Sunday, December 17, 2006

secret pal swag!

so, on my trip to my super nice post office early last week, i was presented with a few boxes, one of which contained my second secret pal 9 package! i wasn't even at chicago ave. yet before the box was torn open, to peek inside:

of course, i couldn't *open* all the pretty lovely presents, i had to wait until i got home that evening...and i couldn't even *belive* all the super lovely stuff i received!

super lovely gift #1:

*fabulous* knitting needle holder. with a zippered pocket inside and all! and speaking of the inside, take a look at this!

it's pink! geez, secret pal...i coudln't have made a nicer one myself! :)

super lovely gift #2:

an *absolutely gorgeous* drop stitch scarf. it's a beautiful light blue hue, with a shimmery yarn carried throughout. i was *so jealous* of this scarf that i had to start one for myself! (details following!)

super lovely gifts #3:

yarn. candy. candle. = awesome! and did i mention that i probably ate like half of the caramels before i even got to north ave.?

and take a look at this super lovely card she sent me:

isn't it the cutest thing you've ever seen?

so *thank you thank you thank you* super secret pal! once again, you're the *bestest*!

yesterday (saturday), i spent running errands. it really *isn't* a good sign when you're barely out your door, and you see those bright lime-green vest clad traffic management authority people out, directing traffic. but i did manage to get my errands done, and started swatching out my sorta copycat secret pal 9 scarf:

i started actually with an orange, which i definitely did not like (too retro-looking), and then so, since i couldn't find a suitable yarn while i was out on saturday, i decided that i'd go stash diving, and ended up liking the 3rd yarn the best. in order from left to right (if you can even see it in this completely blurry photo): first was a moss green blue sky alpacas yarn, from a previous secret pal round (too blah), the second was a pink worsted weight alpaca (too bright), and the third (and my favorite) was a kettle dyed merino in a very different pinky/mauvy color (just right. like the three bears.).

this is a totally overexposed photo, but here's a little detail of my scarf:

it'll be absolutely *fabulous* when it's done. i've already knitted one of the mohair/glimmery balls up, so, i'll probably start the 2nd while i'm waiting at the dentist's tomorrow.

i've also learned one very important lesson today:

never never never never ever buy knives that are on display

my sister and i were at bloomingdale's home store this evening, and, because they didn't have the particular knife set that i wanted in a box, the associate offered the display model. so we took it. we dragged it halfway across the city (okay, total exaggeration), and, as i was removing all of the price tags on EACH INDIVIDUAL PIECE, i found that:

a.) the block was broken.
b.) the tip of the chef's knife was bent.
c.) the tip on one of the steak knives was damaged.

and, as a final kick-in-the-butt, i decided to look up to see if my knife set was even complete. a quick visit to proved otherwise. *not only* was i missing my 8" carving knife, it was replaced with a 3" parer! *you've got to be kidding me!*

so yes, i learned my lesson. i will never buy open-box, display knives again. (not that i'll ever buy another set of knives, period.) i'm going to have to go to old orchard tomorrow to see if i can even exchange these for a set in a box. and, well, if not, i'll have a set of very nice, very sharp, knives in my hand. (just kidding on that last part.)

ah well. it's 1:37 in the morning, and i will be going to bed very soon. i've got a long day ahead of me tomorrow!

until next time!

Monday, December 11, 2006

my cats *have* to have this:

okay, fine. *i* have to have this. i don't think you understand.

in a wee bit of insomnia this evening, i somehow ended up on the ikea website, and came across this super cute cat bed. nevermind the fact that it's $60.00, and, despite the fact that my cats already have several very cool, very trendy cat beds, i just have to have it. it's the coolest thing i've ever seen. (that, and griffin will look just so adorable sitting in it. it'd be his twin!) hopefully, it's a relatively large bed. it's definitely on my list of 'things to check out' next time i'm at ikea. i'm lucky in that i actually have two ikeas that are relatively close by - in fact, they're probably equidistant. however, i've not set foot in an ikea store in probably in excess of two years. this'll soon change, my friends! :)

(did i mention that i was going to stop shopping?)

anyways, i spent my weekend cleaning my living room and setting up/decorating my christmas tree. (photos forthcoming.) last year, i had a 7' tree which i felt was too short, so, this year, i opted for my 8' tree that i bought for 75% off at target after christmas last year. it's pre-lit, so i don't have 1500+ lights (or whatever national lampoonish quantity i had on it last year, which took me a week to do), so it was pretty easy. and definitely not as blinding as last year's tree. ooh, and the ups man dropped off my restoration hardware tree skirt on friday, and, oh my gosh, it is so, so, so, so, so, so very me. i'm afraid to use it, though, because my cats have a tendency to sleep under the tree during this time of year, and i'd really hate for it to get destroyed. so, i was thinking of making a treeskirt to cover my treeskirt...ooh! or maybe i'll just get some of that vinyl stuff that people use to cover their furniture. idea! hey, it'll be tacky as hell totally protected though, right? we'll see, though. i do have an absolutely *gorgeous* treeskirt that i bought a few years ago that i *love*, so, i don't know if i'll just use that. ugh! so indecisive! i need to make up my mind!

so it was a pretty productive weekend. i cleaned my living room, put the bows on my wreaths outside (since it was relatively warm today), put up my christmas tree, and geez. i'm exhausted. photos to follow next time! until then!

Monday, December 04, 2006

shame, humbug and slack-o-rama

so it's been a few weeks since i last posted...oops! so much has happened during those two weeks, also!

first off: i'm *so* disappointed that mario lost. what a crock!

secondly: i took my first ballroom dance lesson with my boyfriend a few weeks ago. although it was a lot of fun, i think i'm going to have to trade in my ballroom shoes for a pair of steel-toed boots. (and to think...the *first* pair of shoes that i purchased were open-toed...i can't even imagine if i wouldn't have traded them for a pair of closed-toe shoes!)

third: i was off for a week before/after thanksgiving. i swore i'd clean my house. kinda didn't happen...

fourth: i swore i would clean my house this past weekend. instead, i get called up at 8 o'clock in the morning by my sister, asking if i had wanted to go up to the outlet mall in pleasant prairie, wisconsin. after debating about it for a really long time, i decided that i'd just go up there. what the heck, right? it ended up being a two-day long shopping spree, no joke. i ended up just staying at my parents' house up north saturday night! (gotta love the automatic cat feeder/waterer!)

speaking of the automatic cat waterer... two fridays ago, after coming back from an exhausting day of black friday holiday shopping (more on that later), i came home to this awful, awful screeching sound...their cat waterer had run dry, (oops!) so i refilled it (this was friday night.). anyways, i had gone out someplace on saturday, and, by the time i came home, i noticed that my carpet was wet. i figured it was probably just the little bit that had splashed out when i had refilled it (despite the fact that i had cleaned that up the night before), but, thought it was weird, so, i looked at the cat waterer. the *entire* reservoir was empty. all two freaking gallons of it. i went through nearly a dozen bath towels before going to home depot, and picking up a shop vac. apparently, they don't work all that well on carpet, but, i was able to extract a little more water from it. so i just set it on the blower function, in another futile attempt to dry my carpet. and i swear, it's a week later and my carpet is still damp. maybe not, or maybe i'm just crazy, but, i swear it is. i'm setting the space heater on it before i go to work. (just in case it is still damp. or just to settle my craziness.)

black friday was a total joke. i couldn't believe it. after perusing the ads on thursday (and receiving a list of things that i needed to purchase for my mother), i set out for kmart at 5:30 am. i figured i'd go out to the suburbs, since i could hit all the stores i had wanted to go to in one shot. so, i get to kmart at like 5:58, and there is a line of people in front of the door, at least 200 people deep! (i had no idea kmart was going to be such a hot commodity on black friday.) anyways, people were literally running into the store, and anyways, i had made it to the back of the store to pick up these tool bags that were on sale (perfect for my cordless drill & screwdriver), and this man was running around the section, and saw me holding my ad (mind you, from my thursday paper), and was like, "could i see your paper?" and i was like, "i'm sorry, i've got to run and get a few more items!" bah humbug. hey. they had a fat stack of ads in the front of the store, and if he didn't bother to grab one because he was too busy running to the tool section, well...

so then, after kmart, i headed to menard's. uuugggggghhhhh. just thinking about it makes me shiver. people were literally buying *carts full* of crap...hundreds and hundreds of items. i just had to buy my popcorn (from the list) and fake ott lamp and knife set and scram. good thing i grabbed some magazines to read from off of the shelf; i was in line for 45 minutes. unbelievable!

then came orland square mall, which was a complete, total unbelievable nuthouse. it was awful. but i got everything i wanted, except for the only chihuahua ornament that they had at field's. oops. macy's. when the lady was putting it into a box, she had dropped it, and its back feet and tail came off. great. but i have to say, they *did* ship me one from another location (go figure, state street) without any shipping charge. and, i have to say that i love getting my christmas shopping without having to leave the house. how convenient!

that was it, until i went to oakbrook later that evening, to have dinner with my boyfriend and his family...

but i won't bore you with that.

after stitches midwest, i swore i would never buy any more yarn. rrrriiiiigggghhhhttt. here's just a sample of one of my extremely shameful purchases that i've made as of late:

(this is only *part* of the package.)

i'd better not buy any more yarn anymore. my trip to my lys on tuesday had better been my last for a while. i only went there because i wanted to knit up a long, grey scarf like cristina on grey's anatomy was wearing the other week (when she went running). i *have* to have one.

and the reason i really *have* to have one is this:

you should've seen it on friday! (okay, it really isn't as bad as what they got in the suburbs. but still!) *awful, awful, awful* snow. and it's so cold that the stuff just thaws and freezes. thaws and freezes. my back stairs are a *joke*. they are deceptively fresh snow-covered ice chunks! *awful!* (but don't you just love my wreath-covered fence? i was supposed to put out ribbons and bows also, but, it *snowed*! good thing i put them out on wednesday evening, despite almost freezing solid!)

and, before i leave you for this time, i just wanted to show you my (one of my) *most most most favorite* purchase of this weekend's shopping spree:

*gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous* silver sage/brown towels for my guest bathroom. (the design really isn't me, but, the colors are, so, i just couldn't resist!)

my *most most most* favorite purchase photo is forthcoming...a christmas tree skirt from restoration hardware...i should have it by the end of the week, though!

that's it for now, folks! stay warm! (i'm trying to!)

p.s. i received an e-mail from our sp9 hostess, stating that my pal's e-mails are having a hard time coming through... i've not seen anything come through lately (or get stuck in my spamblocker), so, secret pal, if you're reading this and trying to contact me, please do so again and i will make sure to add you to my "allowed" list (although i thought i did before!)! anyways...we'll figure it out! yay! :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

i'm voting for mario.

what a hottie! whoo-hoo! and boy, can he dance!

so i've been such a slacker lately. i know. i'm blaming mario. actually, no, i'm not. i'm blaming the show - dancing with the stars - for my lack of blogging as of late. i've really never followed the show, until my mom and i were watching it on halloween - and i was hooked. and now, i'm determined to take ballroom dance lessons. in fact, i'm so determined to take ballroom dance lessons that:

a.) i've persuaded to convince my boyfriend to accompany me, solely by my enthusiasm

b.) i've already bought ballroom dance shoes

c.) i've already researched where and when we will be taking lessons. (starting next week!)

how about that?!? but anyways. in all my efforts in getting my ballroom dance lessons underway, i've been a total slacker in the blogger world lately. so...let's get caught up on things!

a few weeks ago, i picked up a *fabulous* - and i mean *fabulous* package at the post office from my knitters tea swap pal! so, i opened up the box, and, i find this cute little pink shopping bag (that will work perfectly for a lunch bag):

whoo-hoo! we're off to a good's pink! :)

but inside, there was goodie after goodie:

most importantly, the yarn:

this soft-as-anything, 55% mohair/45% merino hand dyed yarn from maple creek farm, in the colorway 'pretty in pink'. *absolutely gorgeous*. i've got 490 yards of this baby - i've not decided on a project for it as of yet, but, this stuff'll be absolutely *fabulous* once it's knitted up, with the slight variations and all...

so i got the yarn. and what else does she spoil me with? a lantern moon yarn/project tote, no less! (i swear, sarah must've been reading my mind every time i saw the little project bag - i wanted to buy one, but never did, as i always convince myself that i could 'make a better one'. let's forget the fact that my halloween tote turned out inside-out. i *still* could make a better one.)

so that's just the tip of the iceberg.

in addition to the yarn and the lantern moon bag, i got all kinds of treats:

i got chocolates. bochox chocolates. sigh. so much for another birthday! :)

and of course, the requisite tea:

an assam and an irish breakfast. my two absolute faves! (i like this 'send what they like' thing!) and some honey sticks. and a 'tea for two' kit, which included the *cutest* little tea balls, so cute that i had to photograph them:

that's them, sitting on the little tea ball holder, next to a quarter, to show you the size! *adorable*!

and i really thought that was it. until i was taking out the last of the tissue out of the bag, and found a silver teapot-shaped teabag holder (which, unfortunately, my camera ran out of batteries before i could photograph it.) again, sarah must've been reading my mind, because i've seriously *wanted* one of these for a *really long time now*. that, or she secretly sees me putting my tea bags on folded-up paper towels, and having a soggy mess to clean up later. (this happens on a near daily basis. and i know i could use a plate or a dish or something other than a paper towel.)

and if you're curious to find out who this awesome chick is who sent me all this stuff, it's sarah (as if you didn't know already!) *thank you thank you thank you thank you!*

the funny thing is, is that sarah immediately e-mailed me at the beginning of the knitters tea swap exchange, she had mentioned that she was going to go to the new york sheep & wool festival at the end of the month, and asked if it were okay if she sent my package out late... of course, when i hear the words, 'sheep and wool festival', i get extremely jealous (despite the fact that i didn't even know what it was but it sounded fabulous nonetheless) and was like, "no problem! none at all! actually, i'd really *love* if you get my secret present from there!" and geez. good thing i'm not an impatient person... (at least not *all* the time...) :)

so thank you again, sarah - you are the *greatest*! *greatest!* (*seriously!*)

so, as for everything else exciting in my life, well, it's pretty much the same old, same old. i'm very excited though, because in addition to starting my ballroom dance lessons next week, i'll be taking a ballet class starting in january. how exciting! it's been a good five years since i've actually been in a formal class, so, we'll see how this goes... (flexibility? what's that?!?) but, i'm excited nonetheless. i was even able to pick up my ballet slippers as well when i got my ballroom dance shoes! (talk about killing two birds with one stone!) and sunday, instead of *cleaning* like i said i was going to, what did i find myself doing? knitting? nah... i was sewing my elastics on my ballet slippers! oh my gosh! stop me now! i'm obsessed! (hmm...if only i could take this enthusiasm and apply it to other areas of my life...)

well anyways, i just remembered i have to go in early to work tomorrow, so, that'll be it for this time!

hugs! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

happy (belated) halloween!

okay...i meant to post these earlier this week, but, i was (and still am) recovering from my self-inflicted sweatshop from last thursday-friday-saturday. just as i was finishing up my bonnet for my halloween costume (two hours before the party! eek!), the doorbell rang, and my mail lady dropped me off a package containing these very colorful and autumn-ish gifts:

(i actually didn't even unwrwap each piece for a day or two, because i wanted to photograph just how cute and nicely wrapped they were!)

but then, when i unwrapped them...look what they contained!

pumpkin muffin mix, a cute candy corn mug, just filled with assorted candies, a bar of handmade oatmeal soap, and the nicest yarn ever - i don't have the skein close at hand, but, it's this absolutely fabulous pinky/rosey/burgundy-ish yarn that is just *yearning* to be knit into a hat. (cabled, of course.)

so, thank you *sooo much* secret pal...your package was a very welcomed surprise to a very stressful saturday! (did i mention that, i was up sewing until 6:17 am saturday morning, to have to go in to work at 9:00 am?)

anyways. the fruits of my labor (and why i decided that i am going to start my halloween costumes in *june* next year):

they came out surprisingly well, although i look about 50 lbs. heavier because of my elasticized (non-fitted) dress...but that's okay. as i was cutting out my original pattern the weekend before last, i realized that the whole fitted (darts, zippers, gathering) thing was just *not* going to work because a.) i have no idea how to do them (properly, at least), and b.) i had no time at all. but, despite all the problems i had (everything that could have went wrong did) and the realization that i had purchased the *wrong* faux suede-ish fabric for the indian costume, they ended up turning out pretty okay. (fraying fringes and all.) but i learned my lesson, though. next year? i'm *definitely* starting in june.

so a post from me just wouldn't be a post from me if there were no complaining involved, right? today's drama involved a situation at work that i wasn't even involved in, got thrown in the middle of, and subsequently ended up getting blamed for. such my luck. it actually was such an awful, traumatizing event that, after i got home, i immediately logged on to and purchased the following two books:

1.) coping with difficult people: the proven-effective battle plan that has helped millions deal with the troublemakers in their lives at home and at work


2.) a survival guide for working with humans: dealing with whiners, back-stabbers, know-it-alls, and other difficult people

*maybe* just *maybe* i can get some insight into this whole thing. and maybe i can learn a thing or two! (or at least manipulate the situation to my advantage!) sigh. the drama. just thinking about it gets me all worked up again! here's to everything settling down and working themselves out!

keep your fingers crossed...until next time...

oh, and p.s.: i've decided that i'm not going to buy unnecessary stuff anymore. my house is *so filled* with stuff that *was not here* when i moved in (a year and a half ago). we'll see how long this lasts...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

i must have some kind of sickness.

yesterday, while on my lunch hour, i went over to nordstrom rack, where they had an entire wall of scarves, hats and mittens... yes, they were very cute, but when i looked at the price tag? $12.99 for a hat? yes, that's *super* cheap...and in my non-knitting days, i would've bought it in a heartbeat. of course nooo... i could knit one that's better. (but forget the fact that the yarn *i* like would probably drive up the price at least threefold.)

case in point:

while perusing the internet last night, i came across this website called, and fell in love with one (well, multiple, but this is what was available), called 'citron baby' - it reminds me of cupcake frosting: (must've been the cupcake that i bought at sunflower market earlier this week.)

it's absolutely gorgeous, and i knew i just couldn't pass it up. but what am i going to knit out of it? a hat, of course. a hat that's three times the price! :) oh well. i *lurve* it.

anyways, this past monday was my birthday, and, my boyfriend and i were going to go out to dinner after he picked me up after work... so, i opened my presents (build-a-bear chippendale cow...he's cute, but only wearing a bowtie and carrying a box of chocolates and roses, hence the 'chippendale') and flowers (of course) - which i actually took a photo of, but forgot to upload it for this post - but, he was super sleepy, so i told him that we'd just go 'next time'. it's okay. after running a stop sign, and then almost hitting this woman in the crosswalk, it was definitely for the better. he got home, and (almost) immediately went to bed. sheesh!

ok...time for work...until next time!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

i can't here are my answers for:

a honor of tali's first birthday! (happy birthday!)

1. where is your favorite knitting spot?

anywhere and everywhere! i've actually found that the time i spend on the cta has been a great help - i actually *have* fo's now!

2. if you suddenly could never knit again (shudder) - what would you do instead?

i'd take up piano lessons again. learn how to sew really well. and i'd *master* the craft of baking really, really, really delicious goodies.

3. if you could travel anywhere in the world - where would you go and why?

i'd love to go to ireland - i'd love to see two things: the sheep and the yarn!

4. when you were little - what did you want to do "when you grew up?" are you doing it?

one of the things i wanted to be was a lawyer. and no, i'm not doing it.

5. what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

strawberry or apple pie

Sunday, October 15, 2006

(i actually have a few finished projects to show off, but, with all the excitement of the going-ons today, i totally forgot to photograph them! next time, i promise!)

so with my birthday coming up (next monday), i told my boyfriend that i wanted to go to the pumpkin farm that was advertised on a few billboards along i-55 and lagrange rd. on the way to his place - and he agreed to take me. anyways, i guess he talked to a few people, and found out that this one in hobart, indiana - county line orchard - was *way* better, so, we ended up taking a little trip out to indiana yesterday morning... what a fun morning it was!

we took the little tractor ride out around the place, and went out through the apple orchards...since it was so late in the season, there were only a few varieties left, and i was unimpressed with everything but the suncrisp apples - totally delicious! (kinda similar to my beloved honeycrisp) we ended up picking a few dozen of those. (as my boyfriend says, they're totally fresh off the tree!) we headed to the little 'pumpkin patch' nearby, and picked up a few small pumpkins, and this is the part that cracks me up... when you're finished with your apple and pumpkin picking, you go to this little tent at the front of the orchard so you can weigh & pay...and we were behind this dad, son and grandma that had this wagon with *two* bushels of apples. they weighed the first one, and it was like 28 pounds, the other was like 36. and while they were doing this, the grandma was like, "how much are the apples per pound?" and had this kinda astonished look on her face... anyways, the point of my little story is these people had like $80+ worth of apples, and i really don't think they had intended on spending that much. but what are you supposed to do? say, "oh, let me take some of these out...i didn't want this much..." anyways, after weighing and paying (and, i should add that we weren't surprised by our amount) we dragged our apples and pumpkins back to the car, and then headed to this little petting zoo that they had in the back...i wish i would have brought my camera! you feed these goats and lambs and llamas this seed stuff from your hand, and let me tell you - these guys loved it! a goat even bit my hand (not hard) because he was so excited - and i didn't even have any feed at that point! (we still had to go and buy some!) i even bottle-fed a baby calf (ella) out of this *giant* baby was the cutest thing *ever*. (again! the camera!) so, after that, we went and had lunch from their little outdoor grill, and then our last stop for the day was back inside their big red barn where we picked up a few things and i also bought a apple cookbook - i mean, what *else* am i going to do with 9# of apples? (actually, i probably only ended up with boyfriend kept some.) so this afternoon, i came home, and started my little project:

apple streudel muffins, from my apple cookbook! (they did turn out quite delicious, if i may say so myself!)

okay...well, i have a knitters tea swap package to prepare and i'm gearing up for sp9 tonight...until next time!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

secret pal 9 questionnaire!

since i can't we go!

1. what is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? what fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

i like wools, especially "different" ones (think: colinette) and handpainted yarn as well. i don't really like acrylics and "novelty" yarn such as eyelash or fun fur -that type of thing.

2. what do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

i'm using this bucket from garrett's popcorn. i'd love to be more organized and sew up a knitting needle organizer of some sort (so i can actually *find* my needles when i need them!), it's just that i have *so many* needles that i'd have to make an organizer for every kind (ie. shorts, longs, bamboo, birch, bryspun, etc.)

3. how long have you been knitting & how did you learn? would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

i've been knitting for a few years (maybe three?) now. my mom had orignally shown me how to cast on and knit, however, by the time i actually *did* these things, i had totally forgotten. so, i bought one of those long, chunky scarf kits with my 40% coupon at michael's, and taught myself from there. i would consider my level to be intermediate.

4. do you have an amazon or other online wish list?

yes, i do.

5. what's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

i'm super-sensitive to all body products that are scented, but i absolutely *love* bath and body work's 'sweet vanilla sugar' scent for candles and home fragrancing oils. i also love 'birthday cake' fragrance as well!

6. do you have a sweet tooth? favorite candy?

oh my gosh, yes! i absolutely *love* those brach's caramels from the bulk bins. they're the best! ooh! and i love cupcakes, too!

7. what other crafts or do-it-yourself things do you like to do? do you spin?

sewing. i just upgraded my singer (that i just bought) to a viking. i'm not that *serious*, but i guess i am a bit ambitious.

8. what kind of music do you like? can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a cd)

i *love* soundtracks (grey's antatomy - the best music *ever*!), musicals, and i guess what they'd consider to be "pop" or "top 40" as well.

9. what's your favorite color(s)? any colors you just can't stand?

i absolutely *lurve* pink, or a pink/brown combination, or a blue/brown combination... i also love the "fall" palette when it comes to handpainted yarns, and i absolutely adore the color silver sage, especially when it's combined with a khaki or taupe color (like my tiles!)

10. what is your family situation? do you have any pets?

my two cats, madeline & griffin, allow me to live with them. (sometimes.)

11. do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

i definitely wear hats, scarves and mittens. not too much into the poncho thing, though...

12. what is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

probably hats and scarves. they're so quick to knit up.

13. what are you knitting right now?

i'm currently *obsessed* with cabled hats, so, i have two on the needles currently, and i'm sure i'll have more very soon. (i've made two so far in the past month or so.) i'm also knitting this scarf from french girl, which i've been knitting *forever*. (i started last thanskgiving, ripped it back, and, am in the middle of it again just now.)

14. do you like to receive handmade gifts?

yes, absolutely!

15. do you prefer straight or circular needles? bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

i usually knit on shorter (10") needles if my project allows it; and i absolutely *love* brittany birch needles. i also like bamboo, and am really liking bryspun for my lace-y projects. i *love* addi turbos for circulars.

16. do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

yes, both. bring on the yarn in skeins, baby!

17. how old is your oldest ufo?

so old, that i can hardly remember. i don't think i ever finished my *first* project (after the scarf-from-a-kit) when i first started knitting, of a hat/scarf/mitten set in a super bulky weight yarn.

18. what is your favorite holiday?


19. is there anything that you collect?

does yarn count? :) i have amassed a small collection of maneki-nekos, and really, that's almost all that i collect (although my house is just *filled* with stuff...)

20. any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? what knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

i'm always dying to get my hands on something new; i just saw colinette's 'skye' in the 'dark umber' colorway at this yarn shop (it was part of a kit), but, it's absolutely, absolutely gorgeous. i would also love some 'lobster pot' yarn, in their slightly variegated pink color, although i can't seem to find the non-cashmere version anywhere. also, i'd love to have this cabled beanie knitting kit. i currently do not have any knitting magazine subscriptions; i usually just buy them if there are enough patterns inside that strike my fancy!

21. are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

i'd really love how to knit continental-style. it'd make my ribbing on all of my hats go so much more quickly!

22. are you a sock knitter? what are your foot measurements?

no, i'm not a sock knitter. small needles scare me. (i'm doing a hat on a #6 right now, and it's taking me *forever*.) that, and the fact that i lose all my socks. but i do wear a size 8 shoe, though!

23. when is your birthday? (mm/dd)

october 23! right after all this fun begins! yay!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

happy anniversary!

today marks our (my boyfriend & i) one-year anniversary. woo-hoo! in celebration, we went to go and see "hamlet" at the chicago shakespeare theater at navy pier last night. since i only live in the city and have *never* been to navy pier previously, after we saw the play, we walked around navy pier a bit to check it out, and of course, no visit to navy pier is complete without a ride on the ferris wheel:

i can't believe a year has gone by so quickly! happy anniversary, baby!

Monday, September 25, 2006

it's monday already? seriously?

the weekend went by way too fast! it was a 'lil hectic, though, for a, as i enjoy my breakfast of my farmer's market poundcake and a diet coke, let's recap!

friday night, i couldn't sleep worth anything; i ended up going to be about 3 am or so, to be woken up by the loud, crinkling sound:

6 am and yup... that's a hole in the bag. my cats (particularly griffin) are very good at finding food to eat. i think he's a little upset that the vet told us last sunday that they had to go on a diet. (i should also be included on that diet.) nonetheless, he found a little shopping bag with some samples of food that my sister had gotten for us at a street fair recently... sneaky, sneaky!

so, at that point, i'm up, and decide that i'll head on over to the farmer's market. just the usual stuff:

baked goods

honeycrisp apples. yay!

and a treat for myself (as if all the yarn i've bought recently *isn't* enough):

pink flowers

so i actually was *productive* for the rest of the morning; i cleaned up my kitchen (i mean, *really* cleaned...i even polished my stainless steel stuff!), but then right before i was about to jump in the shower, i noticed griffin laying on my bed, acting weird. and then he got up to use the litterbox, and he was straining. i called the vet's office, and they told me they had walk-in appointments from 2:00 to i jumped in and took a quick shower, packed griffin up, and by the time we signed onto the walk-in clipboard, it was 2:13. not too bad, considering that a.) it was raining, and b.) i could hardly find parking. so we sat. and we sat. and eventually, i let griffin out of his kennel because he was crying so much. but he just sat next to me on the bench. and i got a whole lot of knitting done. so much so, that i ran out of yarn. (i didn't think that i was going to have to wait *that* long. but that's okay.)

yes, that's the french girl scarf. again. i'm determined to finish it this time.

anyways, back to griffin. the urinalysis came back showing crystals. uh-oh. i was sent home with special food and antibiotics. my sister called me on sunday morning, and was asking me about the food (because she knows i only feed my cats the really good, human-grade foods from the specialty pet store), and so i was reading her the ingredients off of the back of the can...and then i noticed:

oops. i bought the *dog* kind! and to think that i had just fed them a spoonful the evening before, and they *ate it up*! (go figure!)

so that began my errands for sunday: a.) go to this yarn store in the city that i haven't been to before so i could buy a #10 16" circular needle; b.) go to exchange the *dog* food for *cat* and c.) go to pick up my mom's prescription. easy-schmeasy.

about this yarn store: i went there once, and i will probably *never* go back there *again*. *again!* so yes...they have a pretty large, organized selection of reasonably-priced yarns. they have patterns there that i've not seen before. but their staff? (well, the one little punk-rocky girl that was working there, with presumably, the owner?) forget it. first, we got into it about this yarn that, the gauge given was #3.5 stitches per inch on a #10 needle. right or wrong, she *insisted*...i mean *insisted* that it was a worsted weight. (and i mean, worsted weight. not like heavy worsted. just worsted weight.) to me, that gauge and needle size suggest to me a chunky weight. or maybe even a heavy worsted. but definitely *not* a worsted weight. who knows; i could be wrong. i probably am. but i've never knit up a true worsted weight on a #10 needle. so whatever. and then so i'm finally done looking around, and after she's done ringing me out, she proceeds to tell me just how much she hates using the needles i was buying (bryspun). umm...honey. you try doing a p3tog with a pair of brittany birch. sure, it'll happen, but the points on the bryspun just make it so much easier. whatever!

despite the drama, though, i was able to pick up a skein of unlabeled farmhouse yarn on sale and started to knit up my chunky cabled beanie (which i will make longer, into a hat) during the last half of desperate housewives last night:

it's a bit 'masculine', the color, it is - but i really liked how they had that hint of bluey-green in the mix. it's a bit rough to knit with on my #10.5 circ, but i'm sure it'll prove to be a warm-warm-warm hat this winter. (that is, if i *finish* it.)

speaking of somewhat (99%) finished projects, here is my basic cable hat from stitch 'n bitch nation:

it's knit out of lorna's laces shepherd worsted in the colorway child's play - and it's probably one of the softest and easiest to knit with yarns that i've come across so far. and the hat looks weird because well, it's only 99% finished. i still have to attach the pompom to the top and then weave in my bottom edge. (i don't know why this last 1% is taking me so long!)

anyways...let me go and be a little productive before i head into work...

Thursday, September 21, 2006


i can't believe it. i really can't believe it. i was just talking about it, and i forgot about it. what am i talking about? grey's anatomy, of course!

i waited the entire summer for the season premiere episode. i even watched the last few episodes again on sunday in preparation! and then...

i totally forgot.

what can i say? i was just so excited about my discovery of bi-o-kleen laundry detergent at the new sunflower market on clybourn, doing laundry, and my general 'i-don't-watch-tv-anyways' that i just totally forgot. forgot! oh well. i'm sure *somebody* taped it...

but anyways. about sunflower market. clybourn's been a nightmare these past few months, with them digging it up and construction and all, so, i've had plenty of time to sit there and see that they were building it. so, on my way home from work today, and after i visited arcadia knitting (photos to follow), i decided to pop in. what a cool place! i *totally* like it better than trader joe's or whole foods. not to mention that they have a *very nice, perfectly-sized selection* of "healthier" junk food! (how about that for an oxymoron?)

as for knitting news, i finished up my cabled hat from stitch 'n bitch, and am currently re-knitting my french girl scarf (again). i bought some 'donegal tweed' yarn today to knit up another cabled hat, and am currently looking for other cabled hat ('s cabled hat) projects to start.... i'm obsessed! :)

photos coming soon!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

stash enhancement

i *heart* sundays. for some reason, i'm usually pretty productive (relatively speaking). but, when i woke up this morning, it was so dreary out. cold, dark, gloomy and rainy. so, i started doing my weekly chores, and as i was doing laundry, i realized that it'd be a good idea to go and visit one of my local yarn stores that i haven't been to yet. i received a bunch of coupons and flyers in my goodie bag from stitch 'n pitch a few weeks back, and one of those was for my sister's knits, so, after a quick google search to make sure they were open, i hopped in the car and headed over to beverly. i swear, i spent almost as much time *getting there* (dan ryan traffic? on sunday afternoon? apparently, it's not unheard of) as i did in the shop, but, it definitely was worth it. the shop is filled with just *fabulous* yarns, some which i've never seen previously, and the owner, carol, is super-sweet (as are her two dogs) and helpful!

i actually went on my yarn shop mission today with a few projects in mind (much unlike my usual lys trips), so, i was able to purchase yarn that is actually *useful* to me, instead of just drool-over gorgeous... :) but now for the best part: the photos!

'rustic' by filatura di crosa, from the sale bin. i just couldn't pass it up. can we say fabulous cabled scarf with this one?

'ritratto' by s. charles. also from the sale bin, and hence not 'passable'. for a fabulous evening shawl of some sort.

'prism' by colinette, color #84, cinnamon. utterly fabulous. i'm planning on a scarf and hat for this one. or maybe just a scarf.

'henna' by manos del uruguay, color #26, variegated purples. intended for the falling leaves scarf for my boyfriend's mom's christmas present.

'multicolor' by filatura di crosa, color 4053. absolutely gorgeous with a slight shimmer. intended for the 'misty garden' scarf from scarf style.

'magic ball' by be sweet. made by a group of women in south africa. absolutely *flippin'* gorgeous. i couldn't resist. the colors are just *so* me. this will knit up to a scarf, on #35 needles.

and for my most indulgent purchase of the day:

'kid silk haze' by rowan, color #590, pearl. intended for the 'daphne shawl' from french girl.

the overall verdict of my sister's knits? an *absolute* go-to. this store will definitely be on my list of favorite local yarn stores. yay!

(by the way, one of these days, i'll have to figure out how to do one of those flickr (is that how you spell it?) accounts that everyone has on their sidebars... that way, i can admire my stash slideshow-style!)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

can someone teach me how to crochet so i can make these, please?

are these not the *cutest* things that you've ever seen? i *need* to have a pair.

not too much to report this time around; we made a very last-minute emergency trip up to the dells over the labor day weekend, and i was able to get a bunch of progress what actually is a *lace* (yikes!) scarf - the one that i mentioned in a previous post, that i didn't realize was actually a *lace* pattern! let me tell you, i've found out that lace projects are *not* commuter-friendly at all, although this one only has an 8-row repeat, so it's not that bad. my problem is, is that i just keep on losing my place! one of my repeats has two extra rows; i haven't the slightest what i did... but, i didn't discover it until i was another 12 rows into it that there was a mistake - and, because it's really not *that* noticeable, (although i notice it *a lot*), i decided against ripping it out. after all, it took me *four* days to un-knit and figure out what i messed up at the end of the stitch 'n pitch game! (why does un-knitting take so much longer than just knitting?)

so...after stitches midwest, i really vowed that i wasn't going to buy any more yarn for a while...but, it's been about three weeks now, and, while i'm definitely not buying tons more, i'm not truly adhering to what i had said! i bought a few skeins of yarn while out in oak park last saturday morning, to knit up that cabley-looking scarf in stitch 'n bitch nation and i bought some bulky yarn to knit up something, but who knows what that was... (isn't it awful?) i also managed to purchase this scarf kit off of ebay, but, that isn't making any progress as i can't really follow the weirdo stitch combination (well, not all that weird, i just can't figure it out) of a yarn over-slip one as to purl-knit one combo. ah, one of these days...

other than that, not too much has been going on with me... i signed up for the second round of the knitters tea swap (which i had *so* much fun with last time around) as well as secret pal 9. i'm eagerly awaiting my matches so the fun can begin! yay! i'm so excited! i can't wait! :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

so, as i'm sitting here, knitting up my mid-month dishcloth kal (you know, instead of getting ready for work...), i was reminded of a particularly nasty person yesterday, and, had an amazing revelation:

"these people who are just so dissatisfied with everything...these people who are just not happy with anything you do for them, even if it's to *their* benefit...these people who complain about *everything* and *anything*, despite your best efforts... could it be that, their problem is not with *you* or anybody else for that's with *themselves*?!?"

i think so.

on a happier note, though, i got some (and ripped back some) knitting done this weekend, despite running around *all day and night* saturday to weddings and receptions. i'm knitting up this lacy leaf shawl (something like that), and, while i don't think it's technically *called* a lace pattern, there's a lot of yarn-overs and k2togethers, so, i think it is. i ripped back my first three attempts, but was *finally* able to make it work yesterday morning. (what's with the morning knitting?) i'll knit up a few more repeats, and i'll post a photo soon!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


so yesterday, i was determined to get to joann fabrics on elston, because their interfacing was 50% off. and, i actually *need* interfacing so i can make my knitting tote and cut out the pattern for the knitting tote, etc. so, i decide to look on and plan out an itinerary and see what time i'd actually *get* there. okay. one transfer, no problem. my eta? 7:17. not too bad. about forty minutes or so. sure, it'd take me fifteen to actually *drive* there, but, i don't have a car this weekend. so, it's okay. it's *public transportation* after all, right? well... i end up leaving at about 6:30 to catch my first bus, only to find out that i have to walk six blocks because that particular bus was only going so far northbound. fine. so, i get to where i need to catch the other bus, and, wait around. ten minutes. fifteen minutes. i start walking. i end up walking eight blocks before a bus comes. fine. i get to joann's, and check out my stuff. they don't have magnetic snaps there. what the heck? so, i buy my boatload o' interfacing and grab a small bite to eat, because by this time, i'm seriously hungry. a bus doesn't go by the entire time (well, fifteen or so minutes) that i'm waiting. i start walking east. i don't want to go *too* far east on foot, because it gets really kinda sketchy... so i wait. and i wait. i say to myself, "i'm going to catch the next taxi." by the time the next taxi comes, i say, "i'll wait five more minutes." and the process just repeats itself, until i *finally* catch the bus...40 minutes later. so fine. it's the cta; this shouldn't be surprising. so, i've got to make a transfer. i start walking, because i know that's what i'm going to have to do. it's getting kinda cold out now. i end up walking another ten blocks before the bus comes. sigh. i finally get home; i'm exhausted. this little excursion to joann fabrics took *four* hours. and to think, it's probably only like three miles away. i should've biked.

but the whole point of this story is, is that, it's just crazy.

i woke up early this morning; i walked over to the grocery store and bought a few things... i guess today, a car-less day, was really *not* a good idea to buy a diet coke fridgepack, a sunday chicago tribune *and* an 8-pack of yogurt, in addition to the other things i was *already* buying. but that's okay.

i have my breakfast, and decide that i was going to put my interfacing to good use today. i didn't want to use my green cat fabric to make my first knitting tote, because i didn't want to ruin it, so, i just found some fabric in my stash. i cut out the pattern, i cut out the pieces, and, i get to work. as i'm sewing the handles on, i start thinking about this trinity kimono pattern that i saw at stitches midwest, and how i should've bought it. i start obsessing about it. i look up interlacements, and the pattern is nowhere to be found on their site. damn. should've just bought the thing. i glance at my watch, and, it's only 1:20. i look it up, and the stitches market closes at 4. i could really make it. less than five minutes later, i'm out the door.

i'm a little delayed; considering that i was supposed to arrive at the rosemont stop at 2:17. it's more like 2:40 now. i walk the three blocks to the convention center, go in, and, ask about the kit they were offering. they ran out of yarn, and it is now unavailable. *great*. but, they *did* have the pattern. so i bought that. sigh. i think to myself, what was a $78 kit, is going to end up being like $150 by the time i find whatever it is to substitute their unavailable yarn. oh well. i decide to take a quick look around the market once again. *bad* idea. i just went there for that kimono kit. but nooo...

yarn. (note the kimono pattern in the corner.)

*more* yarn.

i bought the irish yarns for the felted bowls out of the one skein i got last week - look at how *fabulously* they coordinate with my flooring:

so anyways. even *after* wandering around there until they closed at 4, and having to walk back to the blue line, and having to take the bus back here... i was back here shortly after 5:00 pm. that means = it took me *less* time for me to go out by o'hare (appx. 25 miles), shop around for an hour and fifteen minutes and come back than it did for me to go *three* miles from my house! craziness! only with the cta!

this is going to have to be my last yarn purchase for a bit, though. i've just got *way* too much. and, considering my massive yarn purchases over the past few weeks, and after the serious yarn shopping spree this afternoon, well, yeah. i've just *got* to. let me finish some projects first, and, we'll talk about it then!

on a happier note, though... despite the distraction of going out to rosemont again today, i was able to finish my knitting tote:

i think it turned out pretty well, considering that i really had no idea what i was doing, although this time, i did have a pattern. i'm really pleased at how well the webbing turned out - i thought that was going to be my total downfall! (and it's even *lined*, too! so now, even though it isn't my *real* knitting tote, i still need to show it off to everyone! i'll post again, when i have the real one finished! :)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

buttload 'o photos!

so, this week has been a relatively (shopping and such!) productive week, and, the majority of it involves *yarn*, so, i just *had* to show...

earlier this week, i popped into nina to check out some yarns for this cabled hat knitting obsession i have lately... (it all started when i saw that pattern on's website...i just fell in love with their chloe's (mona lisa's) cabled hat! it's just so cool looking because there aren't any "ribs" between the cables... so, in order to *not* spend $90 (to buy the two skeins of yarn) so i could get this hat pattern, i ended up flipping through all of my books, and came across a few (although they have ribs) to knit up, and, well, despite the plethora of yarn that i already have (and have no room to store) here, of course, a new project = new yarn. so anyways. back to my original point. i stopped in to nina, to buy some worsted weight yarn, and, i end up leaving with a few more things in my bag:

not too bad, if i even say so myself. (i'm getting a *little* better at the not buying mass quantities of stuff at yarn stores. okay. maybe *not*.) i ended up with a kate gilbert pattern, to knit up (yet another) hat, my worsted alpaca that was the purpose of my visit in the first place, and, some manos del uruguay yarn, which will end up being another hat. (what else?) i'm really starting to think that nina is probably my favorite yarn shop in the city; it's a pretty trendy, laid back, lounge-y kinda store, where i don't feel under any kind of weirdo pressure (unlike a certain other yarn store which i won't mention the name).

secondly, my purchase from mountain shadow ranch. this is an absolutely *gorgeous* handspun yarn, which i just *had* to's called 'primrose'. it's a light blue, with all kinds of little flecks in it - basically, it's just really, really fabulous. the lady who owns the ranch/runs the store/spun up the yarn, teresa, is just absolutely, fabulously helpful as well - she was the one who convinced me *not* to knit up a trinity scarf with this yarn. *now* i understand. i think, though, that it will probably end up being the kate gilbert hat - that way, there's enough stockinette to show off the yarn, but it'll keep the yarn looking cutsey, girly and flirty with the pattern. (who would've ever thought!)

yesterday, my sister and i went out to rosemont to go to the stitches midwest show. now, i know i'm going to get into a lot of trouble saying this, but, geez, people - be polite! i know that there are some good deals. i know we're all hot to look at the same thing. but geez. when we're all loaded down with these giant bags, full of yarn, and trying to get down these little narrow aisles, browsing the yarn - would it be that much to say, "excuse me..." rather than barreling your way through the herds of people like a bull (literally...figure out what that means), running down the streets of barcelona? or, when i'm looking at some yarn, is it really necessary to *snatch* the bag of yarn out of my hand, because you're just *that greedy*? (geez! i'm getting so flustered about this again! my blood pressure!) anyways. despite the few slight altercations we ran into there, we managed to make it out a.) *alive* and b.) with a few purchases:

these are just mine, but, the funny thing is, is that my sister - who, btw, doesn't know how to knit - ended up buying *way* more than me. and she wants to knit herself a sweater. (mass laughter.) i bought some yarn, and a few patterns and notions, and, the most favorite thing that *i* bought was:

this fleece-lined mitten kit. it comes with worsted weight yarn, and fleece stuff that you apparently knit into the mitten - and, well, it's just going to be *gloriously* warm. (the mitten in the middle of the photo - the furry one - is what the *inside* of these mittens is going to be.) i can't wait.

but, my most favorite thing that *my sister* bought me is:

are these *not* the cutest things you've ever seen? *ever*? size 15 birch needles, with a cat head topper. no, they don't look like either of my cats, but, geez. they are just *the cutest thing ever*. *ever!*

this morning, i finally ventured down to the farmer's market (for the first time this season! shame on me!) and, bought my usual raisin challah loaf, and, i treated myself to these:

sigh. i'm happy now.

i actually had a *very* productive - well, not really, but for saturday morning - *very* productive morning. since my mom borrowed my car for the weekend, i biked down to the post office, and picked up a *fabulous* little surprise from my sp8, jody! she seriously must've been reading my mind.

first, i got an adorable (and *totally* useful) kitten hot-mitten! not only does it have cats on it, it has photos of *my* two cats (well, a black and a calico) on it as well! yay! then, i got some cheese/spread spreaders - i *literally* was just thinking that i need to get some of these earlier this week, so i can eat my cheese (in the little foil triangles) and crackers. what else is in this photo...she even sent me cat treats, as well! (my cats are *very* appreciative of this, because they know that jody had to make a special trip to the cat treat section because she only has dogs!) she also included a bag of cracker jack (with my love of all things popcorn), which, unfortunately,didn't make it to the photo. (it *did* serve as a delightful lunch, though!)

*more* yarn. and worsted weight, too! this is just so *incredibly* soft. i think i'll knit this up into a hat for my dad! he'll *love* it! (btw, the color is *totally* off in this's more of a brown-y color, like in the corner of the kitten hot-mitten photo!)

the *coolest* notecards, ever. they're vintage "kellogg's" - like the cereal - ones! i especially *love* the sugar bear one though! :)

thank you so much, jody! you're the bestest!

ahh. so much excitement today! but, last but not least, i was able to knit up my swatch for my sweater:

it's in bulky lopi yarn, which, as i was knitting it up, the thought that it feels really similar to a natural coir doormat crossed my mind. sigh. oh well. i bought the yarn based on the recommendation in the book. they forgot to mention the doormat. it's okay, though. it'll be my first sweater, so, i'm sure it'll have issues of it's own! :)