Sunday, August 31, 2008

Socks That Rock My World

Tina from Blue Moon Fiber Arts announced awhile ago that she would be retiring some of the STR colors. I knew I wanted a few of these colors so I'd need to hurry up and order them! (Plus, I had the sock club coupon burning a hole in my pocket.) Without further adieu, I give you the STR haul of 2008.

STR Haul 2008

1. STR Lightweight- Knitters Without Borders, 2. STR Lightweight- Love In Idleness, 3. STR Lightweight- Rhodonite, 4. STR Lightweight- Amber, 5. STR Lightweight- Kaw Kaw, 6. STR Lightweight- Henpecked, 7. STR Lightweight- Hoofle Foofle, 8. STR Lightweight- Spinel, 9. STR Lightweight- Rooster Rock, 10. STR Lightweight- Lettuce Knit, 11. STR Lightweight- Cockamamie, 12. STR LIghtweight- Crazy Lace Agate, 13. STR Lightweight- Ms LaRock, 14. STR Lightweight- Hot Flash, 15. STR Lightweight- Lover's Leap

And one of these...

STR- Funky Monkey Kit

just for fun!

Not bad, huh?


Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Heart You, Long Weekend!

Brian and I often look at each other and say, "Guess what? It's only Saturday!" Both of us were off yesterday and so we got even more excited about it being only Friday. No work for us until Tuesday. YAY!!!! If fact, it's unlikely we'll leave the house today. I feel a nap coming on....

But look what showed up in my mailbox this week!

Wollmeise- Amazonas

Wollmeise- Amazonas! So incredibly pretty! I traded a self-striping Yarntini for this skein with another raveler. This is a minor consolation for not getting picked for Claudia's sock club. I guess the universe knows I have enough yarn.

For those of you wondering, I was able to save my new earring. It took a lot of cleaning and patience but looks like I'll get to keep it! Did learn my lesson about being more careful in the future.

There will probably be an FO pretty soon. FLS is getting VERY close. But, for now, about that nap...


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Onward and Upward

Much to my surprise none of you reacted to yesterday's post with a "you're an idiot!" comment. So thanks for that! Having accepted my idiocy many years ago, I usually do not need reminding of it. Today the ear is still red. But MUCH less swollen and scary. Probably no dr. visit needed. Just need to keep it clean and stop messing with it. I'm so silly sometimes!

On to other (more interesting) things! I found a great etsy shop a few weeks ago. As many of you know, I make soap. And I'm obsessed with all things bath and body. Brian says I have too many lotions and potions. I contend that's not possible. This debate will probably rage until our 80's. Anyway, Product Body has some fabulous... well... products!

Product Body

Her scrubs are emulsified so there's no inch of oil sitting on top of the salt or sugar. It's fantastic! You can be a little less vigilant when opening and closing the jar. And her scents!!!!! Sexy Laundry Day is FABULOUS! Soft and light but just deliciously clean. You can also check her out here. And, like most Indie people, she's super nice. I got extras in hopes of converting many of my unsuspecting friends.

Next up, my first handspun!

Corriedale Handspun- Eire

OK- I admit it's barely different than the pencil roving from which it came. But it is yarn officially. I have about 2 bobbins of bulky yarn to play with. I'm thinking this Unoriginal hat.

Finally, click here for a peek at the new Yarn Pirate Booty Club. This might be my favorite EVER!!!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beware The Impulsive Piercing

After re-reading this, it might make some people a little squirmy. So read at your own risk.

I've been considering getting a new earring for awhile now. Originally I wanted one through my tragus. (that's the little piece of cartilage that sits above the lobe but closest to your face. Does that make sense?) But I've heard it makes using a stethoscope painful while it heals. So I went for a regular cartilage piercing on the upper part of my right ear. I have one on the left already. So I knew what to expect- long time to heal, can't sleep on that side, etc. On Monday I went to Claire's in the mall after work. They did the piercing without any issues. It looked cute. It hurt but that's normal. I went to work on yesterday and everything was fine. I cleaned it a couple of times. Again, it hurt but nothing out of the ordinary. Last night, it started to hurt more. A LOT more. Then, this morning I woke up with a boxer's ear. It's bright red and the folds are less folded due to the swelling. Oh my goodness! What's going on?!?!?! So I very gently cleaned it. Part of me thought I just slept on it funny and it needed to rest. After a couple of hours, it wasn't getting better. At this point, my ear was almost purple. I decided maybe I was having a reaction to the earring. So I took it out once I found an old piercing stud that's gold to replace it with. I gave the gold stud a couple of hours, no improvement in the swelling. So now, I've taken out the earring. But I'm trying to poke it back through every couple of hours to try to save the hole without losing my ear! Just as a side note, I don't blame Claire's at all. This whole thing didn't start until the next day. I probably picked up some bug at work. I'll keep you posted...

ETA: I don't think it's going to make it. The pus started tonight. And my ear still barely looks like an ear. Yeah- this isn't good. That'll teach me to try to be 18 again.

Something more uplifting tomorrow. Promise!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dear NBC

And, by association, MSNBC.COM-

Why do you have to delay your "live" Olympics broadcast for the West Coast??? We'd be happy not to have to stay up until 1 am to be able to see results at the same time the East coast does. I know you'd be missing your crucial 8-11 pm time slot in California but we'd really appreciate "live" actually meaning the action is live. And frankly, this late night drama is messing with my sleep. ChickenKnits does NOT appreciate her sleep being messed with!

I suppose I understand the prime time issue. But then, can I ask you a favor? Please DON'T PUT RESULTS ON THE FRONT PAGE OF MSNBC.COM BEFORE THEY HAVE AIRED ON THE WEST COAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you hear me yelling here. If you won't air it live, at least give us in Pacific time the courtesy to choose the way we hear the news. Simply put up a link that says, "Olympic results here." Then, you can go ape shit. But leave it off the front page. I mean really, how would you feel if you knew the news before the network says you can hear the news??? My Olympic life is in your hands. And, to be blunt, you're fucking it up. BIG TIME.

It really is to bad that msnbc is my home page. And it's REALLY too bad that, because I had the audacity to open my browser, I knew about Phelps last night before I was allowed by the network to view it. This goes for you too KGO AM 810.

All I want is a spoiler alert. I have to give one when showing the latest sock club color. Shouldn't Olympic history be worthy of the same consideration for those who don't want to know???? Overall, your coverage has been great. (especially since I usually get to see it twice.)

Thanks for nothing-

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crown Mountain Farms

There was a sale recently at Crown Mountain Farms. I am hopeless to resist a sale!!! Especially since I really NEED new roving to learn to spin.

CMF Corriedale PR- Eire

Corriedale Pencil Roving in Eire

CMF Corriedale PR- Plain of Ha

Corriedale Pencil Roving in Plain of Bliss

CMF Merino SW- Just for You

Superwash Merino in Just for You

CMF BFL- Finding Rainbows

Blue Faced Leicester in Finding Rainbows

They are all gorgeous. I almost don't want to try to spin them in case I mess it up! Speaking of spinning, how do you guys draft/prepare your fiber? I'm having issues with that part of the process and any help you can give would be wonderful!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mama Blue, I Heart You!

A couple of weeks ago, I won a blog contest over at Peaknit! And look at the lovelies she sent me!

Mama Blue Troika- Trifle

Mama Blue Troika Sport in Trifle. This yarn so so soft and squishy. I love it! It looks and feels similar to STR. But there's 10% cashmere in here!!!

Eraser from Peaknit

She also sent me a cute eraser. This is the perfect one to carry around when you're starting a new job. If I ever feel down, I can just pull it out for a quick affirmation.

Sheep Ornament from Peaknit

And a cute little sheep ornament! I have her hung on my cork board in the office. Isn't she cute?!?!?!

Thanks, Peaknit!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Scout's Little Secret

Psst!!! Did you hear???? Scout's writing a book!!!! This couldn't be happening to a better person. She's incredibly sweet and just a wonderful teacher. I had a wonderful time at her dyeing class and I can't wait to buy her book. You can hear about it firsthand on the Y Knit podcast.

But until then, I had to support her business in a different way...

Scout's Swag- Snowbunny


Scout's Swag- Power Couples

Power Couples

Scout's Swag- Hunker Down

Hunker Down

And best of all...

Namaste Newport- Charcoal

A Namaste Newport bag. I've been carrying it non-stop! I love it! (And not just because Scout herself has the same one.)

Namaste Interior

These pictures don't do it justice at all. It's so stylin'. Plus, it doesn't look like a knitting bag. Not that that's bad, just sometimes you want something more professional, you know? This bag absolutely fits the bill.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Holland Yarn Store Roundup

Hopefully yesterday's post wasn't so cheesy that you have unsub'd. I get sentimental when cocktails are involved! Also, this will be the last post of my trip home. I wish they hadn't been dragged out so long but work is really getting in the way of my blogging time! (But the pay is much better!!!)

OK- The closest medium sized city to where I grew up is Holland, MI. And, as far as I can tell, there are only 2 yarn stores. The first is downtown on 8th street- Lizzie Ann's Wool Shop.

Lizzie Ann- Front Door

You can't see very well but they have a bunch of mini sweater ornaments in the front window. They are so cute!

Lizzie Ann- Inside

It's a spacious shop with lots of higher end yarns. The ladies here were nice and let me browse without interruption.

Lizzie Ann- Space to Knit

Plenty of space to sit and knit. And LOTS of samples. After the Lansing/Grand Rapids yarn fest, I reeled in the purchases a little.

Lizzie Ann Star Buttons

They have a great selection of buttons. I was still checking out options for the February Lady Sweater.

Lizzie Ann Tree Buttons

Once I'm done knitting, I'll have to figure out which ones to use.

Lizzie Ann Mini Sweater Kits

They also sell kits for the cute sweater ornaments in the front window. I snagged a couple. I'm thinking they make good gift tags for Christmas presents. And once I have the pattern, I can make lots of versions of them.

Then I headed over to Washington Square to my mom's LYS- Friends of Wool.

FOW- Front Door

I LOVE this yarn store. Not because it's got the best high end yarns, although it does. I love it because I really feel like you could just come in, plop down, and knit as if you were there every day. Plus, the owners (Ruby and Rose) go to the church I grew up in. And they are very sweet.

FOW- Wall of Cascade

The shop is smaller than Lizzie Ann's but it's absolutely stuffed with yarn. From Cascade to Philosopher's Wool to Noro. They have everything you need without being flashy or fancy or pricey.

FOW- More Yarn

There are lots of samples around the shop.

FOW- Mittens

Check out the mittens!

Of course, I couldn't leave without a purchase.

Cascade 220- Black

Black Cascade 220- Can you believe there's none of this in my stash?!?!?

Cascade 220- Grey

Grey Cascade 220. Not the most exciting purchases. But they are destined to be something really cute...

Fiber Trends Sheep Pattern

I'm thinking a flock of sheep will someday emerge from my knitting leftovers. I also bought a small bottle of Gloves in a Bottle. That lotion is AMAZING! It's really helping my hands deal with the amount of washing that takes place in the hospital. If you have trouble with chapped hands, try it.

When I went to pay, Ruby looked at the name on my credit cards and said, "I thought you were one of Jo's girls!" I almost started crying when she came around the counter to give me a hug. She looked me square in the eye and told me how much she misses my mom. It was an incredibly sweet thing to say. Then they told me stories of how my mom once tangled a skein so badly that they had spread it all over the store try to work out the knots. She said the store looked like it was covered in spiderwebs but that was OK since it had been close to Halloween. We all laughed and I held back my tears until I was outside. Sometimes I really miss living in a small town.

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Friday, August 08, 2008

The Opening

Nothing tugs at my heart more than the Olympics. I love, love, love the games. There's something so pure and inspiring about sports. I know there are controversies. (drugs, politics, and all other issues.) But, to me, this is a time to really reflect on the amazing nature of sport. It brings people together. Sport pushes people to be the best they can be. And even when medals are not in reach. And victory is not an issue. One can reach out and be the best they can possibly be.

That is the truth of sport. It bring people together. It crosses boundaries. And the stories of the athletes make us realize how small this world really is.

I know, I'm 2 gin and tonics in. But I truly believe in sports as a diplomatic force. Perhaps I'm an idealist who thinks the Olympics are for the love of sport. (not money or glory or fame.) But I refuse to give that up. I refuse to lose the feeling I have when I see the US team march into the stadium. I refuse to stop getting goose bumps when NBC airs the stories of the amazing athletes who have overcome all odds to have their one moment in time.

That's what the Olympics are to me. One moment in time. To be the very best an athlete can be. That means finishing first and finishing last. But it absolutely means finishing. I am forever inspired by their stories and their determination. I am forever in debt to the Olympians who remind me that there is still honor and grace in this world. And that not all feeling can be bought and sold.

May all Olympians be fleet of foot and strong of arm. And may the best athlete win!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Grand Rapids Yarn Store Roundup

From Lansing, I went to Grand Rapids. I figured... it's on my way home. From East to West, I hit three yarn shops.

First stop... Clever Ewe in Ada.

Clever Ewe- Door

Isn't the front door cute?!?!?!? Check out the great fixtures they have in this store.

Clever Ewe- Tons of Yarn

Cool, huh? Totally antique. And what could be better than antiques filled with yarn!

Clever Ewe- Wall of Manos

There's even a "wall of Manos" This was another shop where the ladies were nice and the yarn was plentiful. I picked up (you guessed it!) sock yarn. At least it's one that I haven't tried before.

Cascade Heritage Sock- Steel

Cascade Heritage Sock yarn in Steel. It's surprisingly soft!

Clever Ewe Buttons

And some buttons for my February Lady Sweater. (Which by the way, I'm only one sleeve away from finishing...)

Then, I'm off to City Knitting in Grand Rapids proper.

City Knitting- Door

Another great shop with a not so intriguing front. The owner, Lorilee, greeted me and promptly invited me to their knit night. Unfortunately, I already had plans that night. But how welcoming can you be?!?!?!

City Knitting- Sock Room

This is the room for sock and lace yarn. A whole room!!!! Heaven I tell you!!!

City Knitting- Space to Knit

And, there's a perfect place to sit and knit.

City Knitting- Washer

They even have a washing machine for felting class. GENIUS!!! I really, really loved with shop. One of the ladies there had just finished the Hemlock blanket and was proudly showing it off. They chatted eagerly with me without once making me feel like I should buy more. Love that. Of course, I did buy...

Alpaca with a Twist Fino- Blac

Alpaca with a Twist Fino in Black. I'm entering lace weight territory...

Lamb Tee- Green

A green "Know your cuts of Lamb" shirt.(trust me, it's green.) Yes, I already have a brown one. So?

Since I'd been to Lansing and GR all in one day, my zest for yarn stores was starting to wane. I know. I never thought I'd be getting sick of yarn shopping either. Probably I was just tired. But I pushed through the fatigue for one more shop. This is one that my mom frequented when we were kids, before there were yarn stores in Holland- Threadbender in Wyoming.

Threadbender- Door

Nestled in a nondescript strip mall, Threadbender is focused on yarn, spinning, and weaving.

Threadbender- Yarn Galore

Yarn is crammed into every nook and cranny in this store.

Threadbender- Front Room

When I pulled into the parking lot, I was thinking... it's going to take some really special yarn to get me to buy more on this day of yarn debauchery. Good thing they had some really special skeins.

Claudia Hand Painted- Begonia

Claudia Handpaint- Begonia. Can you believe I didn't have any of this???

Araucania Ranco- 318

Araucania Ranco. So gorgeous, I had to have this one too...

Araucania Ranco- 310

That's it for Grand Rapids. I promptly went home and took a nap. There was a serious yarn hangover the next day!

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Lansing Yarn Store Round Up

Wow. The first week of work really took it out of me. Kind of weird because it was really only orientation paperwork and going over general policies of the hospital. Frankly, it was the early mornings that made it so tough. I'm just not used to that! Good thing I'll be working PM shift once things really get rolling. I'm training on AM's though. So I'll have to get used to being up bright and early.

Anyway, I have more to show from my trip. And thank goodness, there isn't much excitement around here at the moment.

One day I drove the hour and a half to Lansing to hit a couple of their yarn stores. Especially the very famous, Threadbear.

Threadbear- Door

If you just looked at the outside, you might drive right by. But then you would be missing one of the best yarn stores I've ever been to. It's seriously yarn MECCA!

Threadbear- Place to Knit

Seriously, this place is HUGE. There were at least 4 different places to sit down and knit or flip through a couple of books. It was amazing. Everyone here was very nice. However, there were quite a few regulars in at the same time as me. The staff seemed happy to let this stranger browse on her own. Or maybe they just couldn't see me for all the mountains of yarn!

Threadbear- Wall of Cascade

The "Wall of Cascade."

Of course, some of the yarn made the trip home with me...

Pagewood Farms- Chugiak

Pagewood Farms Chugiak Sock Yarn- They are a California company and I've never even heard of them.

Bracelet Kit and Tape Measure

In the continuing spirit of trying to buy only things I don't already have, I picked up a Lantern Moon tape measure that looks like a Christmas candy and a felted bracelet kit from Pick Up Sticks.

Next up was Rae's Yarn Boutique. The shop is closer to East Lansing but again, you might have driven right by if you weren't paying attention.

Rae's- Front Door

Rae herself was there spinning away in the front room.

Rae's- Wall of Yarn

There's a green sample sweater on the wall. Another woman came in and asked how much it was. Rae simply said, I can't sell that one but I can teach you to make it. Now, usually the response is "I don't have time for that!" But this lady started to mull it over. I think a new knitter may have been born that day.

Rae's- Front Room

Of course, I love the red wall. And more things jumped into my handbag.

FibraNatura Yummy- 41355

FibraNatura Yummy sock yarn.

Pattern Tamer

I finally bought a pattern tamer- just couldn't resist the cute little bees!

Apparently I was in the mood for blue that day. I didn't really notice at the time but it's pretty obvious when I look at everything together. Of course, I always love blues and greens!

In other news, Weezalana will be getting a little package from me in the mail since she identified the hay rake so quickly. (Damn you, google!!!) I just thought it would take longer!

That's it for this entry, now on to Grand Rapids!!!

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