Monday, September 22, 2008

Ike Shmike

I really am thankful that my family is all fine and healthy. And I really am happy that we didn't sustain any real damage from Hurricane Ike. Just a ton of landscaping debris and one small tree lost. Otherwise, not so much destruction to my property or that of any family. All of that being said, I am completely exhausted from trying to exist for 10 days without power. In Houston. With 90 degree heat. And two kids. And no ice. We initally thought our power would be back up today or tomorrow, but now Centerpoint is saying that we will be restored "after Thursday". Holy shit wads, Batman.

The saving grace is that my office has power. 911 has operations in my building. Power was out in the neighborhood for all of 20 minutes. Then it came back on. Our neighbors must love my building! Well, 911 at least! So here I sit for the first time in 10 days, enjoying the modern conveniences of ice, a/c, internet and lights! I have never been so happy to see them all in one place.

Things are on the rebound. We can find gas easily again. Our tap water is usable again. Some street lights are coming back on. Our yard has been cleaned up. The trees, power lines, debris and trash are being cleared from streets. And our local grocery store has power, so we can buy most things... they have even been restocked with perishables as of yesterday. Now if we could just get that elusive power back!

So, what to do during a hurricane? Knit, of course! With little else to do for the past 10 days, I did manage to get a lot of knitting done. I finished a scarf and matching hat for my niece. I did my "Hurricane Ike" scarf out of Rowan Summer Tweed... it was a fun knit from a pattern that I bought in Portland. It is lacy and very pretty. I also got about 4 feet knit on my STR Chevron Scarf. And did some work on a vest that I am doing with Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn... it's a pattern from Knits So Fine... my favorite knitting book EVER. I stuck to pretty simple stuff because I knew that I would screw up anything that required too much patience or brain power!!!

In the midst of it all, I got the latest Seven Deadly Spins package last week. It is one of the prettiest things I have seen in my time knitting. It is also one of the most intimidating patterns I have ever seen! I am bound and determined to do it though. I plan to work it with Purl, and I am hopeful that we can get through it together. I am really bad at suspense, and I always look at spoilers. This time around, being in the dark, not only did I not see any spoilers, but I didn't even know the package was on its way. It was the best surprise, and it made my day!!

Finally, I have to say that I have met the sweetest, dearest woman through swapping on Ravelry. It is neat to find someone that wants to trade a skein of yarn with you, but it's pretty amazing when a friendship strikes up in the process! Thank you knittingleftie!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Purl and I had a long girls' weekend in Portland this weekend. We got home late last night, exhausted and laden with yarn! If it weren't for our husbands and my kids, I am sure we would have stayed forever and refused to come back to Houston. We had an amazing time, full of laughs, great wine and gorgeous trips out of the city.

We also had fantastic company. On Friday, we got to meet and spend time with Jen, the amazing woman behind our favorite yarn-pusher, Woolgirl. Jen was so wonderful to pick us up at our hotel and serve as our guide around town for the afternoon and evening. The evening ended with Purl and I getting to act like kids in a candy store during a trip to Woolgirl Central! Jen has such amazing taste, and honestly, I have never been so tempted by yarn before in my life. I tried to lock myself in the stock room, but it turned out that Jen had a key. :-(

Purl and I did a wine tour, Powell's books, more yarn shopping, lots of great dining... we came home with a plethora of books and yarn! Portland is one heck of a knitter's town. That's all I can say!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Has it really been almost 6 weeks since I posted? Yikes. Where has the summer gone?! We were up on Lake Michigan for 10 days or so, relaxing on my Mother-in-Law's porch which overlooks the lake. It was beautiful. Normally we end up there in late July, when it's almost as hot there as it is in Houston! This time around, it was very temperate (low in the 50's, highs in the upper 70's, lower 80's) and very comfortable. I did a ton of knitting. I finished some Farmhouse socks for my MIL on the way there. It was a red-white-blue yarn and I did them for her since we were there on the 4th. She loved them. It is always nice to have an appreciative recipient! I hate making something, spending all that time on it, and then having the person be non-plussed about it. Not that they have to fawn and act all googly over something I make, but it is a let down when I can tell someone could really care less. I try to be more selective about who I make things for these days.

I also finished a sundress for my daughter. It's a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, and it is really quite easy. I did one last summer, and my daughter loved it and asked for another one. This time around, I used Debbie Bliss cotton in red, and it came out really cute. I also finished a pair of no-purl monkey socks in Mama Llama Bom dia Bon-gee-yah. I did a pair of socks for my daughter in the White Oak Hello Kitty colorway. In all honesty, this yarn was not my cup of tea. But the little socks for my daughter were super-quick to make and are just adorable. I did a simple 2 x 2 rib for the entire sock. She loves them. Finally, I made a ton of progress on my first Clapotis. I am about 1/2 way through the straight section.

I think I need to go get some Texas lottery tickets. Last night, I managed to score 2 skeins of Wollmeise yarn from The Loopy Ewe. I got one colorway that I have been yearning for: the Campari Orange. I also got a skein of Kalten Polar. I really wanted Turkis und Karneol but missed out on that one. Alas, I have found a kind person on Ravelry who is willing to trade! At any rate, I will soon have 2 skeins of Wollmeise to fondle. It was true madness. I can't believe that 300+ skeins of yarn were gone in 3 minutes flat. The Texas lottery should be a piece of cake in comparison!!!

Pictures. Yes, I know. Pictures are much needed here on my desolate blog. I will really try to get some up.

Hope you are all having a great summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've been knitting

Geez. I just saw that it has been almost a month since I posted. I don't really know where that time has gone! I guess it was consumed with my hubby's birthday, our son's birthday, mothers' day, and general Spring fever!

I've been doing lots of knitting. I know, I know-- I need to post some pictures. I really stink at that. I made my mom a pair of socks with Spunky Eclectic's Popsicle yarn which I got from Woolgirl. It makes the most fantastic socks, and my mom coveted mine (knit late last year) so I had to make a second pair for her!

I finished my feather and fan stole done in Schaefer Laurel, the Queen Lili'ukalani colorway (oranges, green, tuquoise and purple). I'm quite pleased with it. It's my first real lace work, and it came out pretty well. As far as lace goes, I think this was a pretty easy pattern.

I'm about 2/3 of the way done with a pinwheel blanket for my daughter. I'm making it a little on the large side (as opposed to just baby size) so that it will be usable for a while. She's 4 (going on 24), but very petite, so I think a blanket that is about 4' in diameter will do for a good while. I seem to have a knack for picking yarns that are discontinued, and this one is no exception. I'm doing her pinwheel in Cabo Verde pink and white. I think I have all the yarn I will need for it, but I may need an extra skein for the border.

My Lace Ribbon scarf is about 1/3 of the way done. I'm doing that in Bonnie's Bamboo yarn by Farmhouse. This is my new favorite yarn. It is glorious to work with, and has such beautiful drape and feel-- it is SO soft. I 'm doing the scarf in blue. And I'm using the same yarn in a rose shade for a scoop neck "tshirt" sweater. I haven't gotten all too far on that. It's a top-down affair, and I made it to the point where the sleeves get moved on to scrap yarn, and then I got sidetracked. I guess that is one of the many downfalls to having a million projects going at once.

Oh, and I started a Clapotis. I gave up on the Malabrigo version I began last fall. As much as I love the Malabrigo, the clappy was going to be way too heavy for Houston. I picked Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Edgewater.

I've been on a sock tear, too. I am nearly finished with a pair for my dear husband. I have 3 pairs to do before we go to Lake Michigan this summer (for family gifts), and I got a Hello Kitty kit from Woolgirl that I purchased for the express purpose of making my daughter some socks. She absolutely loves HK, so the kit was an enormous hit with her, and she loves the yarn. How long can it take to make a pair of socks for a 4 year old?! Anyone have a pattern suggestion? I just need a simple, basic pattern...

Hmm. What else? I guess that is the update on my projects. Summer is almost here for real. It's already in the mid- 90's here in H-town. Our son gets out of school for the summer in another week. The pool is calling but I must keep knitting!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Good signs?

Today's post relates somewhat to each of my last two posts. I am in a funk of epic magnitudes. Don't worry. I'm not out on a ledge or anything! I'm not THAT funk-i-fied. I've been feeling crummy lately and that's all there is to it. But I got a terrific treat today that lifted my spirits!

Yesterday Purl stopped by my office to show me the yarn she had gotten from a club she is in. It's the Mama Llama yarn club. I have to tell you, Catherine at Mama Llama does some of the most beautiful colorwork I've seen. The dying is seamless and her colors are so pretty even if I don't necessarily like the color! Her yarns are impeccable. That brings us to the relation to my rant on purple in a previous post. Mama Llama was the dyer on the most recent Woolgirl sock club shipment. I was disappointed at first when I saw the spoiler pics and found out it was purple yarn coming. (I HATE PURPLE!!!) But once it arrived and I saw it in person, I had to admire the yarn because of Catherine's skill. It says a lot about her art to be able to say that she made me like a purple yarn!!!

So, yesterday, when Purl came by to show me her new Mama Llama, I knew I was in for a treat. This yarn was so drop-dead gorgeous that I literally grabbed in and started running. Okay, I only went about 5 steps and then walked back and handed it back over. I've seen lots and lots and lots of yarn that makes me swoon, but this one just says Cindy all over it. My favorite colors on earth are blue and orange. And one of my favorite color combos is blue and brown. This yarn is a mix of blues/turquoise and tans/browns. It is stunning. And it is literally my favorite skein of yarn ever. Having seen it sent me directly to the Mama Llama Etsy store looking for anything comparable. Not finding similar a colorway, I did spy something else that I couldn't live without (see, that relates to my post of yesterday!) and I placed an order for it.

Then, I was on Ravelry and posted on the club's shipment thread, saying that if anyone wanted to part with theirs, I would buy it! Well, I came in this morning and the insanely generous Catherine had read my post and treated me to a little something to soothe my yarn envy. Not only is it not purple, but it's some of my favorite colors ever. It is amazing the power that yarn has over me. I've been grinning like an idiot ever since! Thank you, Catherine, for your random act of kindness! Yarnies are the best people ever.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bad signs

It would appear that I have gone overboard in my sock yarn buying. We've all that this feeling, right? You see the amazing new colors offered by your favorite yarn pusher and you just can't resist. Okay, maybe not all of us suffer from this. I've seen the lengthy discussions on Ravelry amongst people who don't understand us compulsive buyers and don't feel the need to add to their stah. But I certainly do.

I get an email or see a posting that my favorite online store is going to have some new things in stock at a certain time and I sit here doing the F5 thing until my hand goes numb or the new stuff gets loaded (for those of you not afflicted with this sickness, that means hitting the F5 button to refresh the computer screen so that you can get that new loot before it's all gone!)

Well, a few weeks back, my dear enabler friend Purl and I joined Sundara's Seasons yarn club. The info for the sign up said that the club shipments would begin in June. Well, about a week later, I received some amazing yarn from Sundara. I called Purl and left her a message, essentially saying "I thought the club didn't start for months, but I just got beautiful loot!" A few minutes later, Purl called me back and gently said "um, Cin, that is the Petals limited edition yarn that you bought from her a month or so ago". Whoops. Am I getting old? Senility setting in? Certainly I can't be indulging in too much yarn?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The color purple

I love color. I pretty much like every color in the rainbow except the color purple. I abhor purple. Especially that Donny Osmond shade of purple-- you know, PURPLE. I respect the fact that lots of people like it. In fact, it is my daughter's favorite color. And lots of people hate my favorite color- orange.

My problem of late is this: every sock club I belong to (and there are a lot of them) and every kit that I have bought has been inundating me with purple yarn!!! Why oh why?? Some have been somewhat palatable. There was one that I got that was a lot of the icky purple, but was redeemed by bright green and pink running through it. Then there were three shipments from other clubs that were purple. Just now, I saw a spoiler picture for the latest shipment from my favorite sock club, and guess what? IT'S FRICKING PURPLE! I am about to be purple'd to death! I promise people, there are other colors out there! There are even other colors that are bright, happy, springtime colors!!! Please, can we just move past the purple-a-thon and choose some other hue?

Okay, one person has recently sent me something non-purple. Sheri at the Loopy Ewe put together a kit for us downtrodden souls that weren't lucky enough to make it into her sock club. It's called the Don't Be Blue kit. Sheri put together a really neat package- gorgeous blue yarn from Dream in Color, a neat accessory pouch, a great pattern, and bath kisses! I really love Dream in Color, and blue is one of my favorite colors, so this yarn really hit the spot with me!

I finished a Booga Bag over the weekend. I did it in Cascade 220, using a dark blue for 3/4 of the bag and then a small orange stripe and the top few inches is a lighter slate blue. I felted it yesterday and it is drying. I am pleased with it. I wish it had come out a little bigger, but it's cute. Once it is dry and I put the I-Cord handles on, I'll take pics and post them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Frogs, frogs everywhere

I seriously think I should just give up knitting and become a yarn collector. I can't seem to get anything right these days. And just when I am actually happy with an item for a change, it all goes to hell. To wit: my Glee sweater from Zephyr style. I have been working on it for a while now, using Classic Elite Wool Bamboo in a really pretty dark brown. I was thrilled with it. My tension was remarkably uniform (for me!) and the stitches looked really pretty. I got to the part where I moved the arms off onto scrap yarn, and I decided to begin working in the round immediately in order to shorten the front opening a bit. Well, in so doing, I missed the part where the pattern directed me to cast on 12 (or was it 14) stitches before joining in the round. When I caught it, I was 7 or 8 rows in to working in the round. I tried to think of a way to ignore it, but the bordering on the front would have been all wonky, as I realized that those extra stitches are needed to accomodate the border. So I put in a life line just above where I started knitting in the round, and then ripped back. And somehow I fouled everything up. Aaaaarrgh!!! I think I must have picked up a few of the lifeline stitches on a different row. I think I'm going to have to pull the lifeline out and try to rip back a couple of rows and even it out and move on from there. But knowing me, with all of those live stitches, I will lose some, screw it all up, and have to start all over again. I should have known it was going too smoothly.

Then there is the issue of the Glutony socks. It is part of the 7 Deadly Spins club. Gorgeous, sproingy yarn in beautiful vivid colors. I was home sick the day it arrived, and I could not get started fast enough. I am about 1/2 way through the leg of sock one. I am not happy. It's beautiful stuff, but all of those color changes and I do not get along apparently. I have gaps in some areas where the colors changed. I have a thousand threads hanging and it is maddening. And then there is the issue of amount of yarn. The pattern was apparently written and tested for someone with small feet- a size 7. The pattern states that you should have "just enough yarn" if you follow the pattern. Well guess what? I have size 9 1/2 to 10 feet. So that "just enough" is going to be far short!!!!! So those are in time out right now.

My son's blanket has been coming along. It has been very, very, very slow going. All that seed stitch is like slogging through quicksand or something. But it sure looks nice. Then again, each row takes about 40 minutes to get through. It's great for mindless knitting, but I have to want to do a lot of mindless knitting to pick it up! Poor kid. He'll be 40 when it's finished. I am using mostly Lily Sugar and Cream cotton for the blanket. Purl expressed concern about colors bleeding when I showed it to her the other day. WHAT? That never occured to me. Yes, I am that much of a moron. I just thought that cotton that is labelled machine wash would be colorfast. OH CRAP. All that work... all that time... my son loving the results thus far.... what do I do now??????? Any and all suggestions and input would be welcome!

So, I sit here today feeling defeated in the knitting department. But I am good at collecting yarn! Maybe I'll take that up as a hobby. Oh, wait, I already have!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

SITMT package!

I have had such a great time emailing with my Sock it To Me Twice Pal. Today, I got my final package from her. My pal blogs at, and let me tell you, she spoiled me ROTTEN. And she really must have done her homework on me. She picked up on things that I don't even remember blogging about!
So, without further ado, let me show you the splendor of the package:

First up, the socks! Can you tell how perfect they are? Knitting like this is what I strive for someday. I am never satisfied with my knitting because I look at it and see uneven stitches, little bobbles and errors. Let me tell you, these are the opposite. Every stitch is beautiful. And the pattern and color suit me to a "t"!

Here is a closeup picture, because you need to be able to see the detail and appreciate the beautiful work!
I got some super yummy soaps that had the entire package smelling heavenly, and candies that my children begged for! Don't worry-- I share!

I couldn't get a good picture of the patterns on these dishcloths. Let's get one thing straight-- I stink at photography. Like you needed that caveat! I'm sure you long since determined that. At any rate, as if the amazing socks weren't enough, my pal somehow ferreted out that I am a Peanuts freak. The yellow dishcloth features Woodstock, while the blue one is Snoopy himself!!! Truly incredible!

And gorgeous yarn to play with! I have been lusting after Cherry Tree Hill yarn for myself ever since making socks for my husband with it! Also included? FOUR skeins of Sean the Sheep in beautiful greens!

And finally, lots of things that just made me smile! Sock shaped point protectors, a little sweater shaped zipper pull, a great notebook and pencil!

Thank you so much pal, for being a wonderful spoiler! I hope you will come down to Houston sometime where it is nice and warm and let me spoil you!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I'm a bad blogger

It has been a long time since I have blogged. I have been knitting, but I simply haven't had any blog-inspiration. I suppose I could blog and tell my reader(s) the mundane, boring facts of my day-to-day life, but I will spare you that sublime torture! Do you really care what time I woke up and/or what order I brushed my teeth and drank coffee in? Didn't think so. :-)

I am currently working on a couple of pairs of socks, still forging ahead on my son's blanket, and I am working on a Glee sweater. I'm doing Glee in Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo. It is amazing. I haven't quite gotten to the portion where you move the sleeves off to scrap yarn and start knitting in the round, but I'm getting close. The yarn is perfect for this sweater. It has great drape and sheen and will be perfect for Houston Spring! Now to make more headway on it.

We are supposed to have all hell break loose with severe weather this afternoon. Typical Houston! Before the skies open up, I managed to have a fun lunch with two dear, special friends. One of them, Purl, is an attorney who has been knitting for years. The other, JS, is an attorney who I worked with for many years. We have both long since moved on from the firm where we worked together, and we each have a client involved in a lot of benzene (toxic tort) litigation. That has given us a chance to entertain each other through endless hours of depositions, travel to BFE Texas for hearings and whatnot. In the course of that, JS has begun knitting. What can I say? It's catchy! I wanted Purl and JS to meet, so we got together today. I'm sure there will be more get togethers and lots of trouble in our future!

I will post pictures of WIP's soon. I promise!

Monday, January 28, 2008

SITMT package!

I got a wonderful treat package in the mail on Saturday! My Sock it to Me Twice pal sent some great things. I wish I had my camera to take a picture, but my husband is in Europe for a couple of days and took the camera with him. As if ancient cities are more important to depict than knitting bounty! Ha!

Anyway, back to the package. My pal did her homework, that is for sure! She sent me a skein of OnLine sock yarn in Orange with blue and bright green running through it... all of my favorite colors! Also included were pretty glass stitch markers in a Chinese silk pouch! And yummy maple candies from Canada. I got to eat one of those before my children proclaimed them the "best candies ever" and scarfed them down. :-) I am going to have to come to some sort of trade agreement with you, Pal, after the swap is over because I need to buy a lot of those for the kids!! Thank you so much for the awesome package! I love everything.

I had a lot of fun yesterday celebrating the wonderful Purl's birthday. I gave her some yarny goodness and we knitted and ate and drank wine... Purl was a great sport sharing her special day with me and my crazy kids. My daughter proclaimed Purl her best friend after Purl put forth so much effort going along with the kids!

Happy Monday all.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You Make My Day Award

My amazing upstream pal from SP11 named me as one of the blogs that makes her day. I was very touched by her award! Now I must, in turn, tag the people who do the same for me. These are the bloggers/friends that I have to check in on every day. They keep me sane, they make me smile, and they make my day!

Purl- My dear friend. She is incredibly smart and well read and has great shares great insight on her blog. Besides, we like the same things. Of course she makes my day!!

Becky- A long time friend of mine from college. We have shared a ton over the years, including many interests and family similarities. She is responsible for me knitting, and I love to check in on her and see what she is up to. Becky does beautiful work and I learn a lot from her.

Woolgirl and The Adventures of Woolgirl and Abby- Woolgirl is the most dangerous yarn pusher out there! I lust after the gajillions of skeins of gorgeous yarns that she stocks. Just peeking at the offerings puts a smile on my face without fail. And Woolgirl's blog is full of great contests, info and fun. Woolgirl makes my day, my week, my month...

Lynne- Lynne is such a kind, sweet person. And her F.O.'s are works of art. She inspires me.

Twisted Knitter- A fellow Houstonian who happens to work in a LYS near me. She shares some great yarn finds , free patterns, and lots of gorgeous work, all of which make me smile!

So, now for the rules:

Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

First post of 2008

It's been a fairly quiet beginning to the new year. No complaints here! In knitting news, I finished my Dad's mistake-rib scarf and gave it to him on New Years Eve. He loved it. So did my hubby. Hmm. I think I see another one in my future!

I'm working furiously to finish my 2007 Block-of-the-Month afghan. It's through my LYS, the Hen House. I did such a good job of keeping up with it until our trip in October. Then I began focusing on Christmas gifts and the afghan took a back seat. The result is that I had the final 4 blocks to do to finish the thing. I signed up for the 2008 afghan as well, and the first square will be ready to work in a week. So I better get the 2007 one finished! I have completed 2 of the squares and did one repeat on the 3rd last night, so I think I should get it done in time. I am excited about the 2008 afghan (I am doing the "pastels" version) because it seems to use more pronounced and exciting stitches/patterns.

Otherwise, I've got some socks in the works. I am working on the foot of sock number 1 for my hubby. His are a sport weight yarn by Mountain Colors, but I don't know the colorway. It's predominantly dark green with brown and blue. Very handsome. I'm enjoying working on them.

I've succumbed to yarn and club mania. Aside from the occasional splurge at Woolgirl , I have joined the 2008 Socks that Rock club, the Yarn Pirate Booty club, the second installment of the Woolgirl sock club (I did the first one and loved it more than words can say!), and the Seven Deadly Spins club that is a Woolgirl/ Liisu collaboration. I think I will be busy. And I will definitely have some beautiful yarn in my stash!

While I am not doing such a good job of yarn-dieting, I am off to a good start of really dieting. I have been very unhappy with my weight for a couple of years, and that misery has led to even MORE weight. It's a vicious cycle with me. I'm emotional so I eat, I eat because I'm emotional. You know-- Wow, what a great day-- I should eat to celebrate! Aye-- what a bad day-- I should eat to drown my sorrows. I'm stressed... eat! My friend Purl and I decided over the holidays that we would dedicate ourselves to addressing our respective desires to lose weight by joining Weight Watchers. I like the program, but have had a difficult time making it to meetings in the past. Purl and I joined the Weight Watchers online program, and it eliminates that issue. Instead of going to meetings, Purl and I will support each other (like we wouldn't anyway?!) through the program. Today is the one week mark, and I haven't blown it yet, and haven't fallen off the program at all. If you have any interest in watching the progress or lending support, you can visit our blog Weighsting Away, where Purl and I are confessing our ups and downs on the program. Hopefully there will be more downs than ups!