Friday, August 31, 2007

What Day is This?

There has been no knitting this week, except for a few rounds on a sock that I did yesterday evening while getting a pedicure. (Oh glorious day of the pedicure!)
I caught the Purl Bee Connect-the-Dots pillow flu from Dr. B and I have been french knotting (well, figure-8 knotting) pillow tops this week. This is a fluke. I do not embroider. These are decidedly difficult to photograph but trust me - they are not difficult to make and the results are beautiful...even though maybe the pictures don't say so.
I am having so SO much fun reading about your embarrassing moments. I have laughed and laughed. If you haven't read the comments from my last post, you really should because frankly, ya'll make me feel better about my embarrassing stuff - I now know I am not alone!
Speaking of that previous post, you have until tomorrow night to enter! I'm so excited to give things away!!!! I will tell you that somewhere amongst those comments is the right answer to the what's-in-the-pot question but not the right answer to the buttons.
Monday evening, I went to my sister's house for dinner after work and on my way home, it occurred to me that it was starting to get dark earlier. The sky was beautiful that night. When I got home, I took this picture:
And then I went in the house, content in the knowledge that fall is, really, just around the corner. A fact that fills me with glee and that very thought. It was even cool enough over night to open up the house and let some fresh air in. (For those of you who don't live in California, it actually IS noteworthy to see a cloud in August. Tegan is going to college on the east coast and she has been utterly appalled at the fact that it rains and is hot at the same time. She had to buy an umbrella.)
The rest of the week it has been 103 F and up. What a cruel joke Monday night was. 100 and anything temperatures do not suit me.
Today's Quote:
"What fluke of genetics leads to a size zero? I tremble at the future possibilities. Size double zero. Size minus fifteen. Are we headed for a time when we'll be embarrassed to say, "I'm a size two?" - Valerie Harper, voluptuous sitcom sidekick

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yarn Party

I would like to point out that it is right now 11:29 p.m. at my house so technically speaking I got this in on Thursday, as we discussed.

It is no secret that this last year has been a trying one here at house of Ok! What Next?? I don't think it is a secret, either, that I am so very thankful for all of the kindness everyone has shown around this blog during that time. The encouragement and friendship and laughs and warm wishes have meant more to me than I can possibly put into words. That's where this contest comes from: I figure, what I can't say with words, I can probably say with free yarn and goodies.

I love a contest. Who doesn't, really? I've thought and thought about how I could make this contest fun for everybody and spread the winning around. My original plan was to have ya'll tell me your most embarrassing stories and I would pick one at random to get a prize. But then I decided, maybe people won't want to tell their most embarrassing stories on the internet and that's ok. They should still be able to win right? So, because it is my contest, and I can do what I want, I've decided on a three-pronged approach. (Do the words "three-pronged approach" suck a little of the fun out of it?) There are three ways to get in on this contest:

1. Leave me a comment with the story of your most embarrassing moment(s). It can be recent or years and years ago, painfully, scarringly embarrassing, wishing you could fade into the wall embarrassing or just I-can-never-show-my-face-in-this-place-again embarrassing. Of course, I would never expect ya'll to do something I wouldn't so on the day I announce the prize winners, I will tell ya'll my most embarrassing story, too. And yes, sadly, there are more embarrassing stories than the yarn dying incident with the police. You get 3 entries for telling me your embarrassing story. You can even tell me more then one (up to 2) and I'll give you entries for both.

2. Remember that pot of mystery cooking I showed you on Monday? This is one of my favorite things to eat. Leave me a comment with your guess as to what I was making in that pot. This can be worth 2 entries - one entry for guessing what it is and a second entry if you get it right. (Sorry, if you know me in real life, you are disqualified from #2.)

3. These are my buttons. (And their Tootsie Roll tin that I found at the antigue store for a dollar.) Guess how many buttons are pictured. You get one entry just for guessing and the first person to guess the right number (or the person who comes closest without going over) automatically wins a prize. (which prize, I haven't decided yet.)

Ok! So, what are you playing for? Here are the prizes:

1. Hardback copy of Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes and candle.
This is the only non-yarn related prize. If you comment and you aren't a knitter (or crocheter) and could care less about winning yarn, tell me. I will be drawing separately for this prize if I have more than one person who enters and isn't interested in the rest of the prizes, otherwise this prize goes into the pool with the others.

2. Three skeins of Berroco Softwist in Red.

3. Two skeins of SiSu Fantasy sock yarn in a nameless black, while, purple, grey, and blue along with a book-on-cd, Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon.

4. Beautiful round, lidded basket with one skein of Trekking XXL in the 182 colorway (olive brown, gold and natural) and Lantern Moon sweater keychain.

5. This one I have considered keeping for myself ( but I won't!)Beautiful little handled basket containing one wonderful skein of Schaeffer Anne and a set of 5 Brittany dpns, size US2.

There you have it! I am so excited about these prizes. I can't wait to give them away to ya'll!! (Of course, if no one wants to play and I end up keeping all of these prizes, I promise to give your prizes a good home.) Oh, also, each prize will include something that isn't pictured because really, prizes and surprises? Who doesn't want that?!?

The contest starts now (11:29 p.m., Pacific time, California, USA and all entries must be received by 11:59 p.m., pacific time USA, Saturday, September 1, 2007. I'll post the winners and their prizes on Sunday night.

Please, please, please if you are not a blogger, please leave me your email in your comment or email me (crickitleigh at hotmail dot com) with your contact info. I would hate to pick a winner and then not be able to send you your prize.
Good luck!!!
Today's Quote:
"If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else." -Yogi Berra

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Did I say Wednesday? Umm. No. No, not Wednesday. I meant Thursday. Tune in Thursday (evening) for details on the contest. See, I've been mustering up this contest in my mind for a while now and I've been accumulating the prizes for a couple of months so really, it was to be j-u-s-t-s-o. Plus, I need to get some good pictures.

Do you hear Annie singing? Tomorrow, tomorrow. I love ya', tomorrow. You're only a day away.

I'll tell you this: there will be three prizes (and maybe a fourth, depending on how I group it), including one prize for non-knitters. There's yarn, of course, and Brittany needles...It'll be worth the wait, I promise.

Today's Quote:

"If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very, very low crime rate." - then Washington D.C. mayor, Marion Berry

Monday, August 20, 2007

Little Victories & Simple Pleasures

Things have been hectic and down right nutty around here in recent weeks. Last Tuesday, my husband gave me a bit of a health scare that landed him in the hospital for a few days. He is fine now - went back to work today - and we don't anticipate any lasting effects but it did make for a long, tense week last week, which did not include any blogging (obviously) and very very little blog reading. I tell you this and beg the forgiveness of everyone whose comment I didn't acknowledge (I got them! Thank you) and anyone who's email I have failed to respond to this past week or two.

So the socks are done and the package is all packaged up. One finished sock on my foot. It is a bit snug, as she has much smaller feet, but I wanted to see it in action. Note the requested short cuffs. And let me say again, LOVE the Sherman Heel.

It should be noted that my husband voiced his objects to my tattoo making an appearance in this picture. I did end up cropping it out but not because of the tattoo....because of my hairy legs. (TMI? Sorry. My internal filter is apparently on the fritz.)

One thousand and one thank yous to all of you for the care package suggests. Please know that I've made a master list and will likely make use of every single one. I have plans in mind for a Father-of-Dr. B-esque package to include some sort of cleverly presented quarters for laundry. (If you haven't read that post about Dr. B's daddy, you should. So sweet!) Every suggestion is now on the list. Thanks again! Let me know if ya'll think of anything else.

EnnaVic and I must have been on the same cosmic inspiration train. Saturday I got out the molds and the bricks of glycerin soap and coconut oil soap and all of the necessary accoutrement and made a batch (or two or three) of homemade soaps. I should have plenty on hand for a while.

Homemade soap is lovely, of course, but seemed a bit of an odd accompaniment to handknit socks. With a few quick waves of the hands, hocus pocus, Tribbles....masquerading here as "bath poofs".

I whipped up a handmade card and all is well with the care package world.

Here's the homemade goody portion of Tegan's package:Soaps wrapped up.

Some of the soaps unwrapped.

I also included a box of microwave popcorn and some Easy Mac but they didn't make it to the photo session.

Lastly, take a look at this picture and come back later this week (probably Wednesday).
I've decided it is high time to have a contest around these parts. Just giving you a heads up.

As I think I have mentioned here before, I sometimes develop strong feelings for television commercial. My favorites at the moment are both Fruit of the Loom commercials. See them here. There are four in the series but my top one and two (respectively) are Overlove and Apple of my Eye (featuring Vince Gill.) Seriously, though, can you not love a commercial that includes the line "...And even though his hamster died, he finds comfort. this I swear. 'Cause you can't overlove your underwear, cause comfort ain't just found in teddy bears..."

Today's Quote:

"The cynic is one who never sees a good quality in a man and never fails to see a bad one. He is the human owl, vigilant in darkness and blind to light, mousing for vermin, and never seeing noble game. The cynic puts all human actions into two classes - openly bad and secretly bad. " -Henry Ward Beecher

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Feeling Clever

I've tried three different heel styles and the first two were complete disasters. I will not tell you which two tutorials/patterns crashed and burned because (while I would like to blame the patterns) I can acknowledge freely that it was probably my ineptitude that doomed me. As a general rule, I would say that I do very well at following directions but I have been a massive failure at knitting the socks from the Interweave pattern. Lucky for me, I have my own personal, long-suffering sock guru RC, who once again pulled my socks out of the fire. (Thank you, again, RC!)
Her simple-enough-for-Kristy instructions on the Sherman Heel were lovely and clear and produced a beautiful heel - nay, TWO beautiful heels. See?
So that's all the news that is news around here. Hopefully I can finish these socks up today, then I can go over and play around on Ravelry. (Which I am still finding highly intimidating.)
Oh and by the way...any thoughts on a few little tidbits for me to mail along with Tegan's socks? Katy and I are going to get together sometime in the coming weeks and bake for her but I thought I'd send the socks early this week (she said, optimistically, assuming the socks would be finished). She is 2500 miles from home and for the first time in her life, quite far from her entire family. I have a couple of things in mind but, as is well established around, I rate very high on the lame-o-meter and could maybe use some help.
Today's Quote:

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” -Alexander Pope

Monday, August 06, 2007


(Please forgive me in advance for the abusive overuse of superlatives in this post. Really, I'm sorry. Disgusting, sticky-sweet perkiness is not normally my style but there seemed to be no way around it.)

I have found an excellent way to delay making the decision about the heel for the toe-up socks - spend all of my knitting time doing a photoshoot with my yarn and handknit gifts and then blather on about it on this here blog.

Secret Pal Love

I have been ridiculously and shamefully neglectful in posting pictures of the super stellar gifts that Joanie sent to me at the close of the Secret Pal exchange. Neglect no more!!
First up we have two skeins of Dancing from Knit Picks.
Have any of you ever used this yarn? It is a cotton/wool/nylon/elastic blend. It is beautiful and I have tucked it away in the yarn drawers until I can find the right pattern for it.

Joanie also did a most wonderful thing...just wonderfully kind and marvelous - she knit something for me. For me!! Look at the beautiful fingerless mitts she made for me. Though we have never met and she has no idea what my hands look like, they fit perfectly. They are soft and just perfectly....lovely. Thank you so much, Joanie! I have once again been happily paired in a knitting exchange.

Yarn Shopping Settles My Nerves

Dogs have their favorite bones, winos have their favorite wines, gamblers have their favorite casinos....I have my favorite handpainted sock yarn supplier. That ever-talented darling Susie. Last week was a bit of a stressful week for me and I just happened to stumble over to Susie's place and order some yarn....600 delicious yards of 100% Superwash Merino. Ahhh, Passionate Kisses.
I have never been much of a shopper but somehow, the sock yarn, it soothes me. Some people have a soft spot for other goodies but I have come to terms with the fact that I am a sucker for Susie and her magnificent sock yarn.
I have plans for this yarn. Big plans. (Overly ambitious plans.) I have a pattern that has been on my to-do list for a while now and I've looked high and low for the perfect yarn for it. I think Passionate Kisses might just be this patterns long-lost love.
If you have a few spare moments, stop by Susie's blog and send her some virtual love. She's resting up at home after a medical procedure last Friday.

One of the Cool Kids

You'll never guess what showed up in my email inbox today. Actually, ya'll probably would guess so I'll just tell you - my invitation to Ravelry! It is amazing what a person can do with Ravelry. I am in awe. And I am so SO very excited to get started populating my little corner of the community. The pictures, the patterns, the yarn, the knitterly friends....It really, really must wait, though, until the socks are finished.

As for the Socks...

I think I've decided to follow RC's lead on the heels and go with the Sherman Short Row Heel. That is, if I can decipher the tutorial. I'm a bit intimidated but I like the look of this finished heel. I'm still contemplating this tutorial Charity recommended. Does anyone have two cents to spare on this topic?
You may recall that I originally intended to knit my first toe-up socks for me. Well, when I ripped the first go, I decided I needed some making-something-for-someone-else mojo to help me get through this. That means, of course, that these socks aren't for me. These socks are for my niece Tegan. Her parents and twin sister delivered her to college this weekend (she had to report early, for cheerleading camp.) I talked to her tonight and she is already a little homesick. This is a big, big move for her and I'm planning to send her these socks in her first care package, thus the delay in diving in to Ravelry.

Today's Quote:

"Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.” -George Washington

Sunday, August 05, 2007

On the Go with Toe-Up Socks

My gosh! Where has the week gone? It has been a busy, hectic, crazy week. A productive week on many fronts but a terrible blogging/blog reading week. I hate when I get behind on reading blogs. It is like not talking to friends for too long. I've missed ya'll!

Generally, these busy weeks mean very little knitting gets done. This week, oddly, lots of knitting (for me) has gotten done. Of course, most of this weeks knitting has been done in snippits and I haven't had my camera with me so all of the pictures have been taken with my phone and are, therefore, a bit fuzzy. In spite of the fuzzy, here we go, a quick week in pictures of toe-up socks.

Tuesday evening, I went to my sisters house for dinner and I let her try on sock #1 in progress.
By Saturday, since sock #1 was to the point of starting the heel, I employed by usual sock knitting plan and cast on Sock #2. Saturday, Katy, Lori and I went to San Francisco for the day. Here are Katy and Lori on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit.)
Though I have ridden BART before, it was my first time knitting on BART. It makes me half wish (only half, the other half of me has good sense) that I did the commute everyday.
The sock on the BART.
(As a side note, that is my new brown shoe. Nothing fancy, but they are celebratory shoes that I bought myself when I found out I didn't have to wear the ankle brace anymore. Comfy, flat and with good arch support.)

And here are both socks, just before I started typing. The sock on the right needs 3 more rows to match the other and then I really have to make a decision about the heel. Charity and RC have had much to say about the heel portion of the toe-up socks. RC in particular has expressed some discontent with the heel in the Interweave pattern and Charity recommended this pattern for heels. I am so painfully indecisive at times and this is one of those times. Umm. With those three more rows, both socks will be the necessary length so I'm guessing some decision will be made tonight.
I'll let ya'll know.

Today's Quote:

“In America, every day is a new beginning, every sunset is merely the latest milestone on a voyage that never ends. For this is the land that has never become, but is always in the act of becoming.” -Ronald Reagan