Saturday, May 30, 2009

Random Ramblings...and Some FOs!

So I found a few pictures that I needed to post on my blog. Somehow they didn't make it on there last weekend. The first is my friend Janna and I with Crazy Beard Man. He was part of the World Beard and Mustache Championships that took place here in Anchorage, AK last weekend. Going to the Saturday market last Sat was a BLAST because a bunch of them were there. Many of them spent a lot of their life working towards this competition, and really dressed the part. And, Leah's dad WON 3rd place in the "Alaskan Whaler" competition. No, he isn't all crazy like this guy, but it was pretty cool to know that I (kind of) knew someone who WON something so spectacular.

The next pictures are not as exciting. Things I've been completing (surprise!) in my sewing room. The first is a set of four napkins (yes, there are only 3 in the picture, but that is because the other one was finished like a month ago and was already in the drawer) made out of bamboo fabric. It is the first in a set of 12 that is my push to move away from paper towels as napkins every night.

The next two are pictures of box bags that I made. I guess they weren't WIP's, but I started AND finished them, so that should count for something. I used the directions here, with the exceptions of the corners, where I followed these directions. Having made a fair amount of bags in the past, I knew that I would not be happy if I used the triangle method, because they would turn out wonky as I am not the best at measuring and being accurate. Cutting out the squares was a much easier and safer option. I love these bags. The penguin one is for me (and is currently carrying around a pair of yoga socks I am knitting) and the dinosaur one is for the coolest 2-year-old I know. I'm planning on making more (as soon as I finish this post) for L and K for SS09. I figure we should probably carry our socks around in style. They are SUPER easy to make, it takes me about 90 mins from start to finish. I use a lightweight fusible interfacing, and fuse it to both fabrics. It just happens to be what I have on hand at the moment.

Guess I should get back to being productive. And today was supposed to be the "worst pain" day for my teeth....nope! I haven't even taken anything today. I'm doing wonderful. Lucky me! I was so worried after all of the horror stories I heard, but I guess the dentist figured I had had enough torture for one year... :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Post Op Stuff

So I had my wisdom teeth out yesterday. Surprisingly, it was probably the best dentist appointment I had all year. It went really well and I am doing great. I woke up this morning with a sore mouth, but took one of my pain pills and went back to sleep. I have been knitting away on a pair of yoga socks. I'm not sure about how the pattern is turning out so far. I think my yarn may be a bit too colorful to show it off properly. We will see.

I'm busy trying to decide if I can eat rice for lunch.

I'm starving.

Let's hope that I continue to feel this good.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SS09 and more fun links!

Yesterday was registration for Sock Summit, and boy was it CRAZY! The IT people did not expect a million knitters to be going crazy for this, even though the Yarn Harlot told them it would happen. Now they know she is for real. After they fixed the server, I was able to sign up and got into all of the classes I wanted. I was SUPER lucky. I am going to sit in the same room as the Yarn Harlot for three hours while she tells me how to knit with speed and efficiency. I can NOT wait. I'm also going to the opening night dinner, sock hop, and the luminary panel, all of which sound amazing. I'm going with my two knitting friends and I am super excited. I feel so grown up going on a trip just because I want to. Anyway. If you are going to Sock Summit, be sure to find us and say hi.

I thought I would post some more links to the Etsy shops that were featured in my Phat Fiber box. I didn't want to overwhelm the last post with links, so here are some more for your viewing pleasure.

The Mud and Clay sample that was pure alpaca roving and delcioious. (I just discovered it is Roo from Moonwood Farm, another fav! She is very talented.)

The pastel colored batt from Desired Haven Farm. I thought it was really neat that it was dyed with Easter egg dye. I can't wait to spin this up, as it has some interesting naps and bits in it that I think will be fun. (Really, REALLY need a spinning wheel)

The red and white milk fiber. If you have never felt milk fiber, get some NOW. It is AMAZING. I could not believe how soft and lofty it was. My sample came from Serendipity Fiber Arts (I love the word Serendipity...and the movie...and John Cusack).

Another one of the red samples, Romney Locks from Bohemian Knitter Chic. I like that the tag told me a bit about the animal that it came from (it liked to roll in the mud!) as I always find that information interesting. She has quite the array of items for sale in her shop, so go check it out!

The bright yellow roving came from Infinity Yarn and Fiber. I have gotten a sample from them before and had a friend spin it up and I loved it. Someday it will become a pair of baby booties.

The blue roving that was made up of superwash merino and firestar came from Corgi Hill Farm. I love this shop. When I get a wheel (!) I will definately be getting some roving from here. She has beautiful colors and I love that almost everything in her shop sparkles. Plus, she has the cutest dogs!

My last fiber sample came from Wild Hare Fiber Studio. It was really neat that she included a little felted item, that could be turned into a button or pin, in her sample. There is a very wide variety of items in her shop, so I'm sure you will find something that you can't leave without!

The catnip mousies pattern was designed by Diane Hall of Kalamazoo Knits. There are patterns on there for everyone, including felted flip-flops, which I heard at Knit Night on Friday were all the rage in the "Lower 48".

And last, but not least, the pattern of the Garden Bracelet was from Katherine Vaughan Designs. Check out her site for free patterns, and patterns for purchase. And it is also her blog, so you might learn a little about her in the process!

Whew! That should give you enough eye candy to make it through the rest of the week. I am going to probably be missing for a few days....I am having my wisdom teeth out in about 3 hours. I hope it goes well. I'm a bit nervous, as I am not the best dental patient (which is putting it lightly). My dentist assures me this will be fine. So have a great rest of the week, and hopefully I will be up and running in no time!

Monday, May 25, 2009

May PhatFiber Box!

First off, let me just say that I love getting my PhatFiber box in the mail. It is super exciting. I never know what to expect and it is always fun. The theme for this month was "Showers and Flowers" and the samples were awesome. I recieved a lot of different coupons and a cute little sheep stitch marker from Designs By Tami. I have her shop saved as a favorite on Etsy and plan on buying some more cute sheep for a special occasion.

My box was a bit heavy on fiber, which was actually exciting for me as I am in the process of finding myself a spinning wheel and I thought the samples were very inspiring.

One of my favorites from this picture is the one in the corner that is purple and green and slightly sparkly. It is called Marilla's Garden by Moonlight and Laughter. It has the story of the fiber attached, which I thought was really neat. I like to read how people come up with their colorways. I also loved the Mud and Clay sample that was 100% alpaca. SO soft. Another favorite is the Dyed by Danido. I also scored a sample of her "Fireweed" yarn which was also fun.

The large sample in this picture is the one that made me NEED a spinning wheel. It is a HUGE sample from Portland Fiber Gallery (maybe they will be at Sock Summit?!?) and it is AMAZING. It is called "Midnight Tiger lilies" and it us superwash merino and bamboo. A whole ounce! Gorgeous.

My yarn samples. I was especially in love with the handspun sample from Melissa's Kre8tions. The colors are so gorgeous and I love the look of handspun. I also was infautated with the green sample from Chicken in the Woods. I love the shop name (I'm oddly obsessed with farms) and I also LOVE green. Too perfect.

I also got a few patterns. I might have to make the bracelet to wear to knitting events. We will see.
And my ABSOLUTE favorite. The thing that made my heart skip a beat when I saw it in my box:

GLOW IN THE DARK YARN! I have been drooling over this for some time now, ever since I read about it on the Phat Fiber blog. And let me tell you, it is too cool for school. I can't believe how much it glows! I think I'm going to use this sample to knit a stripe in a hat to wear when I take the dogs walking in the winter. Want more? Go check out Sheep Shape Spinning. She also has already knitted animals if you are in need of a quick baby shower gift.

Whew! So now that I have mentioned a few of the things I got in my May Phat Fiber box, check them out on Etsy! And for all of those things that I DIDN'T get in my box, search "Phat Fiber" on Etsy and you will find a ton of other contributors. And just because there were already a ton of pictures, how about one of each of the pups.

Snickers and Josh hiked Flattop. What goof balls.

Frito when camping with Weston. He is crazy as well.

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What-up, Weekend? How I love you...

Last night I had dinner, knitting, and desert with my two wonderful friends. They are amazing and I pretty much had the best time ever. I even got some knitting done, ACTUAL knitting... not dream in my head knitting. It was awesome. AND someone at knit night who knew me from quilting told me I looked COMPLETELY different with my bangs. This is starting to get weird. Who knew bangs would be such a life-altering experience.

Anyway, I have plans to go to the Saturday Market here in a few hours so I was hoping to tackle the straightening of my craft room in the mean time. Instead, I have been surfing the web and Etsy dreaming of things to buy and do. I found this awesome tutorial about how to make a box bag and have decided that I probably need at least one of these to carry my knitting in. And since I have no shortage of fabric, this should be an easy task to complete. If it goes well, maybe I will make some for the knitting friends too! We are all going to Sock Summit, and probably need cool bags to carry our sock knitting in.

In other big news, yesterday was my LAST day teaching! I checked out, turned in my keys, and said GOODBYE to the classroom for what may be the last time. Sure, 25 may be young to retire, but I have big plans for myself. And school was driving me crazy. So I'm taking a break. I start my DREAM job at The Quilt Tree on June 1st, so if you are in Anchorage, come by and say hi!

Alright, I really should go get started... I really want to sew that bag....

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quick Post

This is going to be quick. I played softball tonight. It was quite fun. I had a few good plays and even made it to 1st on my own hit! But, some people on our team take the game a bit too seriously and yell at others when things go badly. I don't think that is OK, and if it continues, I will probably have to say something.

The real reason for this post is that I wanted to show you an amazingly cute picture of my friend L's baby. He is one and VERY excited about the jacket his mom is going to knit for him to wear in the fall.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Three Dog Night

I have two dogs. Two crazy, large, obnoxious, fun, loving dogs. As much as they are sometimes a pain, I would not trade them for the world. I remember having only one dog. It was nice, but I always felt like he would like a friend. Like his life would be better if he had someone to spend his days with, like I do. So then we got another dog. I love having two dogs.

Now there are three dogs in my house.

Life is INCREDIBLY different.

My SIL is in Hawaii for the week, so we have her dog, Harley. And he is 6 months old, he is acts like a 7th grader who had three Red Bulls for breakfast. CRAZY.

Frito doesn't tolerate his puppiness very well. Apparently when I wasn't looking, Frito turned into a crotchety old man. And he is two.

So basically, the moral of the story is: you will know when your dog family is complete. Mine was done at two. I like Harley, but he is probably best left to a visiting member of my family.

Also, a bit about the new banner pic. I had this great picture of Frito and Snickers together (below) but this one of Frito summed up how I feel so much better. He is too funny.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday To-Dos

So tomorrow I am having an end of the year BBQ for my team at school. Which means that I have a bunch of stuff to do tonight to get ready. I have decided that baking is "crafting" to me, since it is something I enjoy I did craft twice this week! CHECK! So here is my list of things to do. It is 4 o'clock now. I'd like to be done by 7:30....hmmm...

1. Check mail - CHECK! Got both my Loopy Ewe sock club package and my Love of Quilting magazine! Awesome.
2. Make this process
3. Make ice cream
4. Make brownies or cupcakes (haven't decided)
5. Make cinnamon sugar pecans
6. Make sure there is nothing else left to make..oh, wait. There is. My Saturday Sampler block. QUICK, make that...then...
7. Relax, drink a glass of wine, and enjoy The Office

Not sure that I'll make it, but I'm going to give it a good effort.
Better go get started. I hate that I have to be inside to get this done. I wish I had a skylight or something. It is so nice out. Ok, stop stalling and get to work....GO!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ok, I admit it...

I am a terrible blog poster. A few posts ago I said, "My goal is to post about crafty things twice a week, then I will actually craft twice a week"....well, we can all see that has fallen by the wayside. And I am truly sorry. I love to read blogs, and I don't enjoy when my favorite blogs go dormant, so I probably shouldn't do that either. (Because in my dream world, my blog is a favorite to a lot of people)

ANYWAY. Blame it on the weather. It has been SO gorgeous outside, it is crazy. I am tan. I am warm. I am LOVING it. I spend probably at least an hour a night in the hammock, sometimes more. It is starting to get absurd. I did do some knitting on the socks I am working on last night in a lame attempt to make myself feel productive.

Some exciting news. 1. Only 6 days of school left with students! 7 days as a teacher left in my near future. Who knows what I will do next year.... 2. My WendyKnits book came, so I am looking forward to learning to knit Toe Up Socks! After just glancing at it, the directions look incredibly clear and there are TONS of great pictures, so I am confident in my ability to do it myself.

That is really about it. I'm drained from school...the end of the year is TOUGH. Kids are tired, I'm tired. No one wants to do anything but whine and get on my nerves. Good thing tomorrow is Thursday. It takes a lot to get me down on a Thursday. Even my students come in and let me know it is Thursday because it is my FAVORITE day of the week. Why Thursday you ask? Thursday is so full of promise. The weekend is just one day away. You are busy making fun plans. On a good Thursday, it is sunny and warm. I normally treat myself to lunch on Thursday for making it through the week. And The Office is on. Great. So since tomorrow is the season finale of all of my favorite shows (the only two hours the TV is on in my house is on Thursday...) I plan on making tomorrow AMAZING. I'm even making homemade ice cream. Oh yeah.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My dogs, the escape artists

I swear, the dogs work together to make my life crazier. Today I'm trying to relax after a LONG, crazy week at school and the dogs start barking. No big deal...I'm still enjoying my hammock. Then I see Frito jumping on the fence by the gate. No sooner do I get up to tell him to get down does Snickers get out. He used the hole that Frito made with his fat body (our neighbors have a very flimsy chain link fence. We have a wood fence that buts up to it, but we need to do the sides so things like this do not happen) to squirm his way out to the front yard. So I bolt into the house, grab a pair of shoes, and run to get him. When I open the front door...

Snickers runs in. As if he was waiting for me. Like nothing had happened.


P.S. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all of you teachers out there!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Package Party!

I'm a big fan of ordering things on the internet. I love getting packages, and crafting, so ordering fun crafty stuff on the internet satisfies both of these. This past week I have gotten a crazy amount of packages. Let's outline them for your viewing pleasure.

An order from Calizona Designs. I had gotten an awesome sample package from her in my March PhatFiber box and had been waiting to use my $10 gift certificate for something cool. Then I ran across the black and pink sock yarn and knew I HAD to have it. I also ordered some of her Cowgirl chapstick and because I had entered a contest on her blog I also got FREE lip gloss! AMAZING. I was really happy with the products and can NOT wait to knit some pink and black socks!

I got a HUGE order of yarn from Twice Sheared Sheep. I also found out about this shop from PhatFiber and pretty much stalk it. I love looking at the new yarns she posts in her shop. She also makes some GORGEOUS stitch markers. I don't really use stitch markers that often, but it probably won't be too long before some of those make it to my house as well.

A few moths ago I ordered a special dog treat canister with Frito's picture on it and it came this weekend. It is pretty much amazing. It is made of nice heavy ceramic and now sits on the window sill in the kitchen. Too funny.

I also got a big shipment of yarn to dye which is making it very hard to go to school. I really want to stay home and concentrate on my summer plans instead of working. Luckily, I only have 14 days of school left! Whoo-hoo.

It has been gorgeous outside. I'm talking 60* or above during the day and SUNNY. I've got a bit of a sunburn and yesterday I actually had to come inside because I was getting too warm. And it is only May. I'm very hopeful for the summer.