. They're in the garage right now where it's nice and warm. It seems that the military got something right with the garages in these houses. Even in the coldest part of winter our garage never dropped below 45-50 F.


As you can see one of the tomato plants has some flowers on it. There are several more on there now. I took this pic about a week ago and it looks like the second plant is going to have a few flowers soon.

My June Art Walk Sock Club (a Zen Yarn Garden Club) came in the other day. Here's the link since there are some that probably haven't gotten theirs yet. The colors are gorgeous! Now I need to find a pattern to show off the colors.

Shawn brought home a gift card and coffee cup for my birthday.


It didn't take me long to spend the money. I picked up Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning. It looks to be a good book and I'll soon be trying my hand at more spinning.

I've started a new dishrag.


This one is the Woven Basket Stitch Dishcloth. The pattern is easy enough to do but it's kinda fiddly and you have to use a bigger needle then you'd normally use for dishcloths because the pattern is tight. I'm using US8's instead of the US 6 & 7's I normally use. I added a garter stitch border because I'm not big on dishcloths without some kind of border. I'm crazy, I know. Yarn is Peaches & Creme Fiesta Ombre.

I've also made good progress on Kaity's skirt.

**Edited: Thanks KT for the non Ravelry link for your skirtsicle pattern.

I'm using the Skirtsicle (Rav Link)(non Rav link) pattern. The pattern use to be available through MagKnits but since MagKnits has died a very ungraceful death the designer edited the pattern and is now offering it for sale. I'm using Peaches & Creme Pink Lemonad

I have one Woolgirl test knit completed and in the mail and I'm about halfway done with the second test knit for her. I won't be able to show either of these for awhile since they are for future club/kit shipments. The third test knit is for Madelinetosh and it is on hold right now due to some pattern issues which are to be expected with a new pattern. When I get some better weather I'll give you all a teaser of this third test knit.

Jun 9, 2008

More Green Products

I want to start this post off by saying that I do not work for 7th Generation nor do they compensate me in any way for these blog posts. Their products are easy for me to get and I want to share my experiences with anyone who is interested. So anonymous emailer, stick your finger up your left nostril and leave me alone! I won't go into details but I received an anonymous email about my green posts and it was lets just say not nice. Basically I was accused of posting about these products because I was getting paid to. The only thing that irritated me about the email was the person didn't have the guts to sign their name to the email. If you're going to bad mouth me you can at least have the guts to put your name down in the email. If I find a product that sucks you all will be the first to know about it. I don't sugar coat things and I also have no problem if some one posts a comment or sends an email saying that they don't believe me or hate the products I'm talking about. I'm a big girl and can handle criticism. I am mature enough to know that not everyone is going to agree with me and my opinions. Nuff said!

I left off in my last post with the liquid dish soap. It wowed me when I first used it and it's still wowing me. My hands have never looked so good. They have been rash free since I started using the soap. This is definitely a product I will continue to use. If you have sensitive hands I highly recommend this product.

I've been using the All Purpose Cleaner and the Dishwasher detergent. Both of these products I have are free and clear although the All Purpose Cleaner comes in a Green Mandarin & leaf scent. It's just not available in my area. If you want a scented dishwasher detergent you'll have to get the gel because the powder only comes in Free & Clear. I'm going to start out with the All Purpose Cleaner first.

I'm comparing the 7th Generation All Purpose Cleaner to Formula 409 since 409 is what I normally use. The 7th Gen cleaner holds up great to 409. They both cut grease very well but there are few differences I've found. The first is that 409 is very hard on my hands. After using it my hands rash out and hurt. The 7th Gen cleaner didn't bother my hands at all. The 7th Gen cleaner got the grease off my stove and range hood with less scrubbing. The other thing I noticed is that the 7th Gen cleaner did better cleaning up sticky residue left from stickers. You won't believe the stuff they stick stickers on now a days. I found that spraying the cleaner on a rag and rubbing on the resin (a few times depending on how much resin was left behind after the sticker was removed) took it right off. This stuff works better then most of the goo removers I've tried that are suppose to work like magic....(insert sarcasm) sure they do! I use it mostly on the stove and counters around the stove to cut the grease. It works great in the microwave too. We all know how fun the microwave can be to clean up. We Shawn also mopped the floors with the 7th Gen cleaner. It did a really good job cleaning up the floors but honestly my floors never get very dirty. The girls aren't allowed to run around the house with food and I wipe up spills in the kitchen right away so truthfully hot water would make my floors look clean. I do believe that it would work great on really messy floors too. The thing I liked most about mopping with this cleaner was that I didn't have to go back over the floors with water to rinse and it didn't leave my floors feeling sticky. I have linoleum floors so this stuff worked great, however it states that this product is not for use on wood floors.

The other product that we are trying out is 7th Generations Powder Dishwasher Detergent. I'm comparing it with the last two dishwasher detergents I've used: Cascade 2in1 ActionPacs and the Palmolive Eco+. Lets first start off by saying that the Palmolive Eco+ sucks!!! It leaves a nasty film on your dishes, specially plastics. So I had to go back and wipe all the dishes down with a clean cloth to get the film off. Ah, I don't know about you all but the less work I have to do in the kitchen the better my life is. I give it a -10 for usability. Don't waste your money on it.

The Cascade works great. The only drawbacks are that it's not eco friendly and you can't pick them up with wet hands because the water melts the protective gel holding everything together....don't ask me how I know this....gotta learn things the hard way. The Cascade cuts the grease and makes my dishes clean and shiny. I'm wanting an eco friendly product to wash my dishes thus the reason I picked the Palmolive up. Now it's not 100% eco friendly but it's phosphate free so I thought I'd try it out. Yup it stinks, not getting it again. Thankfully Alberstsons is now starting to stock some of the 7th Generations products and they were stocking the dishwasher detergent the other day when Shawn was there so he picked some up. This is the first time I've used a plain powdered dishwasher detergent in years. We've been buying gel packs for several years now and before that we used gel.

The 7th Gen detergent is much more comparable to the Cascade that I was using. They both cleaned the dishes very well and left all of the dishes shiny. (Side note: I still use Jet Dry in my dishwasher). When the Jet Dry runs out I'm going to try the 7th Gen detergent to see how it does without the Jet Dry. There was no nasty film on the dishes. I'll post about my findings of how the 7th Gen detergent works after the Jet Dry is used up. We just put some in a week or so ago so it will be awhile before it's empty. It normally last about a month.

We are now up to 6 eco friendly products: Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender Landry Soap, Lavender & Floral Mint dish washing soap, Free & Clear All Purpose Cleaner, Free & Clear Dishwasher Powder, 100% recycled TP (100% recycled paper), and 100% recycled paper towels (also made out of 100% recycled paper). The toilet paper and paper towels cost a little bit more but they are made with recycled paper instead of having to chop down trees to make it. The TP isn't as super soft as Charmin but it's not as rough as government issue TP. If you've never used government TP count your blessings and hope you never do. That stuff still gives me nightmares **shudder**. The 7th gen TP is a happy medium between really soft and horribly rough. We don't use paper plates anymore and a roll of paper towels last us forever because I use bar mops & dish rags to clean up most messes. Sams Club and Costco both sell bar mops in a big pack. They work great for drying and for cleaning up messes. I can see why bartenders use them. I think I paid about $8 for 20-25 bar mops....very cheap.

I'll leave you with a shot of the new tree they planted in my back yard.


It's a Patmore Ash. It's a nice size tree but it still has lots more growing to do. I'll take pics again later this year.

Jun 7, 2008

30's Not So Bad

Today is my 30th birthday and guess what, 30 feels the same as 29! Well at least it does for me. We aren't doing much of anything today. I have the house to myself right now since Bree is napping and Shawn took Kaity to a birthday party. Although Shawn should be back soon with my Carmel Frappuccino from Starbucks....yummmmmm! Yes it's fully loaded. I can't bring myself to try the skinny drinks. Since I only get Starbucks a few times a month it's not to horrible. I made the mistake of looking up the nutritional information one day....yikes!

Most of my knitting has been test/sample knits. But I did make a washcloth for Bree.


I want to make a stack of them for cleaning Bree up after she's done eating. Bree's feeding herself and she doesn't always hit the spoon on the mark the first time around. I'm using Cottontots since it's really soft and one of my favorite cottons to work with.

I did get some yummy stuff for my birthday. First up is some Plassard Dune yarn from my friend Colleen.


I haven't decided what to knit with it yet. I'm still on the hunt for the right pattern.

This came in the mail yesterday from my mom.


She's sneaky! She went on to Amazon and browsed through my wishlist and got me The Opinionated Knitter. I've been wanting this one for awhile.

My birthday gift to myself.


I placed a small order through Woolgirl for a few things that caught my eye. The yummy berry colored yarn is by J Irby Designs and I couldn't pass up the coffee cozy kit put together by The Unique Sheep. I love the colors. Jen included a cute little sheep notepad and sample of wool wash.

I was really touched when Shawn brought this home from Kaity's teacher.


She put these together for the parents who helped her out in the classroom throughout the year. I'm not sure if I want to hang these outside with the way the wind blows around here. I may transplant them to a bigger pot and place them on one of the porches. I wonder how well these would do here in the house? I'll figure something out.

Here in a few days I'll post about the skirt I'm making for Kaity. I started it last night so there isn't much to show yet. Plus I must spread out the blog fodder or I'm going to run out. Plus I have a baby blanket to knit so I'll be talking about the pattern and yarn possibilities.

Happy Crafting!

Jun 2, 2008

Bad Blogger, No Cookie!

It's been forever since I last posted not counting the "I hate TypePad" post from the other day. I think I have all the kinks worked out with the blog now. Now hopefully TypePad will fix the composer because it's slowness and glitches are driving me crazy.

I've been up to a lot of stuff over the last 13 days. It's hard to believe I haven't posted in almost 2 weeks. I wished I could say I've been up to grand things but I haven't.

I knit two dishrags. The first is the Nine-Patch Dishcloth and the second one is the Diagonal Ripple Cloth.



These have been put up for now because I really have no need for dishcloths. I have a stack of about twenty in my closet. Both patterns were good knits. If you don't mind weaving in ends the nine-patch cloth is a perfect scrap buster. I do need to remember to knit one less row before binding off the top and side squares of the nine-patch cloth.

Bree has a new tank top.


I was wanting on feedback for a test knit I'm working on so I cast this one on for Bree. It was a quick, easy knit. You can find the pattern here.

I finished the sheepy cloth pattern from this last Seven Deadly S(p)ins club shipment.


I've started the soap sack but haven't finished it yet. The yarn is a dream to work with. This is by far the yummiest cotton yarn I've worked with. It's pima cotton dyed by The Unique Sheep, for those of you who want to know.

Got some yarn....not that that is a surprise.


It's Knit Picks Comfy. I'm going to use it to make dresses for Bree. I have some patterns in mind but can't start until I get some test knits finished. I'm on a deadline for these so they take priority right now.

Got some books.


I had a $25 gift certificate to Overstock so these are the two books I picked up. Overstock is one of my favorite places to look for deals on books but I've also found some other great deals out there. I bought the Cable Confidence book for the sweater on the front but there are several more that I'd love to knit. There are 6 sweaters for women, one of those is sized down to child size, 1 child size sweater, 2 mens sweaters (though one of those is the sweater on the front of the book and is appealing to men and women), 1 vest pattern, 1 big felted bag, 1 scarf, and 3 pillow patterns.

I found the New Pathways book for a great price at SandraSingh.


It was a little over $14 because of some bent corners (very, very minor bends) and some resin from a sticker. The resin rubbed right off with a little 7th Generation All Purpose Cleaner sprayed on a rag. I'll be posting about the All Purpose cleaner in another post here in the next few days. All in all I'd say the book is in very good condition. After I finish my test knits I'm going to try some of these patterns. There's some really interesting designs.

Finally my Rogue is getting really, really close to being done.


The hood is on and I've started the sleeves. I opted to knit both sleeves at the same time. I thought about knitting them in the round but when it came down to starting them I was just too lazy to do it. Once they're done all that's left is to block them and the sweater and seam the sleeves and seam the ribbing. Not that I'll be wearing it anytime soon it's to warm here for sweaters. I'm not 100% happy with the way the top of the hood looks so I may fix that before blocking. Who knows!

I'm going to try very hard to keep the blog up to date from here on out but it may be a little skimpy this month. I have three test knits I'm working on so right now they are my priority.

I did join Summer of Socks 2008 (Rav link). I've been saving my sock knitting for this KAL.

So what's everyone else been up to?