Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award

So I have been thinking quite a bit about the "I Love Your Blog" award I received last week from Sandy. I am still pleased that she nominated me, but I am supposed to pass the award along and that has created a bit of a dilemma for me.

Here are the rules:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog. 2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you (as shown above). 3) Nominate at least seven other blogs. 4) Add links to those blogs on your blog. 5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

And here is my dilemma. I have 43 blogs that I read on a regular basis (not including the group blogs that I belong to or follow for possible charity donations). Like everyone else, my time online is limited, so if I am reading a blog regularly, then I am doing so because I love reading that blog. I receive so much inspiration and motivation from each and every blog I follow that I can't pick just 7 to receive the award. So, if you are on the list on my side bar, please consider yourself to have won this award from me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Finally Feeling Better

Well, last week did not go as planned. I was very happy on Tuesday evening when I called the court and found out that jury duty had been cancelled. I was all set to go to the Big E with the crochet guild on Wednesday. In the meantime, however, I had been fighting a scratchy throat since Monday, and I woke up Wednesday morning to a full blown head cold. So I had to cancel going to the Big E, and I ended up home sick Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On top of the congestion, I had no energy to do anything but read. I read through 2 1/2 books in 3 days. I started to feel better on Saturday, which was a good thing since my dh came down with the same cold Friday afternoon. I had to quickly switch from being the sick person to being the caregiver. He's still home sick today, but I think he is starting to feel better.

While I was sick for those 3 days, I had no interest in going near a crochet hook or knitting needles. But once I got my energy back, I was right back at it. I managed to make a toddler sized hat, a pair of fingerless gloves, and a scarf over the weekend.
(I also finished one other scarf last night, but I don't have the ends woven in yet, so it isn't quite ready for its photo shoot.) I didn't really use a pattern for the hat and scarf. I did use a pattern for the fingerless gloves, and I have to thank Deneen for her pattern. It is a great but simple pattern, and I intend to make more of them in the future.

I haven't forgotten about the "I Love Your Blog" award, either. I'm still mulling it over, and hopefully I will be able to pass the award along tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

2 More FOs from the Weekend

Well, I finished up the scarf I mentioned in my last post, and I made a hat yesterday during the crochet guild meeting.
The scarf came out 53" long and 6" wide. The hat is the same size as the previous 2.

In other news, Sandy nominated me for an "I Love Your Blog" award. I am just pleased as punch that she received the award and that she in turn nominated me. I will be nominating 7 other bloggers for the award later this week. Unfortunately, the next 2 days are going to be a bit busy for me, which is why I won't be able to pass along the award until the end of the week. I have an early morning staff meeting tomorrow, and then on Wednesday I am either going to jury duty or the Big E. I won't know which until I call in to the court Tuesday night to see if they need me on Wednesday. As you might guess, I'm really hoping I get to go to the Big E! That will be a whole lot more fun than hanging around a jury room all day. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Big Hooks & Bulky Yarn...

...equal quickly worked up projects! Yes, I spent yesterday holding 2 strands of yarn together and using a P hook to make 2 child sized hats.
This got 4 partial skeins of yarn out of the stash. I used my favorite hat pattern, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Since I had yesterday off from work, it probably would have been more sensible to work on a bigger project, but I just wanted the satisfaction of using up some yarn quickly.

I also started a scarf using 2 strands of yarn and a Q hook. I should have that finished tonight, and then hopefully I can make another 1 or 2 tomorrow. Once I get through these partial skeins, I will be able to start on some hat/scarf sets.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Post-Vacation FO!

One of the moderators of the Ravelry Stashdown group has set herself a goal of knitting up 10,000 yards of yarn in September. She has been blogging about her progress and sharing it with us in the Ravelry group. I have really found her efforts inspirational this week, even though I can't hope to approach that sort of yardage usage this month. Given how much I want to accomplish this fall craft-wise, however, I have come up with a resolution for myself. I am resolved to use up some yardage from stash every day. And at least until yesterday, this worked very well. I spent last Sunday reorganizing yarn and patterns, and then I worked on a hat and scarf set Sunday, Monday & Tuesday evenings. I tied in my ends yesterday morning, and voila, two FOs!
This used up about one and a half skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease. The scarf came out longer and skinnier than I intended, so I think this will go into a charity sale rather than becoming a donation. (Dee, I promise the next scarf I make will count for the 60 Scarves challenge!)

So, what happened yesterday? Well, I seemed to be busy all morning (still catching up online). And by the time I got home from work in the evening and ate dinner, it was almost 9:00, and I just wasn't in the mood to work on anything. Plus, Wednesday nights, BravoTV shows Project Runway and Top Design, and those shows require more of my concentration than most other TV shows (because that late at night, if I want to remember the designs, I have to pay careful attention to them). But I promise to get back to my resolution this evening. I feel another hat and scarf set calling my name!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall Crafting

While I was on vacation and had time to think, it occurred to me that I have some deadlines coming up this fall. It's time to get back to some charity crafting. I'm trying to limit myself somewhat this year, though. I can't do everything, so I think having more of a focus will keep me from getting too crazy.

First up, the crochet guild will be once again donating hat, mitten & scarf sets to the Salvation Army in December. I have 1 set made so far. So that is a top priority this fall. And just in time, Dee has launched her "60 Scarves in 60 Days" challenge again this year to help spur us all on. This year, there's a Ravelry group as well, and so far, the challenge seems off to a good start.

Second, I would like to donate to Warm Up Winchester again this year. I already have some hats and mittens made for them. I need to inventory what is already made and then plan accordingly. I think that donation needs to be made by October 31st. The nice thing about this group is that I can send baby items as well as hats, mittens, and scarves, and some of those items are also already finished.

And then there are 1 or 2 craft sales coming up. My mother lives in senior housing, and they will be having a craft sale in October to make money for their Sunshine Fund. So I am planning to donate some baby items and maybe a few other little things to her. One of my friends at work has already given me some baby sweaters, and I have the baby hats and booties I made this summer, so that donation is also coming along. And I heard a rumor that the crochet guild might be having a sale later in the fall as well, so I am keeping that in mind as I work on projects.

The nice thing about all of these donations is that they all take similar items. So I can make whatever I feel like, see how items turn out, and then decide where to send them.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

All the Road Running

Towards the end of last week, while driving around central New York state, I put on the Mark Knopfler/Emmy Lou Harris album "All the Road Running". It occured to me that the title summed up our vacation to a certain extent. We seemed to be in the car a lot driving around last week. Towns are rather spread out there, although not really knowing where I was going most of the time made the distances seem longer than they actually were.

But we did go to interesting places when we were driving around. We visited some of the wineries and tasted some wines (brought some home as well). We visited several used book stores and had fun browsing. We went to the Corning Museum of Glass and learned quite a lot about the history of glass making around the world. (I have a collection of depression glass, so visiting this museum was a high priority for me.) As usual, I carried the camera around with me most of the time, but ultimately, I didn't take very many pictures.

And then there were the yarn stores. We only stopped at 4 of them - Homespun Boutique in Ithaca, The Yarn Bin in Skaneateles, Patchwork Plus in Marcellus, and The Knitting Connection in Syracuse. I managed to buy something at each shop, and I ended up bringing home quite a bit of yarn.

The Yarn Bin had a sale room, and I was able to stock up on some acrylic and acrylic/wool blends.

2 of the stores, Homespun Boutique and Patchwork Plus, were mainly fabric stores, but each one had a quality yarn section as well. At Patchwork Plus, I found Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama (on the right) and Sirdar Escape, another acrylic/wool blend (on the left).

At Homespun Boutique, I found some hand dyed Misti Alpaca worsted weight (on the right), and at The Knitting Connection, I found Blue Sky Melange, a sport weight alpaca.

After I added all this yarn to my Ravelry stash, I decided to add up the yardage. I brought home 4,493 yards of yarn, which translates to approximately 2.5 miles of yarn. Talk about sabotaging my stashdown efforts! I think I bought more yarn last week than I had this entire year (which does make me feel good about my yarn diet prior to vacation). But it is fun to shop on vacation, when I have the time to enjoy it, and I figure this is just the start of next year's stashdown efforts.

So vacation was fun, but I am glad to be home again and back to my routines. Next up, my plans for fall crafting.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back from Vacation!

Unfortunately, I'm running out of time this morning to write a really detailed post about vacation. I will say that we had a great time, and I did come home with some yarn (of course!). I will fill in the details as the week wears on. I also want to say that I am still working through all the emails, blog subscriptions and Ravelry forum posts that piled up last week in my absence. So I will try to stop by blogs and leave comments, but it is going to take me some time to truly catch up on everything.

For this morning, let me leave you with a picture of the view from my motel room last week. We had a balcony that looked out over Seneca Lake. It was incredibly peaceful and quiet and relaxing.