Sunday, September 23, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane

What a crazy few weeks it has been. I didn't even realize how long it has been since I posted - nearly two weeks. Sheesh! Things have been crazy in my corner of the world. For the last week, I've been traveling for work and I will be traveling this week as well. Thus far, it has been a very productive trip, though hectic and kind of exhausting - - but the good kind of exhausting. Luckily this weekend included a little fun time. Yesterday we got to go to Tegan's football game and it was so much fun. Fun to watch her cheer at a college football game (a game they were predicted to lose but won) and exciting to see how much fun she is having cheering and at school in general. Here she is pre-game. Cutie, huh?

I've had my camera with me but I haven't taken even one picture. (Someone else took that picture above.) Hopefully later this week there will be time for taking pictures before I head home on Thursday. I finished my socks on the plane on the way here and I've cast on for a pair for another one of my nieces, Whitney. These are my first go at knitting with Lorna's Laces. So far I'm liking it.

I hope all is well with all of you.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

You Give Me Fever

The other night, I got a text message from Lori. It said and I quote:

"Having a problem. I need your help. I feel the something. Perhaps a jeans.....something. Help ME!"

What self-respecting craft lover can resist that kind of invitation?

I texted her back with an enthusiastic "OK!" and within a couple of hours, we'd gone to the craft store (luckily it doesn't close early on Saturday night), picked out fabrics and threads and were back at my house, where Lori was learning the gentle art of the figure-eight knot. (The figure-eight knot, for those who don't know, is the knot used in candlewicking. It is my knot of choice, as the french knot makes me curse and throw things.)

She is making a pillow (two pillows, actual. Lori is ambitious.) She is doing a square, instead of the circles, a la Purl Bee. Here she is, showing off her very first knot. Last night she went to Borders and bought an embroidery book, then today she told me that she didn't want to do work. She wanted to work on her pillow. I was nearly moved to tears of joy.

I felt a bit like the blind leading the blind on this one, as I am certainly no expert when it comes to embroidery, but she seems happy and now she has her book so all is well.

I have been working on a connect-the-dots pillow for my mother. I am pleased with the way that it is coming along and should have it done soon.

The fabric at the top will be the back of the pillow and the front will be the embroidered piece. The colors aren't exactly true. In this picture they appear to be red, yellow and white but in reality they are more like a deep burgundy, dark dark mustard and a cream that is almost tan.

On the knitting front, I am working on a pair of toe-up socks for me. Yep, for me. I am using what was left of the yarn from Tegan's socks. These socks were not planned but I am glad to be making myself socks. The night a few weeks back when my husband ended up at the hospital, he was taken there by ambulance and the whole thing was kind of frantic, as one might imagine, and I didn't have much time to plan for knitting. I grabbed the little bag with Tegan's unfinished socks and was out the door. Shortly into that all night ER vigil, I finished the socks and realized I didn't have anymore work-in-progress knitting with me so I cast on for another pair of socks. Since I knew the gauge of this yarn/needle combo, I measured my own feet and started knitting....and I was once again oh-so-very thankful to call myself a knitter.

Thanks again to everyone for participating in the contest. The air conditioning is finally fixed at my house and I can comfortably do something in my home other than gather up clothes to take to someone else's house to sleep. I boxed up each of the prizes last night and will be taking them to the post office tomorrow.

Today's Quote:

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blogging is a Minefield

My husband has this particular friend. For the sake of his privacy, I’ll call him Fester.

Several months ago, I found out that Fester reads this blog. I didn’t think much of it, other than to think it was kind of funny since he doesn't knit, and then I sort of forgot about it. My blog is not a secret. I don’t go out of my way to publicize it but I certainly don’t hide it from anyone and I would say that most people who know me know about the blog. Most people I know likely haven’t visited this blog because they could care less about knitting...which explains the blog’s very existence...but I digress.

Fester and my husband have been friends for several years. I can’t remember how many. Mr. used to work with Fester and still does work for him occasionally. When they were working together, Fester and his wife and the Mr. and I used to socialize more. I really like his wife and I have always liked Fester, though we don’t spend much time together, which is unfortunate. As far as I know, I have never been anything but pleasant to Fester. If I have been otherwise, I was probably only kidding.

Ya’ll know, if you’ve read more than say two entries on this blog, that I fully acknowledge my lack of coolness. This is not something new. I have never been particularly cool or hip and I am completely ok with that. I drive the speed limit, I completely stop at stop signs. I didn’t drink until I was 21. I’m not terribly capable when it comes to fashion and my all time favorite song is Key Largo, by Bertie Higgins. It was a big hit when it first came out…in1982. I do origami and I take pictures of yarn in the grass in my front yard, sometimes late at night. At best, I fall into the “hip to be square” category, at worst the "painfully lame" category.

My point is that I am fully aware of my idiosyncrasies and I generally embrace that. I can joke about it and I am even ok with being teased about it. I am generally a good sport when people mock my knitting (I figure they just don’t understand) and Lord knows I’ll talk about it to anyone who even mentions knitting or my blog or sewing or crafts or whatever. And when I talk about knitting and people make that “oh man, she’s really into this, what a lame ass” face, I just smile and pretend not to notice.

So for all my big I’m-ok-your-ok talk, I am also kind of tender-hearted. I don’t mind being harassed and/or mocked to my face but it does bother me to know that someone, someone I consider a friend, is making fun of me behind my back. What really bothers me is when my husband or anyone else finds themselves in the position of defending me or my knitting or my blog or my lameness. As much as I’d like to say otherwise, it hurts my feelings and maybe even bruises my ego a bit, when I hear that someone is basically talking smack about me because they’ve read my little knitting blog. It robs a little bit of the joy.

I guess the upshot of all this is: If Fester wants to read my blog, obviously that is fine. I put it out there on the big bad internet because I want people to read it. If he wants to mock me for my knitting, that is ok, too. In fact, he should feel free to mock me in the comments here or call me up and point and laugh when I say things like “fibery goodness” but honestly, he is a smart and successful man. He owns a successful business, has a beautiful home, nice cars and a beautiful, successful, wonderful wife. Surely he has better things to do with his time and considerable energy than to give my husband shit because I knit and talk about it too enthusiastically on the internet.

One thing is for damn sure: Fester is not getting handknit socks for Christmas.
Today's Quote:
"I like people and I like them to like me, but I wear my heart where God put it, on the inside." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, September 02, 2007

And the Winners Are...

Hurray! We have winners of prizes! I am pleased and excited to announce that I have picked winners for all of the wonderful yarn prizes. I wish I had prizes for everyone but sadly, I don't. I do have some nifty prizes, though. Here we go!

First Up: Embarrassing Stories: Thank you SO much to everyone who shared their embarrassing story. I laughed and laughed - and cringed inwardly for each of you. They were all wonderful stories but I did pick a favorite and that was....Susanne. Congratulations, Susanne! I hope you knit socks (or want to learn to knit socks) since this Trekking XXL and basket combo will be heading your way later this week.
There was no correct guess to the number of buttons question. I was as surprised as anyone when I counted my buttons and discovered that I have - drumroll, please - 733 buttons. Colleen's guess of 500 came the closest without going over. Congratulations, Colleen!! I will be sending you two skeins of SiSu Sock Yarn and Leeway Cottage on CD.
Susanne, Kniterella, DaayDream and Tactless Wonder all guessed the contents of the cookpot correctly: Tapioca Pudding. Extra contest entries for them!! I love tapioca pudding and my favorite way to eat it is while it is still hot. Yum!

So I added up the entries and put everyone's entries into this orange bowl then I started drawing names for the remaining prizes.

The book and candle prize goes to:
Tactless Wonder!

The three skeins of Softwist go to:

I added another prize without telling anyone but I haven't taken a picture of it. I will, but didn't want to delay the posting of the prizes for this one picture. Two skeins of Sugar and Cream and some of my handmade soaps. And the winner of this one: Ikkinlala

Last but certainly not least, the Anne and accompaniment go to: Marit!!!

Congratulations to everyone and thanks so much for playing along. Later this week, I'll post my most embarrassing story and I'll show you the progress on the embroidery.

Right now, I am knitting up Tribbles. Our church is having a craft fair fundraiser on September 15th and my mama asked me to make some handmade soaps and Tribbles for sale at the fair. We'll see how many Tribbles I can get done in that time. Our A/C is on the fritz (today's high: 104 F) so I will not being hanging out at home knitting.

RC, I have your mailing address but for the rest of the winners, please email me (crickitleigh at hotmail dot com) with your mailing address.

Today's Quote:

"A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?" -Kahlil Gibran