Saturday, February 24, 2007

SAL Progress Report #2

As you know, I haven't been making much progress with destashing as I'd hope. It seems I have more yarn than I started with and I've made 5 things already. Well, I am not alone in this dilemna as a fellow SALer posted her laments. She ask for ideas for her dilemna and the one she got was so simple that I had failed to realize it myself. Though I will not be able to make squares for PC at this time, I still can make them for other charities and for an afghan for my own home or for gifting. The responder mentioned using the squares as an opportunity to learn new stitches and that they wouldn't take much time to work up. Now that is a very interesting point that I will go and consider with the help of my new book which has many stitches that are new to me. I believe that I will be able to work at least 1 tonight since I think I'll set the red/silver project aside til tomorrow. I'll update more later in the week. Back to detashing so that I can enjoy my shopping day next week.

Btw ~ I found some wonderful new sites that I will be adding to the sidebar and one offered a free sock pattern for signing up for their newsletter. They look very easy to make but I don't know ~ I thought that child's scarf was simple and I'm still working on it. ;D
Good night!

Knitting 101

I don't think knitting and I are cut out for each other. I say this because I have not been successful in knitting that ball of red and silver yarn. It has been the bane of my existence for the past week and half. I tried to use larger needles so that I can knit it up quickly but it didn't work. I was using #13 then I changed to 11s but that didn't work either. The project appeared stretched and I didn't like it at all.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting 2 LYS. It was a lot of fun to look at the yarn, discover new patterns and visit a new place of enjoyment. One of the stores owner was the young lady who had taught a knitting class for a staff development I attended. It was nice to see her again and to let her know that I was finally going to do something with my knitting. She had very lovely yarn and my girls picked out some very soft multi color suitable for babies. We will return on my free day to purchase some but my oldest dd did buy a set of dpn in bamboo that she loves. She said they are smooth and make using the sugar n cream much easier. She too has had trouble knitting her socks but I believe is coming along now w/the new needles.

I also went to Hobby Lobby and was able to purchase a new book and some needles. I bought 2 sets of 5s and a set of 6 dpn in alum ~ I personally like these. I am using the 5s with the red/silver yarn and it looks much nicer but the pattern I was venturing to use isn't working out so I have removed those stitches and will continue to simply knit the yarn into a child's scarf ~ a basic garter pattern seems to work better for it. I am hopeful that it will be suitable but doubtful that I'll be able to take a picture since even in natural lighting it doesn't photograph well at all. I am planning to finish up listening to Emma and working on this scarf tonight. I hope to have time to look through my new book and work on my Seaman scarf but for now I want to finish with the red/silver yarn because it has annoyed me so. ;D

Hope everyone else is having a better knitting time than I have had. Have a wonderful evening.

My new book:
Knitter's Handbook : A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Techniques of Handknitting by Montse Stanley (Paperback - Sep 6, 1999)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

SAL Progress Report

I did it ~ yes, I finished my first knitting project. I am so glad. It is my first project since I first learned to knit over 20 yrs ago. ;0 I had 2 projects going at the same time and finished the true red scarf. The red/silver child's scarf is WIP and I don't know why its taking me so long. I think its the needles ~ I'm using bamboo and they don't seem to work well with the fiber of the yarn. Since the yarn is not one that I have a label for, I am not sure what needle to use. My ds just found 2 more skeins of yarn and one is a green/silver blend like the red. You can guess ~ no label either. :( I'm not even sure where these came from but they are either part of the charity project or I found them on clearance somewhere planning to make some holiday item or something. Or more like, my oldest dd was to make some holiday item but we lost the yarn in the house. LOL

Anywhoo, we have gone to several yarn stores and I am happy to report that I have purchased nothing. Though dd wasn't as successful in the first 2 stores ~ she acquired some Sugar n Cream in midnight magic and Paton's Grace in ruby (7 skeins @ $1 ea) and would have bought more had we not discussed the necessity of waiting until she had finished her current projects and the ones she purchased these for. We found some Red Heart Super on sale for $1.89 in Winter Grey and she wanted to make socks or legwarmers, I don't remember which but it may well be both.

I have also finished a couple of "screaming stash" projects because I was not feeling like I had made much progress the last few days. I have now made 4 washclothes using a simple crochet pattern from Lion Brand. Funny thing is none of this has made a dent in my meager stash goal. I am not too pleased and don't quite understand the math in this but will keep plugging along and it will all disappear soon, I hope. I've even given away one ball of yarn 2x but keep getting it back ~ my dc who decided they wanted to use another color. I finally used it to make 2 washclothes yesterday so its almost gone, there is a remnant. ;O There are 4 cloths and my ds would like me to make more. LOL I am even considering making dishclothes too. These don't take long to work up and I've decided to make some special for my dds hope chest.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Knitting Fun

Well, I've been very busy with working and hanging out at a concert that I haven't had much time for knitting. I took my knitting with me to the concert since I would be spending a lot of time sitting between assignments. I got to knit a little but read alot then ran alot more. I was a runner for the bands that were performing. It was alot of fun but I really wish I had done more knitting. However, I did use the time wisely and read some of "Knit Lit too" and "Knit Fix." I borrowed both from the library and learned a few things about knitters.

I am still working on my true red scarf which has been a pain. I have actually taken it a loose 4x until my dd told me how to fix my issue. The issue ~ I thought I had a tension problem because I would have several rows that appeared very tight no matter what you did to them. I was having trouble holding the yarn, gauging the tension, etc and my frustration was great. Last night, after the 3rd time of re-working the stitches I thought I was just tired and went to bed. Today, when it happened again, I was at a loss. My dd explained that my yarn was thinning in that section of it. She showed me how to add in the yarn after I undid the stitches and cut the thin section off. Now my rows are beautiful again and I hope to finish my scarf soon. I am a very slow knitter but I think thats just because I'm really new at it. ;D

I've been window shopping at craft stores and have been faithful to only buy tools ~ no yarn for me. Though my dd did, she got some really great yarn for a $1 a skein at Michaels in ruby. She plans to make socks. She also got some Sugar & Cream stripes at Hobby Lobby for $1.11 ea for more socks. She started to buy yarn today at JoAnn's because they had Red Heart for $1.89 but she resisted. We decided she would use up what she had first since socks take longer than scarves. We'll go back and get the grey she wanted even if we must pay full price. They even had Wool Ease on sale for 2/$4 but I walked away with only my new needles I found on clearance. I even passed up some funny looking yarn that was on the 75% rack which would have been about $.75 ea. ;D Yeah Me!

Here are the new tools we got:
Container of plastic glitter needles ~ 1 set of ea ~ #10, 10 1/2, 11, 13,15, 17
Container of plastic hooks ~ 1 ea J, K, L, M, N, P
1 set (plastic) #17 ($1 @ W/M)
1 set (plastic) #8 ($.50 @ Joann's)
1 ea (plastic circular #10 ($.50 @ Joann's)
My oldest dd got a set of #50 (plastic) @ W/M for a $1 ~ they are huge.
2 sets (alum) doubled pointed #3 in red *my fav color (I will take the purple ones back since I don't need 6 sets of 3s ;D) I got both containers on at JoAnn's too.
Thats all for now, back to my knitting. See ya later.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Shopping Savings

Its been awhile since I shared my shopping savings and this one is late ~ last week. I took advantage of a great Quaker sale at Homeland, with the help of my oldest dd. We purchased the following for only $1.72. It was great and you can never have enough oatmeal, so I'll be on the look out for more "sweet deals" on the stuff. Hope your shopping adventures are successful.

4 ~ Quaker Oats, 18oz $1.60 - c $.50
2 ~ Quaker Instant Oatmeal $1.60 - c $.50
2 ~ Quaker Instant Oatmeal Crunch $1.60 - c $.75
2 ~ Quaker Breakfast Bars $1.60 - c $1.00
1 ~ Borden Shredded Cheese $1.97 - c $.70
1 ~ Borden Shredded Speciality $2.27 - c $.70
2 ~ Hormel Pepperoni $1.00 ea - c $.35

*each coupon was doubled plus by using my store card received an additional $3.00 off for purchasing Quaker products.

This was fun, I missed couponing and am glad that I am able to be actively involved in increasing my pantry, saving money and helping others. Its past time for me to start "Shop, Save and Share" like Ellie Kay tells us and enjoying the fruits of the labour.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Knitting 101

Today was a good knitting day. I had the urge to start a new project, so I did. I pulled out my brand new #11's and the true red in my SAL stash and started a scarf. I was reading Scarves and Shawls for Yarn Lovers and it was the first project in the book. I am enjoying how easy it is to do this one. No, I am not very fast yet but I am finding the alum needles much easier to glide the yard on than the bamboo ones. My dd and I talked about this and she commented that it also was the type of yarn I was using being the true red is mohair and the other "don't know what." I am very pleased with the progress and hope to finish in the next day or two. I need to figure out how to hold the yarn though, because I am not comfortable with my current positioning and this maybe why I've never actually knitted ~ the ackwardness of position. I am confident I'll get the hang of it and that will help to increase my working speed. ;D

The following is my inventory of tools. I hope to add to the supplies as I go along, but here is what I have:

~ Hooks ~
1 ea (alum) D
1 ea (alum) E. F, H, J, K
4 ea (alum) G *fav
2 ea (alum) I
1 ea (alum) I afghan
1 ea (bamboo) G, L
1 ea (plastic) M
1 ea (steel) 0, 1, 7, 8, 9, 10

~ Needles ~
1 set (alum) 7, 8, 10 long
1 set (alum) 10, 11 short
1 set (bamboo) 4, 5, 11, 13
1 set (plastic) 17
4 sets (alum) 3 double pointed
1 set (alum) 7 circular
2 sets (plastic) 19 circular

~ Craft Needles ~
various ones for cross-stitch and needlepoint to include 3 tapestry (2 metal/1 plastic)

I don't think I own any knitting books but have lots of patterns, a couple of crochet books, access to lots at the library and a growing wish list. ;D

Thats all for now. Have a great evening!

SAL Day #1 ~ Lesson in Self Control

I almost blew it today ~ yes, you read that right. I almost cheated and bought yarn. I went into Walmart to buy some cheese and lettuce. I decided to take a look at their needles while I was there. I decided to get the double pointed ones because dd needed them to make something and I had some extra $$. I returned to the section after picking up my items and decided to get another set of needles for myself. I selected a short set of 11's, then it happened. I found these beautiful skeins of yarn in colors that were rich and lovely. I stopped and was about to pickup a few up when I realized what I was doing. I didn't do it ~ nope not one skein did I buy. You can read more here.

I left Walmart with 4 packages of knitting needles, a list of new colors and more knowledge on label reading. I especially needed the last one since I usually purchased yarn if it was lovely, lovely & on sale or one I normally use and am familiar with. I never really considered weight, fiber type, needle/hook recommendations, just bought what I wanted and that was that. I am enjoying this new knowledge and experience. I can see how it will enhance all my craft endeavors and make me a more conscious shopper in the process. I really have to watch how I spend my money as well as not cheat on my commitment to destash. I was just like someone in withdrawal. Wow, who knew that it was that bad, I sure didn't but I'm glad I was successful and will avoid this in future.

I'll share more later especially my tools list, since I typed it in this post earlier but blogger is glitching and it deleted the majority of my post. I had to start over and I don't have the energy to type it now. LOL Off to bed with me, its late.

Have a great day!

~ at our homestead ~
smells ~ homemade hamburgers
sounds ~ classical music - Schumann
mood ~ relaxed, content

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Knitting 101

The women in my sock class were an interesting mix. I love the way knitting brings people together. As diverse as these women seemed to be, in personality, in background and in age, they were beginning to enjoy each other's company. ~ Lydia

The above quote comes from Debbie Macomber's book "A Good Yarn." It is a wonderful book which started my desire to knit again, but that was a year ago. ;D I have read both of her books and would love to read any more she chooses to write for this series but for now I will settle for something better. She has created knitting books based on the series ~ "Knit along with Debbie Macomber." I checked out the one for "A Good Yarn" and eagerly awaiting the opportunity to knit something from the pages. I have chosen the lovely maverick laprobe and my oldest dd suggested that we knit it together. Hmm, a group project and I can get rid of my stash faster too. I'll have to give this some thought.

My new project is coming along very well and I am really enjoying reading about knitting. I have also come across a book titled "Scarves and Shawls for Yarn Lovers" that has helpful tips for knitting. I jotted down the following in my new craft project notebook:
1. have a notebook for keeping track of project progress and need supplies
2. knitting reference book
3. supplies ~ don't need to be expensive, just yarn, needles, a yarn needle and scissors
4. yarn label reading will help me with future patterns

More later. Have a good night.

Monday, February 12, 2007

~ Stashalong ~

I am now ready and excited about my new found hobby. Ok, maybe not ready since I will still need to learn how to do all those fancy knitted stitches and learn the jargon. I don't think I know what "FO" is but I have a good guess. ;D

Part of the fun of Stashalong is to accept a challenge to get rid of your stash. I have decided on Option 1, described below.

Choice 1: The original rules(1) Choose a Stashalong time frame(1 month(minimum choice), 2 months, 3 months, etc). Personally, I would think about month to month--just in case :) Remember that during that time frame you will not buy any yarn(buying patterns, bags, and books are up to you)(2) Choose some of your stash you would like to knit on during that time(maybe it's something you can finish, maybe it's for a gift or deadline or KAL).(3) Post your start date and finish date. You could also include a picture of the yarn you'll be using and maybe some details about the pattern.(4) Post your results at the end--did you finish it, did you crack and buy something, fill us in on your Stashalong victory!(5) Have fun.(6) Start and end anytime(within a one month minimum). You don't have to start at the beginning of a month just pick a date spanning 30 days and you're ready to roll!

For my challenge, I've set a timeframe of 2 months beginning today and will assign myself two off days. My end date will be April 12th or so, need to look this up and count out 60 days. LOL During this time I will not buy any yarn, I will only purchase supplies ~ I need needles ~ and use my free day to consider sales. Since my income is not enhanced by an outside job any longer, I will have to be very frugal and picky when I do shop. I have decided to begin small and use up the following stash first:

2 balls of navy blue ~ red heart worsted weight (8 oz total)
2 balls of true red ~ lion brand jiffy mohair (appx 5 ozs)
1 ball of dark blue ~ walmart worsted weight (appx 3oz)
1 ball of red w/silver ~ don't know very fine (appx 3oz)
1 ball of royal blue ~ don't know worsted weight (appx 2oz)
1 ball of soft green ~ caron simply cotton (appx 2oz)
1 ball of soft white ~ caron simply cotton (appx 1oz)

Here is a pic of my starting stash! very small but its a start ~ sorry its a little dark.

I have begun knitting the red w/silver and it looks like it will make a nice child size scarf. This is a first for me in many years. I learned to knit sometime when I was 12yos but have never really done any consistent knitting. I taught my oldest dd the basics, translate patterns for her but pretty much she has taught herself the rest. I actually had to get her help tonight for my first project in selecting appropriate needles. I selected the above stash because they have been around for over a year and I thought they would make quick easy projects. Also it would allow me to keep to my plan of not buying anything other than needed tools even on my free day. I started out with size 17 needles but they were too big for the fine yarn and switched to 13 needles. It is working up very nicely, if I may say so myself ~ being that I am a novice at this, really have no clue. :D

Here is a preliminary pic:

*I'll trying taking these again tomorrow in natural lighting. My digital cam isn't that great.

Here is my list of what I hope to use the selected stash for:
1. scarves ~ at least 2
2. afghan squares for charity projects ~ at least 3
3. dishclothes ~ maybe 2
4. hmm, still thinking especially since I'm really new to this

Well, thats all for now. I need to post on the Stashalong site so that everyone knows what I'm doing. I think this will be great fun. I'm learning something new, I am clearing out some stuff ~ gotta love the declutter aspect ~ and making new friends. This is simply great.

Have a wonderful evening!

What joy....

I'm having so much fun, I can't keep it to myself. You know I mentioned that I was actually blogging over on blogger and that I had considered joining a few knitting groups. Well, I did and I am enjoying both. I just got accepted to Stashalong and am looking forward to my first challenge, with fear and trembling. I am writing my post here because I was updating my template and love my blog so much. I really do like the ease of use at blogger but I love my blog here. Too many choices and so little time. I am considering joining a swap or two but I'm going to pray about it. I may just wait and see how being apart of KTC and SAL works out.

Anywhoo, I am off to determine which challenge I will accept, type up my stash inventory, work on my preemie hat and listen to a book on cd, then I will heat dinner up and clip/organize my coupons. Oh, the joy of being home and enjoying my life again. I am even enjoying hsg my dc again. Yeah me!

Oh, I also wanted to tell you all about a blog I just found, more specifically the blogger's post on dyeing yarn. Checkout Knitting Rose's site
here, she's even introduced me to the Sockret Pal Swap ~ sounds like such fun. I've never done this and it looks so easy and the yarn is simply lovely. Is it really easy to do this? Can I do this at home ~ you know that saying "don't try this at home kids?!" Ok, I'm a little silly but its alright, I'm allowed every once in awhile. I'm looking forward to doing new things and making my home beautiful using my hands.

Have an awesome day!

~at our homestead~
Sounds ~ rainfall, classical music ~ Corelli
Smells ~ burning wood, homemade iced tea
My hands ~ soft yello preemie hat (its so pretty)
Plans ~ dinner, lesson plans and book selections
Mood ~ wonderfully happy and content

~ New Pursuits ~

I think its time to transition to using this blog regularly. I am very happy with using Blogger, especially the simplicity of having my multiple blogs at one location. It keeps things simple, convenient and efficient. Unforunately, over at my other blog, I am not able to run my feed yet. I may have to change the layout of the blog which I would rather not do. If it doesn't work, I may have to transfer everything and say goodbye. I don't really have the time or patience to post at both places anymore. For a season, I'll linked to this site like I do for my homeschool blog. One day I'll get around to transferring my older posts but for now ~ without further ado, I want to talk about my new pursuits.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am no longer working outside the home. Yeah! I am now schooling my dc full-time and have started a home business. I will be working on projects at home, spending time w/my online support groups and I just joined a couple of new endeavors. One of them is called Knit the Classics. Oh, this looks like great fun though I will be learning as I go since I learned to knit years ago and haven't done anything with it since nor created more than a potholder. This group reads a book and then creates a project in relation to the story. I am so excited because I've never done anything like this and if knitting doesn't work, I can crochet. Yippee! I am also considering joining a group called Stashalong ~ I am not sure if I can handle this one though it would help me curb my spending habit on crafts. We'll see, but stop by and visit, you'll like it I'm sure.

So off to place my hold for the March book and finish off my preemie hat I started yesterday. It is so adorable, I found it on Lion brand's website. I'll load a pic when its done, but here is the pic of the completed hat I mentioned earlier:

Friday, February 09, 2007

~ Been a long time ~

This is the title of my recent entry over at HSB2.
Stop by and take a peek. Talk w/you soon.

Thursday, February 01, 2007