Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Catching up (and 10 on Tuesday)

Oh my goodness! It has been way too long since I actually blogged about knitting! So here's for catching up...

So what have I been doing? I'm working on my Sidewinder bag... no pics of that right now, but it's coming along. I'm shaping the body of the bag right now. Only about 100 rows left! Then I can sew it together and felt it!

I'm loving working on cables. Here is my first cable for my needles case...

And here are a couple more cables. I've gotten quite a good bit done on the first cable strap - and then I dropped a needle behind the sofa, and I haven't gotten it out yet. Just laziness - that's all that is.
The Booga Bag KAL that I did with my amazing sock knitting friend turned out really well. Here are a couple pictures of it... I gave it to my mom and she loves it!
Tomorrow is my brother's birthday - happy birthday, Bucko! I'm proud of myself - today I planned, designed, purchased the yarn, frogged it twice, and completed his gift. A way-too-big armband that says "I heart robots." Because he does. I hope his arm is a lot bigger than mine. Because otherwise it won't fit. Maybe he can wrap it around one of his robots. Here are some pictures.... I was not smart because I didn't get pics of the pattern before I sewed it up. I'm learning as I go, people.
Next time - I'm going to take some pictures of the yarn that I got in my Mystery Bag from Discount Yarn Sale. Can you guess the percentage of the yarn I got that I might actually use vs. the amount I really can't stand?
And now....
10 Greatest Accomplishments in Your Life
Thanks, Yano.
In no particular order (only in which they popped into my mind).
1. Giving birth to my son.
2. Becoming a college professor at age 22.
3. Getting my Master's degree at age 23.
4. Owning a home by age 25.
5. Getting married.
6. Singing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus under Robert Shaw - while in high school.
7. Being the only one of my friends in high school who drove a stick shift.
8. Being a stay-at-home-mom.
9. Getting promoted at work.
10. Getting chosen to go to Senegal and Africa to represent my company.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

10 on Tuesday

Great list, Yano! I love pictures - and I love taking pictures. Unfortunately, these are not all my best (apparently, when you don't visit the old Ofoto website enough, they cancel your account and you can lose all the pictures you uploaded there. Luckily, I have the pictures on CDs.... now where to find the CDs???) but I like them. WARNING: They are Big Boy heavy.

This is Big Boy's new running style. I love the arms behind the back.

This is my Hubby's Granny as she saw Yankee Field for the first time in her life. This was a special 80th birthday gift - the whole family (including us Braves fans) got tickets and took her to a game.
This is a big-smiling Big Boy at about 4 months old.
I love this self-portrait of the Big Boy and me.

At the zoo....

This was Big Boy's birth announcement picture...

A child in Senegal.

I tried for months to get good close-ups of our sugar gliders. Here was the first one that was decent.

When Hubby was going to be a massage therapist (for a living - he still is a massage therapist, only non-practicing. Rather, he practices only on me.), we were looking for some black-and-white photos for his brochures, etc. I took this one of him massaging my foot, and I really liked it, though he never used it.

Another picture of children in Senegal - they were dancing and singing for money.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I've been tagged!

This is the first time I've been tagged.... I don't know if I even know 7 people to tag myself... Amanda tagged me. And this was just after I'd read the other Amanda's blog entry with her random facts....

Here are the rules:
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.

7 Random Facts about me (I'll try to make these different than the 10 Things Most People Don't Know About You entry that I did a while ago):

1) My favorite ice cream in the world is mint chocolate chip. Specifically, it used to be Edy's Mint Chocolate Chips! but then they changed the chips... and it changed the whole ice cream. I'm still looking for a replacement for #1.

2) I have played the piano, flute, bassoon, oboe, clarinet, and saxophone. The last 3, not so well ever, and the first 3, not so well anymore.

3) I have a problem with my hair. I can never decide how I want it to be. It's always in different stages of growing out, and it always drives me crazy.

4) I am going to be a professional organizer. Really. I'm taking a class on Monday to become a contractor for a local company, Space Matters. I'm so excited!

5) I lust after nice, lush, green yards. My yard is terrible - I don't think there's a single blade of actual grass is my entire half-acre lot. Literally. It's all weeds. I long for the day when Big Boy and I can run on nice green grass. One day....

6) I like bananas but I hate banana-flavored things.

7) Being a stay-at-home mom is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

I'm tagging Kellie, Eileen, Flavio, Becka, Jennifer, Michael, and alisonwonderland.

I'm tired, so I'm going to lay down for a bit. When I get up, I'll post about my finished Booga Bag and my first cables!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The "What Have You Done" Knitting Meme

Thanks to Katydid Knits for this list! I think this is a good indicator of how far I have to go.... I'm still such a new knitter!!!

Here's the key: Bold for stuff I've done, italics for stuff I plan to do one day, and normal for stuff I'm not planning on doing. Some of this stuff, I'm not sure why I'd want to do it... I guess the understanding will come in time...

Afghan/Blanket (baby sized)
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down

Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn

Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dyeing with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn

Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting

Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living

Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn

Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

10 on Tuesday

10 Songs That Make You Sad - topic courtesy of Yano

1) Tears From Heaven - Eric Clapton (I stole this from Yano's own list, but seriously, this makes me cry).
2) Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something (this song reminds me of a specific a time in my life that just makes me sad).
3) (Don't Go Chasing) Waterfalls - TLC (see above reason for #2 - same time in my life)
4) Don't Drink the Water - Dave Matthews Band
5) Mrs. Otis Regrets - Ella Fitzgerald
6) Thy hand, Belinda/When I am Laid to Rest - Purcell (from Dido and Aeneas)
7) La mamma morta - Giordano (from Andrea Chenier) (this and the one above were both songs I sang as an opera major. I almost always cried when I sang then - they just wiped me out. The song La mamma morta I found when watching the movie Philadelphia - It's the one Tom Hanks' character is listening to when he's hooked up to the IV and walking around - I bawled watching the movie and I just knew I had to sing it.)
8) Everybody Hurts - REM
9) Cry Me a River - Harry Connick, Jr.
10) The Long and Winding Road - The Beatles

Monday, May 14, 2007


What a weekend. In good and bad ways.... We had a wonderful time seeing family this weekend - with Mother's Day and my niece's birthday in the same weekend, we all saw plenty of each other! And I ate a lot. I'm serious - a lot. But Dad made blue-cheese-stuffed burgers - need I say more? And then all the birthday cake and cheesecake just sitting around? Man oh man! The worst part of the weekend was I spend it all in an allergy-induced fog. Bluh.

I did get to knit a bit over the weekend. I finished up the body of the Booga Bag and started the I-cord. See?

Sorry about the fuzzy pic. It appears I have a jumpy hand when taking pics with no flash. I only have a couple more feet to knit on the I-cord, and then I can felt it all! I'm going to felt the body of my needle case at the same time.

Then I remembered that the baby hat I need to make is for a baby shower this next weekend. So I started back up with that one and I have a couple inches of it done.

I'm excited about this next weekend - my mommies group is having a yard sale. So if you're in the Richmond area, come and check it out. I'm excited about this for so many reasons.

  • I get to reclaim my guest room from the piles and piles of things that have invaded.
  • I get to shop everyone else's things. I love yard sale shopping! (this may directly conflict with the above reason, but I promise I'll only buy what I need.)
  • I'm taking my knitting with me, so when I'm not shopping or selling, I'll be getting some work done!

So this week I need to figure out which knitting project to take. I might take the cables from my needles case - that will be a small and pretty portable project.

Also up this week - finally getting my tomatoes in the ground. We'll see how that goes... I'm an enthusiastic but very un-experienced gardener.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

To read about knitting...

It's almost as good as knitting itself, I've discovered. A blog I read the other day put it very nicely....
I'm convinced that half the knitting thing is in the dreaming and if you don't do a bit of dreaming and aching or whatever it is that you do when you spot a pattern or a skein, a hank, or a ball, then all you have on your hands is a bit of wool and a couple of needles.
Click here to read more. I completely agree. While she was talking about going through her stash and thinking of what she had origianlly planned with certain yarns, I love the dreaming that comes with looking through books and at patterns. This is mostly because I am not very yarn-saavy yet. I cannot look at a yarn and think "Oh, sweater!" yet. Yet. Hopefully I will get there.

But I think a large part of my dreaming comes from the desire to do bigger and better things. Baby hats and felted bags are fun, but when I flipped through Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits, I almost cried from the beauty of it all (granted, a lot of my dreaming about those patterns also involves my dreams for a pre-baby body).

I want to knit everything in this book. Everything.

I also see a lot of things coming from One Skein Wonders, since I have a propensity to pick up a skein of yarn and go, not really realizing you need more than one skein to knit a sweater or a bag.

So those are 2 of my new knitting books. I also purchased Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook and The Knitting Answer Book. The latter will stay in my knitting bag as a reference. I've already looked into it a couple of times.

THEN, when I was running into Ben Franklin's to pick up some new circs to work on the Booga Bag again, I was lured by their 50% off table (I mean, who isn't?). I thought that even if I found some little scrapbooking things it would be cool (I did - I found some stickers). Well, guess what else I found for 50% off? 3 different issues of knit.1!!! I got the Summer 2006 Art issue, the Winter 2006/2007 Love Issue, and the Spring 2007 Sport Issue, all for under $3 each. Fun fun fun! I'm not sure how many items I'll knit out of them, but now I know what they're about, and they have some cool things in there, besides patterns. For instance, did you know that knitting burns 103 calories an hour?!? YAY!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Not doing so well...

I need to have some encouraging projects done... I am tired of making mistakes and disasters. First the Paris Loop, now the baby hat from the Land of Giant Babies....

I am going to a baby shower in a week, and I wanted to give another cute little baby hat, because the first one was so well-received - plus, it was a really easy knit!!! I didn't have enough of that yarn to make another one (they aren't telling if they're having a boy or a girl, so I figured another beige hat would be in order). So I picked up one of the numerous balls of the Lion Brand Microspun that I picked up a little while ago.... and I cast on more stitches than I had with the first hat, because the Microspun is a DK weight and the Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds yarn that I used for the first hat is a bulky. It made sense to me at the time.

The Microspun was easier to knit now that I wasn't doing a lace pattern with it. Maybe the larger needle helped, too. But... this is no baby hat. It fits me. Plus, it's all loose and floppy, so the little points don't stick up the way they should.

I should look on each of these times as a learning experience. I learned how to do the Kitchener's stitch on this hat. Look - see how wonky the stitches to the right are? And then when I figured it out, see how pretty the stitches to the left are? so nice....

And I'm moving on. I started the Booga Bag I'm doing as a KAL with my really cool friend. Luckily, she was online last night when I needed help... a quick email to her helped me realize I needed to bite the bullet and frog it - already! I was knitting away, when I started thinking it was knitting up really tight for a felted bag.... I thought I was knitting on a 10.5 circ needle like the pattern called for, but no... I was using a size 10. And I knit tight anyway. So she held my hand through the decision to frog the body of the bag. It's a tough one for me (see #3 on my list here). But I did it. All the way down to the bottom of the bag. Then I realized that the size 11 circ needle I was going to start back up with (yes, I'm going larger!) is too long - it's a 29" circ, and there's no way the bag will space out over 29 inches. So I get to go and buy a new circ needle today. The bag is currently resting on some size 7 dpns. Here it is before I frogged it.

I didn't get too far, thankfully. I love this colorway! The purple color going from the green to the dark purple is... forgive me for waxing poetic... is like a cool mist. So beautiful!

On a good note - I did finish the body of my needles case. I wanted to wait until the Booga Bag was done to felt them both together, but I don't know if I can wait that long. Now onto my first cables!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

10 on Tuesday

This is a good one, Yano! I wish this was happening in a couple weeks, though, when I can actually reveal a big secret to the world... in the meantime, satisfy yourselves with this...

10 Things Most People Don't Know About You

1. I can sing 2 tones at one time. This is not a common thing - the only other people I know of that can do this are a group of monks in Tibet. I do not sound pretty when I do this - I used to freak out my roommates when I did it (we were all music majors).

2. I hate deep water. There are too many unknowns involved - do you really know what's under you? Do you really know how you would survive if something happened to you out on the ocean?

3. I am a perfectionist, but sometimes my desire for a complete project outweighs my desire for perfection. Take my knitting - when I make a mistake, I do not always go back to correct it. A lot of times, I want to hold a complete item in my hand more than I want to hold a perfect item. Hopefully this will change as I gain more experience in knitting - but it's been this way all my life with other things, too.

4. I want to be famous one day.

5. I make a really mean artichoke dip. Not many people around here know this yet. But I'm convinced that's why I used to get invited places... "Let's invite Leigh - maybe she'll bring her artichoke dip!"

6. I have a really good memory. Frighteningly good. I'll pretend to forget things so I don't freak people out.

7. When I go on a plane, I have to touch the plane (on the outside, when you board) and say a prayer. Otherwise, I freak out the entire flight.

8. I get obsessed easily. One day it's cloth diapers, the next it's making everything from scratch. The good thing is that I usually carry over my obsession into my life so aspects of it are continued... therefore, I still recycle, make things from scratch, am still thinking about cloth diapering, and I'm still knitting!!!

9. My first concert was the New Kids On The Block. I was in 6th grade, people!

10. I used to think I would never marry and never have kids. I used to think I was better off that way.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

It's not working the way I thought it would...

I thought it would be a wonderful idea to knit a Yoga bag for a friend after recycling a sweater for the yarn.

First of all, look at the beautiful Namaste Yoga mat bag pattern from Knitty that I found. I decided I need to knit one for me, too, because it's so beautiful. And look at how pretty the sweater looked before I started to unravel it (this is a close-up of the left-over turtleneck - the rest, well, keep on reading).

Now, look at the yarn when the sweater is unravelled. Completely shredded. I can't knit anything with that. I'm so sad - it's such a pretty color. I went ahead and bought some beautiful K1C2 Cotonade in Moss from Discount Yarn Sale to make a bag up for my friend. Too bad her birthday's tomorrow. I've already let her know it will be a late gift!

So I haven't had too much time to knit. Who could knit with this going on?

This is actually a good face. He stuffed almost a whole half of a banana in his mouth, and while I'm hysterically laughing and trying to find the camera, he starts "smiling for the camera" by schrunching up his eyes. It's a wonder I get anything done during the day!

And then, when Hubby's home, I get to watch him teach Big Boy about his magic super-powers. I think the Bare-chested Kung Fu Big Boy almost has it down!

I am still knitting on the Sidewinder bag and my needles case. Still knitting...

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

10 on Tuesday

Thanks, Yano.... This one's a hard one for me, since I'm not a political person... I hope I can come up with 10.

10 Political Figures, and What You Think of Them

1. George W. Bush: I have a hard time knowing what to think about W. As a Christian, I admire a lot of what he stands for, and I am thankful that he is a believer. I do think that there could have been a lot done differently, though, especially regarding Iraq. As a person, he seems like a nice guy - kind of a neighbor-type.

2. Eric Motley: "Who?" you might ask? He's a guy who I went to college with - I swear he will be president one day. Last thing I heard, he has worked in both the Clinton and Bush administrations (is that possible?). An over-achiever in the nicest sense of the word, he is also just a really nice guy.

3. Zell Miller: Governor of Georgia during part of my childhood. I always thought it was really cool there was a fellow "Miller" as governor. Since this was a part of my childhood, I don't know how he performed as governor, or what he stood for. I just thought it was cool.

4. Newt Gingrich: Also a part of my childhood in Georgia. When I started to be more aware politically, I remember being embarrassed that he represented Georgia in Congress.

5. Napoleon: Short, French, self-proclaimed emperor. I remember thinking he was funny in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and hating him in Les Miserables. I think anyone who had such a huge power trip and the means to wreck a country is very dangerous.

6. Al Gore: I felt bad for him when he ran against GWB, because he just looked like a stick in the mud. I do admire him for his environmental work. And for the internet. Thanks, Gore!

7. Barak Obama: I just read his book The Audacity of Hope. I really like him and what he said in the book. I would like for him to be president.

8. Hillary Clinton: I don't like her. Period. I felt very sorry for her when the whole Bill/Monica thing was going on, but now she's not even a woman anymore. She's... I don't know - I don't like her.

9. Mark Warner: I don't know what he represented as a governor of Virginia, but I like him, personally. One of his daughters was in my mother-in-laws 4th grade class while he was a governor, and my MIL always told very nice stories about him. I think he's a nice person.

10. Colin Powell: I think he should run for president one day.

OK, that's 10 - and I think that was stretching it. I'm sorry for the superficial thoughts... That's what happens when you ask a sleepy mom of a toddler to think politics!