Happy 2009

so another year has sped by and i barely remember any of it. i was keeping up until about August and then it starts to blur. i'm hoping 2009 is a bit slower or that my memory will be improved. things have been getting better around here and i hope to keep the resolve i've got and to increase it this next year. so, if i stay on track, i'll have a 'perfect' life in several decades and i'll be able to retire. ;)

i'm glad for my life and i'm glad another year is about to end. i like new beginnings and i can't wait to get this new chapter started!



I Just Have To Say...

Can I just say, I love Ravelry?
Can I just say, I love swaps?
Can I just say, I love BSA yarn?
Can I just say, thank you to Jenna (thelostsock) my spoiler?
Can I just say, I love how Jenna spoiled me during the swap on Ravelry that gave me BSA yarn and all those other perfect goodies?

Thank you. I just had to say that.


Sample, Thy Name Is Aqua

I know I've mentioned how much I love knitting for Blue Sky Alpacas, but, it really is very true. These are the BEST yarns I've worked with. They have such FABULOUS colors. They keep turning out GREAT patterns. AND, I have yet to meet a yarn I didn't like from them. I am in deep smit over these fiber purveyors and I am proud to admit it. The only thing that is challenging is trying to choose which yarn to knit with next, and then, what color?! I guess I'll just have to find a way to get them all. Bummer. ;)

Two Button Hat Set in Worsted Hand Dyes (Aqua 2017) pattern by Sylvia Hager


Here's A Post

ok, here's something. An update of sorts, if you will. Buckle your seatbelt and pay attention now.

I have been knitting a sample for BSA and trying to stay on task for a church newsletter that I publish. I've been nursing myself back to health after what we're referring to as 'The Great Fall of '08' and trying to avoid getting a really bad cold although I do think the Singulair is working. Homeschooling is going well, as long as my Love stays on task. She's not fond of reports. I've found some new info on my family tree. My grandmother has cancer. We finished taking care of the other grandma's place and now have her old car so we can finally retire the very used 1992 Jeep. Cleaning the house has been going well and has been more consistant. I have 2 new teapots I'll share with you as well as some new tea. Menu planning has been going very well and I have actually stuck to 9/10ths of it this time. I just preserved (washed, dried, cut, measured and froze-hence the word 'preserved') about 35 red peppers (pics for that too) and really enjoyed it. I can feel my domesticness growing and I am totally embracing my inner-homemaker. LOVE IT! I've also gotten some vintage linens and a vintage apron from other grandma who passed away. I feel very blessed to have these items and it helps that I really liked these things already. I have recently taken up learning chess. I'm still trying to figure out why people play it and I like strategy games. I'm more of a Risk girl I guess. You know, the whole 'world domination' thing? Uh, yeah, it IS that addicting. (insert evil laugh here) But don't try it cause I already have a ton of competition and it would just annoy me to have to destroy you. Er, I mean, I think there's an intervention class I should take at the new 'Y'. Yeah, that's it....for now. Oh wait, and I am ordering some spices from Penzeys this weekend. Gotta try their salad dressing mixes and I want to learn how to make soup. mmmmm.

ok then. I can't afford the dinner that makes itself.


Will Enter Contests for Yarn

(image from the Telegraph UK, cause i'm an invalid right now)

so my friend Ali (hello Lady!) over at skeinsherway is having a recipe contest in honor of Thanksgiving. The prize is Blue Sky Alpacas yarn. uh, YAH, sign me up! Go on over and check it out after you've checked out my entry.
Cranberry Amaretto Sauce (i know, seriously)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients: 1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 (12 ounces) package fresh cranberries
2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup amaretto
2 Tablespoons orange marmalade
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

Preparation:Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cranberries, sugar, and lemon juice; stir well to combine. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. Remove from heat; stir in amaretto, marmalade, and lemon rind. Serve with pork or turkey.

Just for Fun:
and IF I ate sweet potatoes, I would try making them like this:
3-4 fresh sweet potatoes-sliced lengthwise
1/2 stick of butter-real
2-3 generous splashes of olive oil
S&P-light sprinkle salt, a bit more pepper
1-2 cloves of garlic-fresh; crush then mince or chop
1-2 dashes of clove-ground
1-2 dashes nutmeg-ground
(you could use fresh chopped/grated ginger instead of nutmeg)

Toss ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon complete mixture into baking dish w/lid (or, if you must-tinfoil). Bake @ 375/400 degrees for about an hour or so. Check them for preferred tenderness(or mushiness). Bake longer if necessary. In the last 15 minutes, uncover and place back in oven. Bring to table and serve. You could also coat w/mixture and lay them out on a baking stone to bake like fries.

Can you tell I'm very experimental when I cook? I do use recipes. Usually when I'm baking. You need a bit more accuracy with baking. I really enjoy making things up on the fly and testing them out and seeing what works. I'm also trying to learn more about foods, spices, etc so I can be a bit more accurate in complimentary flavorings. Combining opposites is always fun too. I like to awaken the taste buds and confuse them a bit. I'm very much an 'outside of the box' person. Not out of rebellion, but out of sincere curiosity. See, now I'm curious as to what my recipe would tast like. hmmmm, I sense a trip to the grocery store coming on...


Good Things Come...

to those who wait right? you see, I received my new toy yesterday, but on Tuesday night, I fell off a step stool at work and landed on my tailbone/lower back. It was a cement floor, I was on the second rung, I stepped down and missed the first one and went for a ride on the excrutiatingly painful express (still gripping the aluminum ladder). I'm sure it was quite comical to see. Most falls are. Although, I do hope it's not YouTube worthy...

As time went on the pain intensified. I was able to get to the chiropractor and after a painful massage, he went to work. The adjustment was quite painful even though I can take a lot. My clavicals needed adjustment~ouch! I highly recommend being nice to your collar bones.

ETA: It's Monday now and I've been mostly a very sore invalid. As you can see, I'm just getting to posting this. I am going in again today for an adjustment and hope it will last longer. Please say a prayer for me? thanks.



Goody Goody Gumdrops!!

i am SOOOOOOOOOOOO excited! really! but first, we should go back to the beginning of the story...*(queue funky flashback music a la Wayne's World: deedle-e doo, deedle-e doo)*

awhile ago, in a small, bustling town not far from the Mississippi River, a *thirty-something that looks like a twenty-something* girl sat at her desk working on her computer. (now, when i say 'sat' i mean to imply 'with pain'. you see, her desk chair is really cool looking but has no cushion. well, that is to say it has a cushion but the cushion wasn't working very well-at all.) oh how she longed for a comfortable place to put her ample bottom!
it was common to find her staring off somewhere, visualising what a wonderful sensation it would be to have a soft place for her derriere. all too quickly, however, she would be jolted back to reality by pains that shot up her back and the popping sounds of her joints going back into place as she repositioned herself.
now, here i should mention the previous discription is only *slightly* embellished to give the reader a keener sense of the agony our heroine was suffering. after all, one must properly give adequate detail to form a deep relation and compassion between the reader and the one being read about so as to keep the proper amount of attention. let's move on, shall we?
as i was saying, there i was with a pain in my bum due to the junky cushion i was sitting on when i worked on the computer. it was giving me serious back problems. so i asked my hubby about getting a laptop so i could at least sit on the couch. well, gas was 40$/gallon, milk 12$/gal and don't get me started on that tangent...in a nutshell, it wasn't budget busting worthy. drat!

*(fast forward to this week: schoomp)*
gas: $1.75/gal (WoO hOo!!)
milk: $3.50/gal
nutshells: unknown

our budget is back on track so my sweet, adorable honey says, "I think we can afford to get a laptop. We should order one."
*(pan across room to see theblondeknitter's reaction)*
*(husband rushes over to administer CPR to passed out theblondeknitter)*
*(theblondeknitter comes to and sweetly replies)* : sure.

ok, ok, i guess i should mention that in between there was a fair amount of begging, bargaining, complaining, grumbling, and the like to get my own way. BUT, i always stopped when honey said 'no'. sometimes he just waited longer to say it. and sometimes, it took longer to hear it.

so, all that to say, i'm getting a laptop and it will be here soon, and i will definitely post pics to show her off!!

p.s. i LoVe my wonderful, generous, sweet, kind, handsome, gentle, thoughtful, fabulous, stupendous, loving, tall, intillegent, i'm sure there's more husband!


For You Stash Voyeurs

Q: Isn't it nice when others share photos of their stash with people who will really appreciate it?
A: YES! so I am. or is it so am I? hmmmm...

these are the latest additions to my ever-growing stash pile (cheshire cat-like grin). meet my BSA worsted *NKOTB in green, purple, cranberry, chocolate, rusty and red. these colors are just fabulous. i had a hard time getting the color just right and i can tell they're still not perfect. they're very vibrant and man is this yarn soft! i have big plans for you, my new pretties...big plans...
*extra points if you read this and got it without thinking about it or needing to reread it!


Finished Fetchings

Blue Sky Alpacas recently came out with their Skinny Cotton so of course, I NEEDED some. I had been wanting to make a pair of fingerless gloves and cable work had already begun lulling me to her, so I figured Fetching by Cheryl Niamath would be a good place to jump in.

I cast on for the first and fell in very deep like. Easy cables, great yarn, perfect cherry red color...what more could a girl want? I admit, I got distracted (again) so these could have been done sooner. Life just seems to blow in and take over and alas, knitting seems to be a casualty.

I dare say I'll make another. I've received a lot of compliments on them already and my boss has even commissioned me for a pair~of course I'll oblige. In the meantime, I'll be working on a few other little goodies as the weather cools off more and more. brrrr...At least I'll know my close rellies will be warm this year!



I see you!

my last post reminded me of these pics I took of a one Mr. Bluejay who decided to come over and play. he was a bit shy at first, as you can see, but it didn't take long for him to get over that. he dove into the piles of leaves making crunching noises as he went. i'm pretty sure he had a good time, even if he's not showing it readily!

even though we live 'in town' we still get our fair share of 'wildlife' (other than the neighbors). as much as we want to get some land some day, I must admit I am having a great time while we're here!


Goodbye Summer, Goodbye Green...

Hello Autumn, Hello Yellow, Red, Orange and Brown!

I looked outside the picture window (last week) to discover this busy little tree throwing its leaves up for a crisp breeze to blow them away. (it had actually been doing this for awhile but i am just now documenting it as i was in grave denial and have now decided to embrace the changing weather) It was once so very green. It's lush, leaf-filled branches concealed birds and bugs. Now, that is but a happy memory. *sigh*

Time to break out the long sleeves, heavy denim, leg warmers and hand warmers and ear warmers and big, thick socks! This year will be a very special year for those sorts of things. this year, I will be knitting them! Hats and scarves all around, have a pair of mittens on me! Warm cozy, knit things for everyone! This is going to be an easier transition into the cooler weather than I thought.


Just Keep Going...

Now that the Ravelympics are over and some sense of normalcy(is there really such a paradise?) has come back to my brain and household, I will be taking more time to post. I'm hoping it will be much more regular as there is so much to write about! New fibres to gander at, new projects on the needles, new pictures, recipes and adventures just waiting to be shared. Now if I could just organize them and get them all into this frame...


The Ravelympics Are About To Commence!

all righty, i'm getting geared up for the event of the year, The Ravelympics on Ravelry! if you haven't joined, or even heard of this and you're a fiber artist of any sort, you're missing out on a heap of fun!

it's fashioned very much like the real Olympics and starts the same day, 08.08.08.

there are teams: a ton-including international ones. i'm on Team BSA-naturally.

there are events: the ones on my sidebar-as well as the sock put, amigurumi-n-toys toss, afghan marathon, cable steeplechase, shawl relay, vest vault...the list goes on.

there's even a Ravelympic Village to hang out in and meet new people, talk to teammates, get encouragements...

they are really putting on the show for this and i'm so excited to be a part of it!


A Promise is a Promise

well, since i posted last there's been a lot more noise around the house. as you can imagine the wee little birdies are finding their voices and now that there are 3 baby birds it's even a bit louder. the third one made its grand debut this last Sunday, as far as we can tell. i did get a few pics, but it is hard to differenciate each one from the other as they are kinda crammed in the nest. basically in the pics they are in a row from left to right. and i believe the 3rd one can be determined by its little bum on the far right. the dark blackish colored spots are their eyes if that helps.


You're My Little Girl

on a warm sunny day in 1993 i went into labor. the next day, i went into shock. i couldn't believe i was holding a baby in my arms that was mine. her tiny fingers and toes, her soft little whisps of blonde hair, her big blue eyes. *sigh* little did i know i was in for the time of my life!

over the years my Lovebug has been my only constant companion. always by my side. we've been through a lot. we've laughed together, cried together, played together and learned together. she has been the source of a lot of things in my life. good things. hard things. sweet things. i don't want to let her go. i don't want to be drawing closer to the time where she'll leave my arms. it's bad enough she barely fits into them anymore. but let her go i must. just a little. a little more.

my one-and-only baby is 15 today. and i can hardly believe what a beautiful young lady she's turning into. as i look at her still innocent face, i see joy, peace and love. i also see a bit of me in there and it makes me smile. *sigh*

Happy Birthday my sweet Princess Lovebug. i love you so, so much. you will always be my little girl!


As I Sit Here...

i can hear the gentle roll of occasional thunder and the drip, drip, drop of rain. ok, it's a little more constant than that and even with all the windows i have it's almost dark enough to turn a light on-but i'm resisting. outside, my garden is burgeoning with ripened goodies that are anxious to be picked but, alas, it will have to wait for a dryer time. in the meantime...

behind me i can also hear the very faint attempts at chirping by our new baby finches. there are 2 right now. it's an amazing thing. yesterday we got a sneak peek at baby #1 in all its newborn glory. it came complete with tiny beak, tiny head, tiny arms and so on. simply too adorable for words right down to its Albert Einstein 'hairdo'. since the proud parents are named Westley and Buttercup it seemed only fit to name it Waverly as my astute daughter pointed out. (ahhh just warms the heart huh?) we were no sooner all a flutter with 'baby news' than all of a sudden we realized another little something. yep, another little baby was making its little presence known to us! baby #2 has joined us but is yet unnamed. we're open to suggestions (anyone?). it may actually depend on what their genders will eventually reveal themselves to be, but i'm open.

we are now knee deep in amazing life and tiny cuteness. there are 3 more eggs and as you can imagine we are on pins and needles waiting to see if there will be yet another little biddy baby bird birth. i haven't really been able to get a real clean pic of the happy little growing family yet, but when i do, i will most definitely post it.


Stories of Knitting and Fishing Stories

so there really has been a lot of knitting going on, it's just all been behind the scenes! we got back from camping, cleaned up and then started right back in to our lives. the trip was great. we had fun. it rained on my birthday BUT we had DQ ice cream cake in the in-laws camper while we played card games and we even braved the rain and did some fishing! yes, in the rain. it was so much fun. i even caught a small mouth bass! woo hoo! it was about 18 or so inches long and pushing 2 pounds-a definite keeper. well, it would have been, if the extremely large and apparently hungry snapping turtle hadn't decided he wanted a snack! no kidding, the head on this turtle was as big as my hand and it's body was the size of both my dogs put together. it was like the Loch Ness monster only in Minnesota in Lake Schumway. i lost my fish, but it was very intriguing to watch him devour my fish. i just stood there, mouth gaping in awe. of course i left me camera in the camper to stay warm and dry so you'll just have to believe my fish tale. it really happened. honest. just ask my brother in law who found the fish head still strung to the line with no body! his reaction was priceless.


Sneak Peek Pattern from Blue Sky Alpacas!

here's a sneak peek at another sample i did for Blue Sky recently. i'm told the pattern, Two Button Hat Set, will be out soon. it's an quick and easy knit done in their Worsted Hand Dyes. it's lightweight but nice and warm. the color used here is Putty. i knit these lovelies on size 9 Addi circulars and boy was it smooth and fast. i bet the toughest part was picking buttons!


I'm Outta Here!

i know, i finished these a little while ago. i am so very behind on my blogging and i am playing 'catch-up'. being out of town next week camping with family won't help, but don't worry, i'll leave you with a few visual goodies. ;) i hope you all have a great week and that knitting is a part of it! see ya next week!

here is my Lovebug modeling her new Hat & Wristlets. i used Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes in Midnight Blue and their Suri Merino in Earth. i knit them using Clover bamboo dpn's, size 11.

we had so much fun doing these 'photo shoots'. i can't believe how my wee little Princess Lovebug has grown! it's still kinda hard to think about her turning 15 this July. 15! my birthday is this Friday and i'll be turning 34 years young. man does time FLYand i'm glad to say we've even had some fun!