Friday, August 31, 2007

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Excuses for why I gained two pounds this week at the weigh-in:
(Be fair warned. This is not a pretty list. But it is honest.)

1. I gave in and splurged all weekend to celebrate Mom's birthday.
(Not that I'm blaming Mom or anything. I take total responsibility for my eating behavior over the weekend.)

2. My knee is still swollen and stiff from the fall last Friday night, which makes exercise just about impossible. I was walking 3 1/2 miles every morning. This week I'm lucky that I'm walking through the halls of the schools.

3. Work has been busy busy busy. I've not had much energy left at the end of the day to do all the things I should be doing to stay healthy. Besides, I've worked hard all day, I deserve a big plate of pasta, and wings, and a 1/2 of a pizza.

4. No fresh groceries in the house. I haven't gone grocery shopping for about 3 weeks so there's not much in terms of appetizing healthy foods in the house.

5. No fresh groceries and no energy leads to a LOT of eating out and ordering in. BAD! BAD! BAD! Of course, I could have made better choices as to what I ordered, but.... (see any number of other excuses.)

6. This head cold is making everything taste bland and so I'm not getting satisfaction from eating, which makes me want to eat more to get the satisfaction - the never ending slide down hill.

7. However, I did find that sugary items still taste good when you're all stuffed up.

8. Giving in to the idea that since the week is already a bust, why not just go full force. (Yesterday morning I added a Boston Creame doughnut to breakfast and a cranberry orange muffin in the afternoon and then went for a delicious cheese burger late last night after the WW meeting.)

9. I've turned to Diet Coke all day, rather than water. The bubbles help disintegrate the phlegm in the back of my throat. But my lips are getting chapped from dehydration. I'm using way too much chap stick for this time of year.

10. Self full filling prophecy: Right now I feel like crap, so why not eat like crap.

Enough of the excuses!!!
This week I am pledging to get back on track and give back those 2 pounds that have found their way into my love handles. After work today, I'm heading out to the grocery store for a stock up of fresh fruits and veggies and I'm hoping to get in a little exercise starting tomorrow. (Give me a break. My knee is still swollen and stiff and I'm not so sure that I should be doing anything on it.) I should have some time this weekend to do some shorter bursts of exercise and maybe still take care of the knee. Actually, just cleaning up the house while jamming to some funky music might be a good idea. Maybe I'll even look into getting an appointment to have an actual doctor take a look at the knee to see how much damage was actually done. And finally, NO MORE DIET COKE! Only water and hot tea this week.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pay It Forward

In order to help make up for my lack of blogging and to help build some good karma over here (lord only knows I could use some good work karma!), I'm all excited to participate in Chan's Pay It Forward idea. I see that Nichole and Amy are in this round with me.

It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the
concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. You all know I’m already a PIF type of person. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I can't wait to see the chain this creates and meet a few new people along the way.

Parties, Falls, and Packages

I know I've been ignoring the blogging world again this week.... but things have been really super busy at work these past two weeks. So busy that I can't remember anymore when the last time I picked up my needles! Oh, what the horror!!!

I don't really have a whole lot of time even now (I'm in between projects and waiting for some email replies before I can move forward) but I'll be quick in my updates on life.

This past weekend my brothers and I threw a surprise party for Mom's 50th birthday. To all of our surprise, we actually pulled it off! She was really surprised! Mom is one of those people with a sixth and seventh and eighth sense, so this really was a feat for us! I thought I would include a few photos from the event:

This photo is not cooperating, but what in my life is these days? This would be Mom posing with some of the decorations at the end of a very filled day of great food, family, neighbors, and friends to help her celebrate.

A quick family photo opportunity. Mind the sweat - in fact it's a good thing these photos don't come with a smell factor. It was really hot and humid on Saturday!

And I just can't resist including a shot of me and the little man! Oh I could just eat him up!

Other news from the big weekend includes a sneaky stay at the folk's home where I took a bit of a spill down the stairs. If you are really interested in hearing me gripe about the whole shananigans, visit S.A.M.

But the best news I have at the moment would be what the devil of a post man brought to me the other day. Normally we've had lots of issues with our local PO - which I won't go into because generally I love the PO, just not our PM. Anyway, if you've been religiously reading this blog (for what reason, I really don't know) you know that Stacey and I arranged for our own color swap this past month. It's been great getting to know her and putting together a perfect package for her. She's so easy to spoil! Get on over to her site and check her out! Anywho... my package from her arrived the other day. Now mind you we agreed to swap favorite colors and I confessed that I really don't have a favorite color and that she would just have to read all about my twisted world and figure out something. Well, she hit it right on! I am such a fall baby. I love the Autumn colorways - the idea of being out in the refreshing crispness of the Autumn air while wrapping up in Autumn goodness..... YUM! When I opened the package, this is what I found:
And inside those lovely wrappings were these: I am so in love with the rustic orange felting yarn!!! EWW-WEEE!!! I'm putting the felted slippers first on my list of items to knit once this weather finally starts to cool off. They are going to look Autumn delicious with that green as an accent! And the book is one that I've been wanting to read for a while now. Once things calm down a little at work and I have actual down time to knit and read again without feeling totally spent, I'm digging right in! Stacey also must have picked up that my current scissors in my knit accessory bag are for crap. Now I have a great pair that actually cut on the first scissoring! And there's a note pad for me to jot down all the knitting ideas I have going. I think I'll keep it in my purse for those thoughts on the run! I don't think you can tell from the photo, but the little baggie has two of the most adorable stitch markers in there. Of course they match the blue from the book and the orange from the yarn. Stacey, you are wonderful! When people complement me on my new slippers I will have to brag about you some more then too!

Opps, emails are now flooding in... gotta go....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Scale Victory

Got in a little late last night and didn't have time nor energy to post. But, I thought I would share that yesterday I gave in to eating 1/2 of a chicken quesadilla and two diet cokes while at S.A.M. Which usually I wouldn't do being that my WW weight in is also on Thursday evenings and the actual weight of what I consume (1 pint water = 1 pound) after work on Thursday gets calculated into my weight loss/gain for the week. It doesn't have time to be properly digested and transferred into actual body weight. So I was anticipating a slight gain if anything. To my surprise I weighed in at -.8 from last week! What a happy surprise! However, I lost the bet our little group had going. Christine lost 6 lbs before the rest of us. I'm so happy for her! We had to go out to celebrate and buy her a glass of wine. We had such a great time cheering each other on and deciding on how we would celebrate each of our next milestones. Sarah took a photo of us the week before and if she emails it to me I'll edit this post and include it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reasons for ignoring the blog

The house is still and quiet. The laundry is mostly done. Most of today's in-pile from work has been completed. Dinner is being delivered. And before I head off to bed (yes, it's only 7:17 and I'm already thinking of the comfeyness of my bed) I thought I would take a moment to share some of the going-ons around here that have kept me away from blogging.

First off, I'm back to work. Nuff said. The life of a teacher is torcher during certain times of the year. The beginning of a new school year marks the start of all sorts of craziness. Being that I'm not in the classroom any more and now work more with teachers than with children, I get the benefit of going back to work two weeks before teachers do so that Central Office and the administrators that I work with can watch me jump through a wide range of hoops they call a warm up before the real game.

The runner up would be the house guests we've had for the past week. Mikey and I grew up only 3 months apart, and as close as brother and sister, for most of our childhood. We now live two states apart. So when he mentioned that his wife would be attending a conference in DC and he would be tagging along and asked if they could just stay with us rather than shelling out big bucks on a fancy-schmancy hotel, I said "Welcome to Chez Wen-dae! Where the drinks are free and the sheets are clean ... as long as you remember to praise the hostess and tell her how wonderful she is." It's been nice having them here, but exhausting worrying about if they have everything they need and making sure they get where they need to be on time and if I am giving them enough attention with all this crap going down at work. But of course, they are welcome in our home anytime.

Lucky Numero Tres: FO!!! You heard it (or read it)! I finally finished seaming the baby sweater! Now I just have to get a hold of the mother-to-be (or maybe mother-all-ready, don't know) and hand it off. The pattern is from the cover of a Debbie Bliss book for quick knits for little ones. I can't remember the name of the book nor the pattern title and I'm too tired (lazy) to get up to check right now. I used the new cotton line (reissued?) from Lion Brand thinking it would do well with lots of washing. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Now just hopefully it will fit the unknown child.

Hunky reason #4 - Honey's birthday. From here on out I will refer to my 8 year long boyfriend as "Honey." I keep reading other people's blogs and they have all these great little nicknames for their loved ones when they write about them and I've been trying to think up a goody one for Dave. Due to the brain burps I'm having over reasons 1-8 nothing cool and unique is coming to mind. Since I call him Honey when I really want something, Honey it is. So, Honey's 34th b-day was yesterday. We planned on going out to dinner and then to a movie (as mentioned in yesterday's blog - which since I had time to blog yesterday that should tip you off that something didn't work out as planned). Dave, oops, Honey was late coming home from work and I had a little extra time to shout out to the world about my perfect purple socks, which by the way I left my knitting group early to come home for the occasion. When he finally did arrive he needed some time to melt into his place on the couch and wind down before going out. We had an extremely wonderful and delicious dinner at Ted's Montana Grill.... love that place!!! But we were too tired to go out for a late night movie... maybe next week... extended b-day celebration. So we came home and he spent the rest of his birthday evening cruising the Internet looking to buy a used motorcycle. I love him, but a motorcycle??? I guess this is what the start of the mid-life crisis looks like.
See how happy he looks? Happy Birthday, Honey!!!
Ok, now I'm really tired and can hear the pillow calling me..... but there's still some work to be done tonight and the final touches of preparing for mom's surprise 50th this weekend.... oh, but dinner is here, yum!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Passionate Purple Package

Ok Stacey, get out your purple periscope and keep on the look out for your "Passionate Purple Package"!!! It went in the mail this morning. And to help celebrate the occasion, I have a passionate purple sock to report as an FO!!!I know it's a dark photo, but can you see how happy purple has made me? The sock is absolutely Perfectly Purlply Perfect! Not only do I love the colorway, but the fit is amazing. It's like I'm Cinderella or something. Now if only a cute prince came with the pattern! Do you think he'll show up when I finish the second one????
For those of you wondering, the pattern is called Tidal Wave Socks by Deby Lake and the yarn is TOFUtsies color 722.

As for other news, there is a lot going on right now with back to school/work, house guests, FO (baby sweater!!!), and birthday's but I'm afraid you'll have to wait for that news in another posting. It's Dave's birthday and we're heading out to dinner and maybe to see SuperBad. I promise not to put off posting again for too much longer.

Monday, August 13, 2007

All better

All of you out there in knitter-blogger land will be happy to know that the finger boo-boo is all healed now... thanks to some boo-boo healer gel and a great little band aid. Thank goodness the injury wasn't permanent and the knitting can proceed! It has actually scared/scabbed over now and it numb to the touch... a great relief from the jolting pain.
The little break from knitting gave me a chance to work on putting together my swap package for Stacey. We each had such a great time with the Red Color Swap last month that we decided to do it again. However, this month's color is pink and neither of us are big on pink so we decided to swap favorite colors with each other. Stacey's favorite color is purple and I've had a blast putting together a "Passionate Purple Package" for her. I can't wait to send it out and see how much she loves it! I knitted her up a little funky something but I can't show it just yet. Maybe once she receives her package she'll send me a photo of her with it to post here. (hint hint Stacey!) In honor of the "Passionate Purple Package" I've decided to start knitting up my Tofutsies in their exclusive Tidal Wave Socks pattern.... I adore them!!! I know understand the passion Stacey has for purple! I don't know what colorway they are... it doesn't say on the label (boo-hoo). But they are wonderful purples, green, and a hint of blue. Take a peak at their progress so far:

Can you tell I'm a very visual person and I'm becoming addicted to adding photos to this blog????

But mostly the hurty boo-boo gave me a reason to work on some blocking and seaming this weekend. Here's the finished blocked A Touch of Whimsy Scarf requested by Aunt Sue. I think it turned out quite nice. It's done in a beautiful Malabrigo in Emerald Blue. I think she's going to enjoy the leafy look. It may just be a scarf, but I enjoyed knitting it. In fact I learned how to do an i-cord cast on and cast off for this project. I totally recommend it as a really nice quick gift for anyone. It knit up fairly quick and has that little somein'-somein' to it that makes it better than just a scarf.

I also worked at seaming up the baby sweater for the woman that I work with. The shower was way back in June and she's due any day now. Talk about your last minute inspiration for an FO! Last night I successfully seamed on the sleeves and plan on seaming up the sides tonight. She didn't show up for work today, which was a good thing since I haven't seen her since the shower and had to take back the pinned up sweater pieces that I presented to her as her gift - and it's still not done! . But then again, what if the baby came and I haven't finished the sweater?!? I know it's been awfully hot and the baby would be in no danger of freezing had they not had the sweater, but still. It's the principle of it all!

Well, that's all for now. I must go work on posting a few discussion boards and articles on our school's Blackboard. Nothing like a little work before going to bed.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mommy, kiss it and make it better...

Going back to work has proved to be dangerous for my health as well as my knitting. Yesterday during our leadership academy I got a paper cut on the tip of my left index finger. And not just any paper cut. It was the kind that sits at an angle, and like if you don't pick at it and pull the flap of skin off it was bound to get caught on something later and really make an owie. It really didn't look like that big of a deal and I didn't think too much of it at the time.
Upon arriving home I picked up my Knit Picks Option needles and began to procrastinate from seaming up that lime green baby sweater and started on a quick birthday gift for my aunt. Her dinning room is all about the rooster and I found this cute Rodney the Rooster cloth pattern. I decided I might knit her up a few but I wasn't thrilled about the border. I loved the border from the Shamrock ones I made earlier this week so I swapped it into the pattern. I didn't realize how much my injury was going to effect my knitting (it doesn't seem to be bothered by typing thank goodness). Oh baby, those Option needles are sharp! And the injury seems to be strategically places to be the exact spot that I use with the tip of the needle. With every knit stitch the nerve ending was being jolted! OWIEEEEE! Between last night and this morning, this is how far I was able to get before giving in to the pain and giving up the needles.
Such a sad day in the neighborhood.... maybe I'll have to go shopping to cheer me up...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Somebody Loves Me!

Somebody loves me! Somebody loves me! Somebody loves me! (Imagine me dancing around like the goober I am and singing like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality (remember the part where she sings "I think you love me. You wanna kiss me. You wanna hug me." in that annoying little tune?)) I came home from a VERY long first day back to work and this is what I found on my doorstep. Only problem is... I don't know who they're from!?!?!? I am totally tickled pink (well pink isn't really my color but you get my point) but I don't know who to thank.

I'm absolutely in LOVE with so many patterns I don't know where I'll start first! Well, maybe the bag on the front cover! It's totally me!

By the way, head over to Cass's blog for a fun little contest to win yummy yarn and books and be sure to tell her I sent you!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Heat index = 105!!!

OK... So a blog about real life happenings. I know it's been a little while since I've actually wrote inspiring words of my own about how the world revolves around me and all... but hey, I'm trying to enjoy the last few precious moments of my summer vacation before heading back to work tomorrow. Can ya blame me for not wanting to take the time to drabble on and on about my life for a little while? But since I head back into the forefront tomorrow, I thought I might let you all in on how I've spent my last few days.

First off I must complain about how hot it is here. I've been so proud of myself for keeping to my promise to walk every morning. I'm now up to 3 1/2 miles in an hour, which I'm very proud of. But my God was it miserable to walk today. In fact at 8 in the morning the heat index was already in the upper 90's so I had to divide the walk into two sessions. It worked out for the better since I ended up walking more like 4 whole miles, but I was covered in sweat by the time I reached the end of the block... eewww! icky! But I'm sticking to my challenge in loosing those last few pounds, so I'm suffering through the heat and then stripping down to next to nothing to eat my breakfast while sitting in front of the AC. I'll be checking in tomorrow night for a weigh in since I'll be busy with work related stuff on Thursday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Since it's so hot outside that even the devil would be uncomfortable being active outdoors, I've been spending most of my time in the house. (Even the thought of getting into the car and suffocating before the ac really kicks in doesn't appeal to me at the moment. And when have I ever turned down a chance for a shopping trip???) So I've been reading and knitting and watching some really bad TV. Who the hell is in charge of day time TV programming? They should be shot! I've decided the only daytime television that I can stomach is TNT Prime Time in the Daytime. Sad but true. But no one wants to hear about the crappy television I've been watching. You all want to see what's been happening with the knitting. Well, here it is. First up is a felted bowl that I attempted. It's not too bad but it didn't come out like I thought it would. Definitely something I will try again though. It was fast and easy and I can see it making part of a great gift for someone. Fill it with some goodies and you've got yourself a little piece of homemade goodness. The pattern is from Deborah Does Navel Gazing. I used the left over Paton Classic Wool from my French Market Bag.

Next up is a set of scarves I'm collecting to give to the local shelter this winter. (Please don't think poorly of me because I've gone back to making scarves!) In actually these came about while trying to procrastinate from seaming the baby sweater that I'll write about later in this post. I thought a few quick knits would help boost my self-esteem and make me feel like I've accomplished something. Besides, I found the yarn (Paton's Mosaic) at JoAnn's for $0.50 a skein and you can't beat that for a donation item! Both scarves are worked on size 17 needles (I told you they were fast knits). The blue one is with three strands together and it gives it a nice thick and heavy weight. The pink one has only two strands and lays looser. It's only 1/2 done at the moment. Both scarves are done in garter stitch, nothing fancy here.

Next up is two little items that I actually knit for my mom to use as part as a gift for her best friend, a true Kilpatrick! Every year she looks for cute Irish items to give her and I thought
these would make for a nice addition. I love the border stripe. I found the pattern here. I had enough Sugar and Cream yarn to make a smaller version as well.

And then this afternoon I dragged myself out into the sweltering heat to meet up with some good knitting friends at my favorite coffee shop, St. Elmo's. I decided that the only way that I could get myself to quit procrastinating on finishing the baby sweater (and the baby is due sometime this month so I really need to finish it even though the baby won't wear it until this winter) was to take it and only it along. Can I tell you that it took me 2 1/2 hours just to seam the collar on! Have I mentioned how much I hate seaming! Actually I thought it went along quite well. I didn't have to take it out a million times before getting it to line up correctly. Joining me in my 'I don't want to do it but I need to do it to get an FO out' was Jaz and Maddie. Jaz worked on a wrap sweater that's been looming at the back of her knitting basket for about a year due to it's 400+ pick up stitches for a tubular edging cast off thingy. I've not tried something like this but I can see why she's not happy about it. Can I just say, WOW! Then there's Maddie who is working on a cuddly blanket for her man and worked a special square adapted and altered from another pattern which had her changing purls to knits and knits to purls and somehow keeping it all straight. We were quite the little group today!
As you can see, I'm a very visual type person. Lots of photos for today's entry. Notice the almost empty iced chai latte - nothing like a little cold refreshment to get through the deadly heat and knitting frustrations! Hope you all are finding ways to keep cool.

Book Nook

Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

Discussion Questions:

4. When Colette first reconnects with Steve, did you feel this was a relationship she should pursue, a relationship with a possible future? Why or why not?
To be honest, Steve creeped me out from the very beginning. I was uneasy about Colette seeing him. He appeared to be too needy, looking for comfort and love wherever he could get it. Can we say “bootie call!” And for Colette, Steve is too much of a connection to painful memories. I honestly don’t know how she’d be able to look at him at all and not think of her dead husband. I don’t think I would be able to date him in any sense if I was Colette. Maybe if he was still with his wife and the two couples were really that close, she might find comfort in their friendship. But in this case, run, Colette, run!

6. Lydia chooses a prayer shawl for this knitting class. In chapter twelve, the various knitters discuss the significance of the shawl and its pattern. Do any of their comments have particular meaning for you? Are there any comments or observations you’d add if you were part of their discussion?
I loved the various meanings of three stitches that each woman presented. The number 3 has been a mysterical number throughout history and literature. Numbers have various meanings depending on who is looking, what reference and background they bring, and what is most meaningful to them at the moment. All of their interpretations are insightful to their characters and current situations. After reading chapter 12 I’ve decided on knitting a prayer shawl for my aunt. I’ve left the Catholic church for some really personal reasons and have since removed myself from most religious things, including the idea of making a “prayer shawl”. But I liked the idea that Margaret brought up about “knitting anything for anyone who needs a bit of TLC.” And how Colette said “Wrapping a shawl around someone is a symbolic embrace.” My aunt is going through some tough times with a knee replacement and I’ve been looking for things to send her to comfort her and keep her spirits up. I’m now thinking I’ll make her the shawl that Alix made. My symbolic 3 would be Strength, Perseverance, and Energy.

9. Friendship, especially among women, is an important and recurring theme in Debbie Macomber’s novels. In this story we watch the friendship between Alix and Colette take root and grow, despite the initial awkwardness between them. Why do you think they develop such a strong bond?
Alix and Colette appear to be very internal and private people. It takes one to know one and truly appreciate one. I however, tend to be an open book to those who know me and those who are unfortunate enough to have to listen to me. Ask the right question and you might get an answer that never ends. I can find it difficult to understand those who aren’t willing to talk about their problems and might have pushed either one of them to give me more information, which probably would push them away. These two understand and respect each others need to internalize and keep to themselves which helps to build a trusting bond.

Personality DNA

Ok. So I've been slacking on my blogging duties. I promise to add my own two cents about the world currently revolving around me later this afternoon. This Personality DNA result will have to do for now. I saw this on someone else's blog (sorry, but I read so many yesterday that I can't remember where I saw it, but I thought it was cool and I was interested in seeing for myself). If you'd like to check in on your own Personality DNA, visit here. By hovering over each color block a portion of my personality is revealed.

about you:
You are a Creator

Your imagination, confidence, willingness to explore, and appreciation of beauty make you a CREATOR.

You are independent, and you enjoy your self-sufficiency.

Defying convention, you are very innovative, and you have a vivid imagination.

The look of things is important to you, and you have a keen eye for aesthetic beauty in multiple arenas.

You have a strong interest in what is new and exciting—and that includes forging ahead with new ideas, not simply discovering what is already out there.

Your eagerness to seek new and varied experiences leads you into many different situations.

You're not set on one way of doing things, and you are creative when it comes to finding novel solutions to complex problems.

You trust yourself to be innovative and resourceful.

Your confidence allows you to take your general awareness and channel it into creativity.

You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well.

You prefer to have time to plan for things, feeling better with a schedule than with keeping plans up in the air until the last minute.

If you want to be different:
Appreciate the earthly, practical elements of things—there is beauty in form as well.
While you are good at thinking abstractly, focusing on details a bit more may help you discover things about the world.

how you relate to others:
You are Advocating

Being social, empathic, and understanding makes you ADVOCATING.

Some people find being around others exhausting—but not you! You are energized by spending time with friends, and you are good at meeting new people.

One of the reasons you enjoy conversation as much as you do is that you often learn about yourself while talking things out with a friend; you realize things about your own beliefs while discussing them with others.

You have insight into what others are thinking and feeling. This ability allows you to be happy for others, and to commiserate when something has gone wrong for them.

You are highly compassionate, and being conscious of how things affect those close to you leaves you cautious about trusting others too hastily.

Despite these reservations, you are open-minded when it comes to your worldview; you don't look to impose your ways on others.

Your sensitivity towards others' plights contributes to an understanding—both intellectual and emotional—of many different perspectives.

As someone who understands the complexities of the world around you, you are reluctant to pass judgments.

If you want to be different:
While it's important to think about others, don't forget to take some time for yourself, and occassionally to put yourself first.
Take some time to spend with a few close friends; although it's difficult to find people to trust, it's worth the effort.
When you have great ideas, it can be hard to relinquish control, but it can also feel good to take the pressure off and enjoy someone else leading the way.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Knit 1 Tea 2 Color Swap Questionnaire

1. Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try?
I tend to like bag tea for on the go. I take tea with me to work a lot and it’s just easier that way. But we also have a cast iron kettle that Dave and I will use in the evenings with loose tea.

2. What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)?
We just came back from a trip to South Africa so for the moment I’m really into the Rooibos teas. During the hotter months I tend to make a lot of the fruitier teas into iced tea – favorite: orange spice. When visiting my local coffee shop I tend to get a good chai. But I’m open to various kinds of teas and am always looking for a new one to try, although I’m not a fan of the minty teas. I'm dying to try Teavana's rooibos teas like Rooibos Lemon Twist, Rooibos Chai, and Rooibos Caramel Creme and blends like MatéVana (caffeinated) & Rooibos Chai or Raspberry Sangria & Rooibos Lemon .

3. Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up).
I tend to stick with black and red teas. For me, they have a stronger, more robust taste to them.

4. Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind?
For most days I’m a hot water heater and take it on the go. In the morning before work I’ll cheat and use the microwave. If I’m home in the afternoon I’ll use the kettle on the stove. When Dave makes me tea in the evening he brews it in the cast iron kettle.

5. What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself?
I don’t know.

6. How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc).
I love to treat myself to a manicure/pedicure every now and then. I find it so relaxing and rejuvenating. I also enjoy yummy treats, but I’m following WeightWatchers and so I’ve had to cut back and really consider what I’m treating myself with. But the best pampering is a toss up between a good shopping trip and a back massage.

7. If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why?
Ohhh.. good question… I’ll have to think a little more about this one. Stop by in a week or so and I promise I’ll have some sort of answer for ya.

8. If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why?
Well, I’ve gone through my stage of fun scarves and occasionally will whip one up for a friend and I’ve done my share of baby booties this year. (Was all of Alexandria pregnant this year?! There must be something in the water!) So I might make an attempt in something fair isle for something new. I don’t know about a sweater though… it would have to depend on the pattern. I’m not a big fan of seaming and the tops I’ve knit so far required a lot of seaming which discourages me from ever finishing them.

9. What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?)
Possibly a book club meeting if it was a good group of discussers and they had good taste in book selections. My WeightWatchers meetings – can’t miss those! Dinner out with a group of friends. A walking group – if I could ever find one.

10. What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?)
When hosting a group of people and there is food/snacks involved I always try to provide the three basics: a salty, a sweet, and a healthy. Personally with my tea I prefer the baked goods section: biscotti, scones, muffins, etc.

11. When buying yarn for a project how do you choose - do you buy the one called for or do you substitute?
I’m not very good at substituting yarn on my own. I’ll usually try to go with what the pattern calls for and then I’ll go to a good knitting buddy who is much more in the know about yarns than I am and have her (or the nice people at the yarn store) offer up suggestions on what can be used to substitute without having to make too many adjustments to the pattern.

12. What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go?
Up until recently I’ve used a tote bag that one of my students made for me a few years back. But I’ve just finished knitting (and felting) the French market bag from Knitty and I’ve been taking that for a spin when knitting on the go.

13. Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting?
Anything that Dave puts on and seems to be enjoying. He’s more of the movie buff than I am. However, I don’t go for the scary/horror flicks. They still give me nightmares!

14. Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match?
I don’t own any official tea cups. We use mugs in our house. And I don’t think we have any that actually match. They are sort of a random collection, most of freebee giveaways and ones that were gifts from my students. Please, no more teacher mugs!

15. Favorite childhood birthday party?
There’s not one in particular that sticks out in my mind, but I always liked the sleep-overs. Even now, I’ll visit an old college roomie and we’ll sleep out on the living room floor and chat into the wee hours of the night, raiding the fridge as we see fit, talking about boys (men), clothes, and hair. Oh, to feel young again!

16. Favorite type of scone and jam?
Scones – something berry-ish, adding that extra little bit of sweetness to it. Jam – love orange marmalade and recently had cherry while in South Africa… loved it! Other wise… they’re all good!!!

17. If you use candles, what is your favorite scent?
Dave likes it best when I light candles that smell like baked goods. But I also enjoy the fruitier ones as well. Vanilla is always a popular one to go with.

18. If you could choose 3 people to have 'tea' with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead).
Actually I’m going to get a little sentimental here, but I would have tea with my mom (living) and grandmother (deceased). Having tea with my mom in the morning has become a special time for me and I don’t get a chance to do it that often being that we are 4 hours apart. My enjoyment of tea comes from her love of tea and the serenity and enjoyment of the little things she has taught me.

19. You've been invited to a tea party, what 'props' will you wear (formal or casual)?
I tend to be a very casual person. I’d probably just come as is. But I’m all for themed gatherings, and would fully participate if we were asked to “prop it up” with sun hats or whatever. I dig theme based gatherings.

20. Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to?
I have an intolerance to eating mushrooms and seafood.

Anything we missed that you want your pal to know?
Check out my blog and please leave me comments periodically to let me know you’re out there. Also, I’ve never had anyone knit anything especially for me (so sad).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Being neighborly

Those of you who know me know that I may be a knitter, but seaming and sewing are just not my thing. I mean who else do you know that has stories of sewing machines smoking while using them? A sharp needle, that tiny thread, a foot powered sewing machine, yikes! Put us in a room together and we just don't mix. So a little while ago I joined the Knitty KAL and decided on the Sueet Suede bag as my first project. I decided on a ribbon yarn rather than the suede and I was really pleased with the final product. I had a really cute summer bag all ready to parade around the streets while window shopping. However, something was missing. The yellow in the ribbon didn't appear as much as I would have liked it to. And when putting things like my wallet, keys, or glasses in the bag it took on a mysterious shape, as if I was smuggling small critters (die garden villains, die!). This was not going to do. I was going to need to put in the dreaded fabric liner. Oh lord! Sewing! So of course the bag sat on my unfinished project table for about a month, it wasn't looking good for a FO on this one. But then a miracle happened! A very crafty and talented angel appeared from across my fence post. Not long ago we got new neighbors and it was just my luck that Kay is extremely talented with those dreaded tools I needed to use to finish the bag. I thought I might just pass out from happiness when Kay agreed to help me out with finishing a liner. She spent this morning showing off her talents and skills as she quickly whipped up just what I needed. She even fashioned a cute little rosette thingy to add a special little touch of golden to the outside. I can't wait to show off my FO at my SAM and then WW meetings tonight! Thanks a tickle, Kay! Thank God for fabulous neighbors! I truly have an angel looking over the fence at me!
To check out her blog, click on her name above, but to check out her fabulous artistic work check out Fiber of Her Being.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Christmas in July!

Oh my... the postman was late yesterday and look at what he brought me when he finally came! Christmas truely does come in July!
Well, actually these are items that I purchased for myself so I'm not sure if that really counts or not... but hey, I'm willin' to pretend if you are! So I know that I just posted a flashing of my stash and stated that I'm not really one to stash up in fear of not getting the right yarn or enough of it. But I read somewhere that sock yarn doesn't really count as stash. So I went a little be-zerk. First off I needed some longer extension needles connectors for my option needles and so while I was on the Knit Picks site I decided that I would like to attempt at dying - with kool-aid no doubt. I haven't attempted dying yarn yet, so this should be fun. I purchased 3 skiens of their Bare Natural to save for a rainy day activity. Also while I was there I went a-strollin' through the sock yarns and picked up these two fine fall beauties. (Have I mentioned that fall is my favorite season and I'm totally in love with fall colors?)The sun has put a glare on them and you don't get the full effect of the oranges and earthy tones. These are Knit Picks Felici yarn in colors Clay and Pebble.

Then as I was reading up on Stacey's blog and seeing her fine Loopy items, I decided to wander into that shop as well. (I heard they have Steeler yarn! Go Pittsburgh!) And now look what I have mingling with my rosemary and sage:

These are Lorna's Laces in colorway Tuscany and ClaudiaHand Painted Yarn in colorway Steelers.
It's going to be a fine football season knitting up with these I tell ya. And to top it all off I added into the excitment two great yarns that I picked up at my LYS to use for some special Christmas gifts I'm planning. One is already started! Yes, that's Tofutsies that you see (don't know the colorway) and some beautiful Malabrigo merino wool that I'm knitting up into a Touch of Whimsy Scarf for my aunt.

Dontcha just love it?!