Thursday, January 31, 2008

What Fiber Are You?

I found this quiz via Ravelry:

I am Camel, which is an inflexible fiber unwilling to change, know what I like, and I'm not afraid to stick with it. At first I read all of this as really negative. After some thought, I started thinking of all the scratchy and tweedy yarns I've purchased because others raved aobut them and I ended up returning them for a softer yarn in a solid color. In the last year I also have started making only things I want to make when I want to make them. I used to get caught up in what everybody else was doing and ended up with things I didn't really like. So, call me a Camel (I've been called much worse). I'll be proud to display my button!

Monday, January 28, 2008


I plan to make this a year of celebration and tonight is the first of many a milestone that makes me smile...

the last Bush State of the Union.

Thank goodness. We are almost to the end of these long eight years. I'll finally be able to watch network news again without constantly yelling at the TV.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kennedy Loves Yarn

Last night I was designing a crochet pattern for some fingerless mittens. Patrick was downstairs brewing beer, Riley was tucked in his office bed, and Kennedy decided she needed someone/thing to cuddle with. Her working ball of yarn. I couldn't resist capturing it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Papa Was a Rolling Stone

My winter Rolling Stones sweater is complete! It turned out so well. I can't wait to wear it and it should be nice and cozy this week with the cold weather. (I used my gift certificates--thanks Doug and Nancy!--to buy bamboo yarn in a red RED to make a summer short-sleeve rolling stone that I think will look very sharp. I'm so hooked on this pattern!)

I also taught myself how to Tunisian crochet this past weekend. I plan to do a bunch of messing around with it to get a grip on all of the stitches and then offer it as a class in March. I'm also looking at hairpin lace and crocheted socks as other options. So much to do!!!!!!!!
I cast on my top-down cardigan in a beautiful purple silk/merino blend I bought at Stitches Midwest. I'm trying very hard to use all the yarn I let myself buy this year so that I don't feel so guilty. The purple cardigan should be a nice weight for spring/summer in the air-conditioned office. I hope to have it done in a few weeks so that I can start another new project. I do have about 12 inches of my 53 inch 3 button wrap done. I should be able to complete that by mid-February as well.

I'm also excited that Kristy, Karen, and I are going to start Crayon Box jackets at lunch on Wednesdays. Kristy is going to make one for Vivy. I'm going to make a blue one with all my blue leftovers that are so pretty. I'm going to stay away from a lot of novelty yarns. That was my problem before when I tried to make Crayon Box. I ended up hating it and stopping. The ones I've seen in person that I love use very tame yarns and of the same weight so that you don't get all the pulling going on.
Oh, I have a Facebook page now. I need to work on it tonight, but I'm going to have to draw on Patrick's expertise. :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008


I think most people in my life think I'm a pretty secure person, and in general, I am. However, as I've gotten older, I've developed some anxiety ridden tendencies and most of them are kicking in right now. (Everybody who interacts much with me knows I am both terrified of the dentist and rats/mice--for different reasons, of course. : )) No, I'm talking about those hidden fears that we don't discuss much...

1. We are getting ready to fly to San Fran on business. Now, I've flown a lot for a girl who grew up in tiny, middle of nowhereville. Last year, we had a bad landing and ever since then I've had these panic sessions on planes. Take off, landing, and any little noise while we are up there. Just terrified. I sit and cry and panic. It didn't help that on our trip to NY this year, the plane pulled back to start moving to take off and we had to stop because an engine died and wouldn't start again. Talk about wanting to get off and stay off of a plane! I love to travel and experience new cultures soooooooo much, so I've got to get over this.

2. I have to give a presentation at the conference. Honestly, it will be brief, over the lunch session, and a blip compared to the other presentations. However, I just get really nervous. I'm typically fine and far less nervous when I actually get up there and start going. (I do the same thing with teaching knitting classes, even if it is just 2 people!) Lots of fear and nerves before...

3. For all my love of travel, there are two things I find so unbearable about it. I have TONS of trouble sleeping in a hotel. Even with PK with me, I just never feel secure. Here again, I had a strange occurrence in the past year where Kitty and I were in a very nice hotel, but at 3 in the morning a raging angry voice was right outside our door threatening to kill his girlfriend who had looked him out of the room. There is nothing like calling security and then telling a friend to get away from the door and get behind a bed in case he started shooting a gun!!! That was a fun night at TNNA. : ) The other unbearable thing...leaving the doggies at the dog hotel. I absolutely hate it. I hate not having them here the night before. I hate not seeing them every day. I hate having to put them through their own hotel anxiety. It just sucks. Lucky for Kennedy, she has Riley. However, this stresses Riley out a great deal, so I always feel like I'm picking her sanity and health over his.

Well, there it all is. Maybe writing it down will make it all ease up a bit so that I can travel happily. Thanks for being my therapists!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Aidan Outing

Patrick and I took our nephew Aidan out for a birthday celebration on Saturday. We went to Toys R Us and let him walk around to select his gift. He was very methodical and walked all the aisles. It was an interesting study to see how he is used to all toys moving or making a sound. He looked for a button on each toy. After looking throughout the store, we asked him what gift he wanted. He didn't hesitate and walked us back to the Spiderman action figure that kicks and has a web. I thought it was impressive for a four-year-old to be so focused.

We planned to take him to eat after shopping and, as usual, he told us he wasn't hungry. Kid never wants to eat with us. So, we went to a Japanese restaurant that has an hibachi section. He loved it--especially the fire, flying eggs, and volcano. The pictures shows him using chopsticks for the first time in his life. Happy birthday, Aidan!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Welcome 2008!

I know that some people really hate the idea of New Year's resolutions, but I've actually found that they often work for me--at least at a 50% rate, which is better than 0%. So, here is my yearly list of things:
  • Take better care of myself: This includes eating right, taking walks, and dropping some lbs. I can do this. (I lost 40 lbs 4 years ago, and I know that I can get it back off again.) I have everything mapped out, which is how I accomplished it before.

  • Keep a running list (posted on the fridge) of things to do on the house and accomplish at least one task each weekend. (Things like fix the handle on the dresser, etc.)

  • Finish off started projects or decide to frog them.

And, the big one:

  • START MY BUSINESS!!!!!! That's right. This is the year that Brownie Knits becomes a registered name, business, and accountant. Here we go... I'd be lying if I said I was anything less than terrified, but I hear that fear is good for business. It can be the drive. I have set up my financial tracking docs and am going to hire an accountant by the end of January. After meeting with her, I will register the name and business and get all of that squared away. For now, the business will be my teaching and pattern sales, but over time I hope to expand my design work, sell made products, and expand to finishing. I also plan to map out a book proposal and complete the TKGA level 1 program.

I know that all of this sounds like a great deal of work, but I believe that I can get most of this completed by end of 08.

Finished Projects

So, I have been using this past week to work on one of my 08 goals. I finished Patrick's vest just in time for him to wear in on Christmas day. It is made out of Mermaid and used the men's vest pattern from Pure & Simple (love their patterns). I knitted this up in under a week! Patrick really likes it and I blocked it yesterday. It softened a great deal and I stressed it a tad to be more comfortable for him.

I also finished the Aurora 8 top-down sweater for myself. It is also a Pure & Simple pattern. I use these patterns to teach my top-down classes and people love them. I try to keep at least one top-down project going at all times. (My next one will be a cardigan out of some silk/merino yarn I purchased from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farms.)

Today, I am finishing up the front of my winter Rolling Stones sweater and should be able to start the sleeves. I hope to finish this up before we leave for San Fran. I have also decided to frog the chunky sweater I had planned to make. I decided to be realistic and admit I would never wear it. Additionally, I am going to finish up the Christmas pillow this week and tuck it away for next year. Progress!!!!! (The yarn I purchased to make Patrick's cable coat isn't going to work. It is too dark to show off the cables. I should have realized this earlier. I am hoping I can return the yarn for store credit, but I need to check when I bought it.)

Hope you are having a happy 2008!