Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hospital Knitting :)

(Click to view the sun-spotlight across the lake!)

I finished my Grampa's hat today on my lunch break. I took my knitting to the Doctor's Lounge in the hospital, sat on the sofa while I ate, and then knit while watching the world news on the wide-screen flat-panel TV! Got a lot of comments from various people there, PAs, MDs, the medical librarian--all wanted to know what I was making! It was nice to be able to show them something nearly finished, so the muggles didn't have trouble visualizing what it was!


That hat has totally sold me on this yarn, the Catalina baby alpaca/silk is incredibly drapey and soft. I think I need to make me a nice sweater out of this.... :) I told ya that 2008 is going to be The Year Of Knitting For Aim, didn't I?!

I will thoroughly enjoy knitting my grampa a matching scarf, which I am going to start tonight. I'll post instructions once I get started :) SMarieK is nice, she has given not only the instructions for her hat, but also the corresponding page reference in a stitch dictionary to the pattern, so I'll be able to go to BGW and figure out the scarf easily.

And I will probably use size 7 needles this time.

Big old mean boss comes back tomorrow. I didn't even know he was gone until Monday morning--what kind of communication is that, where an MD doesn't even tell his PA when he's going to be gone?! This is a very wierd office he runs here. And I admit, I am having trouble calming the resentment that was induced here. Maybe it IS time to find another position....I don't know, I'm so confused. It rocks to work so close to home, to get free hot meals twice daily and an hour for lunch. Should I continue to put up with crap? Maybe it's time to get started acquiring my Hawaii PA license....The move there may be closer than I think :)

I leave you with sequential views of my puppy in Michigan, quite a happy camper!
(scroll down fast for stop-action views!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh I bought it!!!! I found it!!!!

Ooooooh, I don't know why I didn't think to look at the Nordic Fiber Arts website for the Selbustrikk mittens pattern booklet I have been lusting over!!!! (See this post--scroll down.)

Anyway, I happened to go here yesterday, and found my selbustrikk for only $16!!!! And I don't have to buy the yarn, like I would if I purchased it from that shop in Norway, as noted in my previous post. I cannot wait for it to come! I am going to make myself some mittens with people on them :) The photos of all the knit charts that are in the book are located here. Wow, this is going to be cool! Also, I guess it comes (from Nordic Fiber Arts ) with a sheet translating Norwegian knitting terms. Yay for Nordic Fiber Arts!!!

I am very excited about that, can you tell?!

During the Bears game yesterday, I got 2/3 of my grampa's gift hat knit:

Pattern: Utopia

Source: SMarieK

Yarn: Catalina 70% Baby Alpaca 30% Silk 4-ply

Needles: US8

Work remaining: 1 pattern repeat, then the top decreasing rounds.

Mods: I am not changing anything, I like the way this is working up in the softest yarn on earth! Will be making a scarf to match, next.

Only thing I don't like about the pattern is I could not find mention of gauge. So I just used the needles she suggested, but the yarn suggests US7 needles. It's a bit loose, but the softness makes up for it! I think my grampa will love this set. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

World wide readers!

It is so much fun to see the locations of all my readers! I was online (for hours) yesterday, trying to learn how to add html buttons to my sidebar, for all the groups and KALs I'm participating in. I happened to look at my visitor map, and I had 9 visitors all at one time! That's a new record for me, and really fun. Thanks for reading, everyone!!!

I found a granny square Christmas stocking pattern online for free.
Isn't that cute!? Pic from the website where instructions are listed.

Here is an Amigurumi Nativity to crochet!!!
How fun is that?! And you get the whole set of patterns in a booklet!

And look at the great felted light-up Christmas trees!!!!!
How cute! And looks simple enough :) Pic from the website where instructions are listed.

I am really into Christmas this year! Must be because of the early snows we've experienced, and all the wonderful Christmas music I have heard in the past week!!! Yay for Christmas =D

I need to get out my Christmas tree toilet paper roll cover I purchased after posting it here. I really think that's great, and I had bought the kit, so I have the acrylic yarn to crochet it with....Will have to get started! Today is knitting-football-games-day, so maybe I'll get some stuff done. That would be nice.

I'm rambling. Sorry. It's early on Sunday, and I need to really get into the shower to jump-start my day. I might come back later if I have anything important to post, otherwise, I'll let you all go in peace :)


p.s. here's a pic of my Huevos Rancheros I had for breakfast this morning:

I used the chili I had made yesterday instead of salsa. Yum that was good, and I wasn't hungry again until 8 hours later :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Finished scarf #9

Did I mention I finished Wavy? I finished it because I was tired of it. Man what a boring scarf to knit. So it's a tad bit shorter than I'd planned, but I could not continue with it, it was making me downright disgusted!

So I now feel that freedom you get when you finish a project: what to start on next? Last night, I bought some gorgeous catalina alpaca/silk yarn in a caramel brown color to make a scarf (and I hope, a hat) for my grandfather. He should surely get a luxury item like that, to keep him warm this winter! Michigan is really cold :)

These are pics from some vintage knit/crochet books I bought on Ebay:

gotta love the ripple skirt! (I really like the model's pose, myself, ha ha haaaa! Yes, you look elegant, dahling.)

I love the triangular grannies! Fun stuff.

Okay, I am going to let you know what is in my crockpot right now: insanely easy vegetarian chili! I got the recipe from here, and it tastes marvelous. I added extra veg to the pot: 2 baby eggplants & a zucchini, chopped. I also added some gray salt. (I would probably skip the can of corn next time. It seems a little out of place)
The recipe says to make it on the stovetop (done in 20 minutes!), but I love my crockpot to be running all day while I'm pottering about the house. I am having a bowl of the chili right now. This tastes great with a chunk of chewy bread on the side, and some cheese over the top. Must have: a large glass of cold milk, to take the edge off the spiciness (I used a bit more chile powder than called for.)

Yum yum. Who cares if it's freezing outside?!

Went to knitting last night. I swapped the pattern for the alligator scarf with a knitter who made the dragon scarf (both from Morehouse Farm Knits). So I may be making another cool scarf for a boy soon :) And I finally wore my crocheted spiderweb cardi. It was fun to show off my FO!!

Must clean the sewing room today. I mislaid a pattern just around the time someone asked me for it (6 months ago) and it is driving me crazy that it's around here somewhere but I can't find it! Up until that point, it was stored in a place where I could put my hands on it at any given time >:|


Friday, November 23, 2007

The day after....

Beautiful Michigan Thanksgiving!
And the terrible drive home in a blizzard:

We were very grateful to get home in one piece. Too bad I have to work today, or I may have been able to actually stay and visit my grampa for more than 18 hours. Sigh. The worse thing is, I hate driving in the snow, it is terrifying, and it is always snowing in SW Michigan, through which we must pass to get to Goompa's house. So that means I won't be seeing him again until the spring--that's a long time to be alone when you're 94 years old! It's worse because he got his license taken away after having a bout with heart failure, and has been striving to get it back, but many years of becoming set in his ways as a sloppy driver means he has failed his test the past 2 times. (probably a good thing for the general public, but not so happy for him as he lives in the country.)

I got a neat pattern book on Ebay:

I have always wanted to make Klaralund...

after seeing it on someone's blog, and now I have the pattern. I can't, however, even think of making it in scratchy Silk Garden--if Noro makes anything non-scratchy, I'd be all over it, but I may go for using my favorite, Nashua Wooly stripes tweed. I'll have to think about it :)

There are some other fun patterns in the book, like the zigzag coat on the cover, and this shawl and bag:

I finished some cool items that I will post pics of as soon as I know DD recieved them in the mail. They are her birthday present, and I don't want to spoil the surprise!

I made my grampa a dishcloth while we were there, in bernat handicrafter cotton. It is a very masculine colorway, with slate grey and two shades of dark brown in it. I think he was pleased. And, on the drive back, before the blizzard hit, I had started another four corners washcloth in that same colorway, and this time I think I figured out how to wrap the working yarn around the slipped stitches so there is not a huge hole-y line across the short-rows! yay. can't wait to see this one finished: I'll show y'all after my camera battery gets charged!

Promises, promises!
Now, to go to work. >:[

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Labels by ACME Label Maker.

Just had to take this opportunity to say hi to my DD, who is watching my blog from 29 Palms Marine Corps base in the desert! Happy birthday, sweetie! And a big hug and kiss to you :)

Now to knitting and food. Two of the biggest happy-makers in my life these days! I found a recipe for awesome crockpot cheese-n-broccoli soup that I made on Thursday night. It takes 4 hours on low heat, and because I didn't get home in time on my lunch hour, I was unable to get it into the pot until I got home from work...so at 10:30 PM we had hot soup! (Too bad I was already in bed! I asked DH, who always stays up later than I, to please put away the soup when it was done cooking, and I had it for lunch the next day!) It tastes awesome!

Goes like this: 2 cups cubed processed cheese (Velveeta, baby, all the way!), 1 tablespoon of flour, 5-1/2 cups milk, broccoli--either fresh or a 10 ounce frozen pack, and 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper (I used a red poblano, for tiny bit of heat.) Cover and cook on low for 4 hours in a crockpot, stirring occasionally, especially in the first hour. Yum this soup rocks! It is a nice one to get cooking on a rainy Saturday, while you putter around the house cleaning and whatnot!

Then, today, I used the crockpot again, to make use of some apples I had. To make crockpot spiced apples, core 6-8 apples, and peel the top 1/3 of them, stuff them with brown sugar, chopped nuts and raisins (which I didn't use), then place them into a crock pot. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg, and dot them with 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour in 1/2 cup water, cover, and cook on low heat for 8 hours. Yum! Good, but the brown sugar literally disappeared, so I served a heaping spoonful on each, with some of the juice drizzled over. Oooooooh yeahhhhhhh ;-)

On the knitting front, I have really been struggling with Wavy. I don't know if it's the monochromatic color scheme that bores me, or the yarn itself, the pattern, or the fact that I want to be working on anything else, but I am bored to tears with this scarf. However, I made myself pick it up today, and while watching Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving Special on the Fine Living channel, a documentary about how thanksgiving day came about on the History channel, and a college football game (Texas Tech v. Oklahoma) I was able to double the finished length of Wavy. Now I just need to find that final ball of Lion Wool! Yay, nearly done.

I have finish-itis. I want to finish all my WIPs right now. They are on the back burner, but constantly pricking my conscience! I have been concentrating since June on Christmas gift knitting, and I'm just about worn down with it. I'm getting tired of knitting for everyone else when there are so many beautiful patterns I want to make for me!!! Next year is all about knitting for Aim =()
I guess I'll have earned a year of selfish knitting after this!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Chevron Scarf, finished!

Yay, Chevron scarf finished and job saved!!! Woo hoo.
My work here is done ;o)

I feel very relieved today. Crisis over. My boss and I had a good discussion. We will start afresh on Monday. I really do love my job, and don't want to lose it, but I don't deserve to be talked to like that.

'Nuff about that! I finished my chevron scarf! Had not touched it in 5 months, and got really bored with Wavy, so pulled out the chevron and finished it up. Those 6 hours I spent at knitting group Friday night paid off! Yay, an FO! And it's for me!(And I got some free group therapy to boot!)

I baked Friday. I made these Blueberry Breakfast Bars from Farmgirl. Yum they were great. I ended up using only one pint of blueberries, and a jar of blueberry preserves, since the berries are out of season and terribly expensive. (And I forgot to buy frozen ones!) So I had that for breakfast today with a mug of hot apple cider. Mmmmm mm!

I sold all these on Ebay! Yay.

However, the other 20 books did not sell. I will be re-listing them I guess, along with the knitting book from this previous post. I am tempted to pull even more of my medical books and list those, too....I have WAY too many--it's actually ridiculous. Time to shave back the ridiculous in my life!

Speaking of ridiculous: the Chicago Bears play this afternoon =} I will be working on Wavy during that game. Hope to get some good progress made. I want to be done with that scarf! Must start another...Christmas is closing in!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Bosses suck

Why do I always seem to land in the worst possible job positions? I was really cooking along for the past 20 months in my current job, thinking this could be the one job I'd stick with for 5-7 years before moving to Hawaii. Then yesterday.....all hell broke loose.

Why do some bosses seem to think they can harrass you? What makes my boss think I will remain in a position where I am called "a f**king moron" and where I'm threatened with being fired for not understanding some random command he throws at me? Really. Why do physicians in particular have such a problem controlling themselves? And WHY DO I ALWAYS WORK FOR THE WORST OF THEM?!

I took the day off today. Without notice. I will not be treated like that. I have more respect for myself than to put up with being trod upon. Isn't it the snake that says 'don't tread on me'? I've had lawyerly discussions about many a previous boss's heavy-handedness, and left many a previous boss in the dust. This snake has fangs....But why does it keep happening? I don't want to use my fangs. I want to work a happy job, live a happy life. I don't get it.

I've come to the conclusion that I must have 'sucker' written across my forehead, and 'kick me' written across my back.

Okay, I know that not everyone reading this blog will enjoy my crybabying, reality though it is. So, on to the knitting, of which I happily got some done today! I was on Ravelry at 4 AM (with puffy swollen red eyes, I might add) and found some very cool things.

One is this great knitting booklet from Sweden (oops, I mean Norway, thanks Carola!). Scroll down to see all the patterns for beautiful gloves, mittens, and socks. I really would like to score a copy of this book, even though I'm sure it's written in non-English! Wouldn't you think the patterns are charted....? If anyone knows where I could get a copy, please let me know. That would be incredible!

A beautiful knock-off sweater from a Victoria's Secret sweater. It's cabled, and there's a whole blog page about similar patterns here! It's in French, but look at the amazing photos of cabled A-line sweaters.....Wonderful collection!

And I found this cute sideways sock on Magknits. Never saw this before...scroll down to see the piano key version!!! I'm as big a sucker for piano key designs as I am for patriotic designs! Cute.

Really into peacocks right now. Don't know why. Might be due to this pattern(scroll down), but this past weekend I had to have these earrings:
Gaudy as all get-out, I know, but they are hinged and look really cool! ;o

And while I was browsing ravelry, I also visited Tejemanejes. Haven't been to that site in a while, but I found this really cool hat pattern, with links to many other hat patterns at the bottom! I love the fair-isle hats.

Well, I'm looking at another nice day off tomorrow. Hopefully the sun will shine again. Will try to get some knitting done. I may have plenty of days off ahead if this job falls apart. We'll see on Monday what's up.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Alligator Scarf

My alligator scarf project, which happens to be scarf #10, is coming along nicely. I am making this for my 6 yr old nephew:

I think he will love to wear this scarf this winter!

This pattern is really fun to make up. I am confused though: they sent me worsted weight wool in the kit, but the pattern calls for sport weight. And they say to use either size 5 or 6 needles, which I'm using (5s) and it is making a very much smaller scarf. (I do want to make it smaller; the finished adult size is 56" long, and I think that's a bit much for someone who is only 3 feet tall!) So it's all good.

Now for more backpeddling: remember when I said there were no knit books to be sold? I just found one!

I will be listing this on Ebay soon, but if anyone wants it, you can purchase it from me before I list it. I am asking $5 for it, and the shipping will be $4.60; total is still $5 cheaper than purchasing the book new. Leave a comment here with contact info if you want it....

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Package from Sweden

This is a picture heavy post!!! I got sump'm from Sweden, I got sump'm from Sweden....

Remember my yarn swap with Carola? My package came in the mail this week! She is quite the shopper, look at what she sent me:

Some HK goodies, and I love the stationery:

Yummy chocolate (small ones already eaten!):
Alllllllll kinds of goodies, and we haven't even touched on the yarn yet!
Look at the beautiful box of yarns:
There are mohair yarns:
And beautiful cotton yarns (for a probable crochet project):

And look at the Rag-Yarns from Schachenmeyer:

I'm in hog heaven, thank you so much Carola! What a great package to get in the middle of a doldrums work-week! Now comes the planning...hmmm, what shall I make with the yarns?