Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic Questions

So as I have been watching the Olympics (NOT often enough, thanks NBC... still don't understand why I live so close, yet I don't see anything live...) I have been thinking about a few things. Just figured I would post them here in case anyone knows the answers... I'm sure if I spent some time, I could figure it out, but really, who has time for that?? :)

* Do you think the athletes train differently for sports that are judged vs. those that are strictly timed? Do you think they have to do research into what each judge looks for?? I'm sure that the judges have guidelines, but they are people and I'm sure they also have preferences and certain things "tickle" them.

*What do the other people in the bobsled do besides push? Or are they just along for the ride?

*Why do speed skaters wear sunglasses?

I'm sure I had other ones, but they have slipped my mind. Today Fur Rondy started, which is exciting! I love to Rondy! My favorite things include the snow sculptures and the dog weight pull. I love watching the running of the reindeer, but sadly, I have to work during that this year. :( I am going to be doing a spinning demonstration tomorrow for Fur Rondy! Hopefully encourage some new people to learn to spin... I have yet to decide what I was going to take to spin... I will have to dig through and see what I have.

Oh, and since my Ravelympics bid was ruined (thanks, Frito!) I am going to be doing Iditaknit... which is starting and finishing a project during the Iditarod. Much more Alaskan and therefore much more amazing. :) I actually am thinking of doing the same project, with sock weight yarn... I have a great green alpaca that I have been dying to knit. We will see...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Desert Garden Farms

Sooo, as if I haven't been posting enough pictures (check back for my Wordless Wednesday post) I figured I would share what I have been getting in the mail from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Desert Garden Farms. I am in almost all of her SAL-s, and last night just finished up my last skein from the Shel Silverstein SAL.

I also recently received my KAL package that included a pattern for a beret from Danido Crafty. I also had ordered 4oz of batts and had WON 4oz of batts in her Ravelry holiday picture competition. Yea!

On Friday, the Pirate SAL ships, and I know that I will be getting 8oz of batts again.... oops. Her shop is just full of wonderful-ness! It might also contain some yarn.... The other SAL-s I am in that are coming up are Bunnies! (I am getting the Easter bunny and the Trix bunny), and a Murder Mystery SAL, which should be extra fun. So go check out her shop and buy something so it doesn't come home with me! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fat Quarter Shop

If you ever need to buy fabric or patterns online, I highly recommend  I order charm squares (my shop doesn't carry them, sadly) from their site quite often and I am always impressed with how fast their shipping is. Last week I ordered two patterns on Tuesday and got them in the mail Thursday.  Then I ordered fabric on Friday, and it came yesterday! Here is a picture of what I ordered....

I have been obsessively collecting fabric panels to make fabric books for kids. I love them. They are a quick, easy sew, and they are just wonderful for little kiddos. These two are golden books and they don't have any words in them, which I think is VERY cool because as your kids learn to talk, they can make up their own story. And the charm squares are the fabric line "Blush" by Basic Grey. We received some bolts at the shop the other day and I LOVED them. I am going to sew the charm squares together in a basic top, then applique a bird (there are birds on the fabric) on top. Then, I will use my favorite fabric for the back. Quick, easy, fun, cute.

I also got my Burlesque SAL batt in the mail yesterday from Bohoknitterchic! I sometimes feel bad that I get so many packages... I'm sure my mail man isn't too pleased with me. :) It is BEAUTIFUL. I have to think about how I want to spin it, as I am going to try and make it a bit more "artsy" than what I normally spin. I am also in her Retro Pin-Up SAL, and I'm sure those will be amazing as well!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Picture Tour

Many of you may remember, my craft room used to be a bit out of control. The door was always kept closed. It was stressful to be in... here was the view that I saw when I walked in:

Crazy, right?!? I don't know how I let it get that bad, or even how I found anything. (Ok, actually, I do know how it got that bad... I never put ANYTHING away. I would just put things in there and close the door.  And I couldn't find anything, which was a constant annoyance to me.)

Now, here is the view from the door:

WHAT!?! I had carpet? I had to move EVERYTHING out of the room to clean the carpets a few weeks ago, and when I put it back in I was determined to have a functional room.  I measured everything, drew pictures of what I wanted, and went to work. It is now a functioning room that I can have the door open and be seen by other people. It is a bit messy in these pictures because I have a project going. This is it messy. I'm so happy!

In these 10 baskets are all of my yarn and fiber. The yarn is sorted by weight. I have wanted to get baskets for these shelves since we moved in, and I was very happy to finally find the perfect ones this January. 

This is the other half of the closet. All of my stamping supplies... and *cough* ignore the pile of unfinished quilts over in that corner... this could still use some work, but the fact that I can SEE everything is a big improvement. 

This shelf has all of my business stuff, dyes, and fabric scraps on it. 

All of my fabric is stored in this dresser. It is all sorted by size, and has tags sewn on it that says how big each piece is. I have even continued to do this with the new pieces I have been buying... not that I needed more fabric... and on the windowsill there (hard to see because of the sun) are mason jars full of zippers, buttons, and knitting needles. 

My sewing table. Note the big ball of green yarn that needs to be untangled.... Frito thought it was a play toy. Luckily, it was still in a hank, so I think I will be able to fix it with little trouble. 

And...lastly, I can leave my ironing board up! This is amazing. On the board is my project that I am currently working on... and what I need to get back to today. :)

So there you have it, a picture tour of my new, improved crafting STUDIO. It has been great having a room that I can work in. I'm loving it. 

Alaska Weather

I don't like to complain about the weather. (Not that I am immune, but even as I am doing it, I think... I don't like this...) Mostly because I think it is silly to complain about things you have no control over... I realize the weather is something that everyone can talk about, because everyone experiences it. But, I also hate small talk, sooo basically, I'm not really a fan of talking about the weather.  I love winter. I like summer. I HATE break up. People have been looking forward to summer, as it has been extra warm around here lately. I would be all for it, if I had a guarantee that summer was as great as last year, but I know better. I know summer will probably be more normal, meaning one sunny day a week if we are lucky, and mostly rain or the chance of rain. I don't really care for rain, because unlike snow, you can't shake it off and stay dry. I figured I would share some Alaska weather facts with you.... maybe it will cheer some people up...

Average Jan. temperatures: High 24 Low 5
Average Feb. temperatures: High 25 Low 11
Average March temperatures: High 32 Low 19

This Feb. has been more on par with March, or even April average temperatures. Also, we normally have at least a week of sub zero temperatures in the winter, and that did not make an appearance this year. So overall, a pretty mild winter. And I can tell every day we are gaining more light.... it is pretty amazing that it is light enough for me to walk the dogs at 8:30 instead of 10, and it is still light at 6! Crazy.  So cheer up, Alaskans! You live in the best state of the Union... and although the weather is unpredictable, hopefully you love it here. You should only live somewhere you love.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

NBC... ugh

So, I have a gripe with NBC.  (Which I know is surprising, since I only watch NBC, and normally only Thursday nights, but still...moving on) WHY AREN'T YOU BROADCASTING THE OLYMPICS?!? There should be non-stop coverage on. It only happens once every two years, and you can only show me 3 hrs a night? SERIOUSLY? What is up with that? And you know that none of your other shows are really doing that well. Your commercials tell me that you have high hopes for after the Olympics (Parenthood, the Marriage Ref, etc.) but you are alienating your viewers right NOW. I don't want to watch re-runs of Monk, or Dodgeball. While both are fine, I want to see the Olympics... even the weird sports like curling. I hear there are some crazy pants being worn...

In knitting news, my Knitting Olympics shawl will not be done. Lace is incredibly time consuming. It is a super simple knit (just stockinette) but whew... I can knit for hours and get less than an inch done. I am happy to report that I am actually liking how it is looking now, which was not always the case.  Also, my double knitting is coming along. I have decided to knit the cheese head hat instead of the Tapestry cowl. I think I already explained why. In case I didn't, to sum it up...  I like hats. I don't really wear hats, but I like to knit them.

We took the pups to the dog park yesterday, which went well.  Snickers did pretty ok listening. He could have done better, but he has also done far worse. I was just happy to make it home with all of the dogs and no major issues while we were there. They had a good time, and it was fun to see them run around.

THE CAMERA CHARGER HAS BEEN FOUND! So maybe tonight, I will post great new pictures of my newly cleaned craft room. It will blow your mind. I am loving it. Alright, have to go teach knitting... have a great Sunday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sock and Shoe Mania!

So, if you noticed in my Wordless Wednesday post, I currently have an obsession with knee high socks. I decided that I need to kick it up a notch with my wardrobe. If I look nicer all of the time, that will become the norm. SO, I bought a bunch of knee high socks, and I have been trying to wear skirts when possible, and if I do wear jeans, I wear a button up shirt or sweater. Now, I do have a lot of pretty rockin' t-shirts. But who is to say those can't be paired with a jean skirt and leggings or socks? See, that would really dress up a simple t-shirt. And, in reality, it doesn't take much longer to get dressed, I feel nicer all day, and it's comfy.

Also in my picture post you probably saw a cute little baby shoe! I found this tutorial a while back and have been wanting to make them for a while. So, last night I dove in! They are very easy to make, and probably only take about 45-60 mins for the pair. Plus, the fabric pieces are so small they are the perfect project for scraps. I will probably be going shoe crazy for a little bit....

My Rav-Olympics project is slowly trudging along. I have been spending more time on Ravelry than knitting, so it's really not that far along.  It is a simple knit, but you still have to pay pretty close attention because the yarn is so fine. I have started my double knit cheese head hat, and I am loving it. I have yet to start the colorwork, but it is all on one needle and in the round now, so I feel pretty proud of myself.  I'm hoping to get more done on both of those projects next week... but sewing has been incredibly tempting lately. :) Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Quiet Time

I know I have been absent this past week.  Partly because my camera charger is still missing (and I really want to post pictures), partly because I don't have much to say, and partly because I'm lazy.  I was pretty excited to have this weekend off (minus the two hours I spent teaching knitting). It was the first time in a while that I had the weekend off, much less a DAY off! I have been working every day, and it was nice to have some time off when W was home.

Sat I went to the Spinning and Weaving Guild meeting. That was fun. I signed up to do a spinning demo at Fur Rondy, which is super exciting! I want to be more involved in guild activities, and this seemed like the perfect way to jump in! I then went clothes shopping.  I have decided that I need to kick it up a notch with how I dress. I'm tired of wearing jeans and t-shirts every day. I have a ton of nice skirts that I really like, and there is no reason why I shouldn't be wearing them. SO I bought a bunch of knee-high socks and a few nice tops and I'm ready to go!  We then had dinner out at the in-law's house.  That was very fun. They made delicious steak and potatoes... a nice Valentine's Day dinner!

Sun we hung out around the house.  W surprised me with some presents... he said we weren't "doing" V-day, so I was shocked to find three presents on the table when I got up! One was the Michael Buble CD.... I'm a bit obsessed with his music right now, one was Zombieland on Blu-Ray (LOVE that movie!), and lastly the Twilight book... that was more of a joke... overall, I was super impressed! He is pretty amazing. I taught knitting, and then my parents came over for dinner and a movie. Good times.

This week should have more to post about. I work today, but then I have the next two days off.  I'm planning on working and getting some things done in my craft room (which is so clean, it is amazing.) so I will be posting about that.... maybe with some lame iPhone pics. :) Hope everyone had a great weekend! Happy President's Day!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Kindness of Knitters

I am constantly amazed by the kindness of knitters, both on a large and small scale. It is pretty well known that the Yarn Harlot keeps a tally of all the money that knitters donate to Doctors Without Borders. It was pretty amazing to watch the number climb dramatically after the Haiti earthquake. Plus, a TON of pattern designers have been contributing parts of their profits from the sales of their patterns on Ravelry... it was great to see the sheer number of patterns that were tagged with "help for Haiti".  Recently, a fiber artist and phat fiber contributor, lost her husband. She has a working farm, and I can not begin to imagine the stress that she is under. It has been amazing to watch the fiber community band together for her as well.  There have been fundraising auctions set up here, and her shop is still open here. Members of the phat fiber community are also banding together to knit or crochet squares for a blanket for her. I am always proud to say that I am a Knitter, and actions like this just make me even more proud.

Recently, I personally encountered the kindness of another knitter.  On Saturday I taught a class on needle felting.  It was a simple class, a few hours were spent practicing and stabbing lots of fiber.  It was VERY fun! The ladies were such a fun group, and I had brought all of my phat fiber samples for them to play with, which they LOVED. A few ladies tried to offer me money for my samples, and I told them no... they were getting use out of them and getting them out of my over stuffed craft room.  I went back to clean up after everyone had left to find some money... very nice gesture! Then the next day, one of the ladies came back into the shop for another knitting class. She had brought in some more things she had made the night before (which were beautiful) and a card for me. On my way home, I read the card, which was a wonderful little note about how inspirational and fun the class was... talk about an ego boost! AND it has a $10 gift card to the coffee shop next to the shop where I teach! How sweet! I will definitely be putting that to good use (for juice and food... not much of a coffee drinker, but some mornings I need a bagel, and now I can go grab one!). I was just floored.  How sweet.

So, if you are a Knitter, be proud. We are a good bunch.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

25 going on 60

A long time ago I posted about how Josh believed that coming to our house was like going to your Grandma's... I was always knitting, there were quilts everywhere, and we had fruit leather. I thought it was pretty funny. I have always known that my hobbies are not the most typical for someone my age. I do work in a shop where most of the customers are old enough to be my mom. And my job is typically reserved for people who are retired... you know, have had a career, kids, etc., and now just need a little something to do. I have none of those. BUT, think about it... most people wait until they retire to do what they love. I get to do that every day! I think that is pretty amazing.

Today, I did something else that you see a lot of elderly people do, I fell in the shower. I took a bath last night and apparently that made the floor of the tub slick... when I stepped in this morning I slipped, then fell, then had the whole curtain fell on me. Not fun. In fact, I think I bruised my rear end pretty badly... it was killing me all day at work.

I taught a very fun needlefelting class today! The ladies had such a great time! I even decided to make a whole group of needlefelted dinosaurs. I made one body in class and it was amazing. They would be great toys for kids... so, that is a new project for myself.

I hope everyone has a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(And I know I posted earlier, but ignore that... here are the pictures from last week!)

Seriously, I might go down there

If you read often, you will remember my rant about the assembly spending money to figure out if the previous mayor knew about our budget deficit.  You will also remember that spending that money was RIDICULOUS and really got the city nowhere.  So as I was watching the news last night, I almost lost it. The assembly is now trying to decide if they want to spend THIRTY THOUSAND dollars to hire another financial person to look into it. REALLY??!!?! Really. Now, unless they are going to be able to find so much financial misdoing that the city can take our previous mayor to court and earn enough money to make up for the budget gap, the salary of this person, AND the legal fees this will take, WHO CARES. You are wasting more of my money. STOP. The assembly is crying over spilled milk instead of cleaning it up.

The next meeting is in two weeks. If I don't have to work, I'm going to go down there and tell them to get their sh*t together and move on. Maybe in nicer words.... I can calm down in two weeks....

In knitting news, I am taking a double knitting class on the Tapestry cowl (rav link).  I understand double knitting, but had a hard time with colorwork while double knitting.  I think I just need to spend more time with it, but I was not about to cast on all 220 stitches and go for it. Alright, I have to go to work now... I'm subbing today, which means there is a pretty good chance I will get J's hat done, which will make me very happy.