Monday, April 30, 2007

Should I be buying lottery tickets...?

Apparently, this is my lucky week and I should be out taking advantage of it somehow in a big way. I am a person who never, let me repeat, never wins anything in any kind of contest, drawing, lottery, etc. Zip. Nada. Never happens.

But somehow, within the last 5 days I've won something....TWICE! Yes, I'm a winner, and I'm so excited! You might think it strange that I would get so excited over winning a couple of prizes, but you have to understand, people----I never win anything!! Which is why I am wondering if, during the one week of my entire life to date I have won something, twice, if I should be out wastin some dollars on some lottery tickets or something. I mean, this could be my big chance, and maybe I shouldn't let it just walk on by....

As for what I won....Last week I was at a career fair, of all things, and filled out one of those slips at one of the booths for a drawing. (Translation: We are never going to give you anything, but put your name in this bowl so we can call and irritate you until the end of time....). As I was walking around the corner to leave (boring career fair---the worst kind), a lady from the booth where I had entered approached me and said I had just won a prize and to come and pick out which one I wanted. Yippee! Nice consolation for wasting my day at boring career fair. I was happy! And did I mention? I never win anything, so that was reward enough in itself. For that prize, I got to pick out a nice gift basket from Bath & Body works---very nice!

Then this morning, I found a new blog comment from Jenifer saying that I had won a prize in her blog contest! Yay! Second win in five days! Very exciting! I have no idea what I have won from Jenifer yet but it's going to be something from her stash, so it involves yarn and that has to be good! Thanks, Jenifer!

Okay, so I've gone from never winning anything in all my decades on this planet, to TWO wins within one week! I'm thinkin it might be foolish to ignore such sudden winning mojo and I should be heading out for those lottery tickets. Or, did my lifetime supply of winning mojo just expire itself in one week, and I should skip the lottery tickets like usual....? Hmmm. If you have an answer to this one, let me know before my luck runs out.....

Amongst all of this earth-shattering excitement, that has also been a very small amount of knitting, but mostly lots of trips to the frog pond for the past few days. Picked up my slightly neglected Wavy Wrap to work on it, and first row into working on it, managed to screw up enough to wonk the stitch count completely with no way to figure out WTF I did. You will notice that said Wavy Wrap no longer exists on my sidebar as a WIP. Sadly, it has died. However, I'm not so sad about it, because starting and ending every row with new yarn by leaving a 10" tail was kinda getting on my nerves. Sounded fun when I started, but after about 15 rows, I wasn't feeling the love for it so much any more.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with the two large skeins of yarn which came in amounts correct for the pattern they came with. There is one skein of Fleece Artist Big Baby and one skein of Mo. I'm sure I'll use it for something eventually, but I wish I would have known I wouldn't like knitting the pattern before I spent the money for the kit. Frolic of a foolish knitter---live and learn. I guess I won't be doing that again...

For now, they will be buried at the bottom of the stash basket until the current guilt level subsides and I can appreciate them for their individual loveliness. Right now, if left in plain sight they mock me from the basket "you dork you bought us together in an expensive kit and you messed up and now you're not going to make the kit project and you are a quitter and a dumb ole money waster yarn waster who shouldn't be trusted with expensive yarn nonny-nonny nyah-nyah..."

Who knew yarn could be so cruel? But it's true. And it's really embarrassing to explain all that yarn taunting me when people come over, so better that it stays buried for now.

Still haven't blocked my ISE4 scarf for no particular reason. I guess I should get on that this week so I can mail it out in time, since it's going to another country. I also need to shop for some send-along goodies.

Progressing slowly on the MD linen hand towel after starting over on it several times due to gauge issues. I do ask myself occasionally why I would want a $20 hand towel knit on small needles. I can't explain it except for the fact that I just want one. For this, I blame Ginger, because though I have had the MD book for a while, seeing her lovely pink version made me want to make one. I would never have succumbed to such a project without seeing one already made, because the pictures in the book don't do them justice at all. Anyway, the Euroflax is kinda fun to knit with and it's a good spring project.

Getting ready to cast on for my third pair of socks, but I have too many choices! My sock stash has grown to such proportions, that I'm having trouble deciding which one to pick out of the crowd to knit and with what pattern! I am paralyzed by decision-making that is not on a deadline, so this could take a while. Perhaps I'll wait until after my lace-knitting workshop this weekend to see what ends up OTN while I'm there before deciding on my next socks.

I'm really looking forward to the workshop this weekend! It is a lace-designing workshop with Evelyn Clark, being held at a lakeside cabin. Though I don't have much lace-knitting experience it should be a fun and educational weekend for me! The organizers assured me that lace experience is not necessary as long as I know the stitches involved, and we will be learning all sorts of stuff about chart-reading and designing our own shawls. We'll also be receiving a copy of Evelyn's new book! I love her patterns, so I'm sure the book will be great!

Well, I'm off to buy those lottery tickets....or not....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tulips and snow geese, part 2

Thought I would post a few more of the pictures I took on Easter Sunday at the tulip fields. The sky was gorgeous that day, which I think makes the pictures even nicer. I'm still somewhat of a rank amateur with the digital camera, but I think these pictures came out fine for a digital newbie! Hope you enjoy them...

Here's a close-up of that red tulip in the yellow field...

Field of red tulips....

Here is many fields of daffodils, as far as the eye could see---fading, but still spectacular. I love the sky in this one...

Here's a pic of the huge flock of snow geese (just as the mass exodus started). I couldn't even get all of them in one picture. This was about one-third of the flock!

And here's some tulips of my favorite color, with more of the great sky on that day..

I'm so glad spring is finally here. I feel like I'm beginning to have a mood transplant already! Today is back to rainy again, but just looking at these pictures reminds me of that sunny day and leaves me looking forward to some nice days to come......soon, I hope.

The minions and I are wearing our sunglasses in hopeful anticipation...

>^oo^< >^oo^< >^OO^<

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What a relief...

As long as it's only a 12 percent of me that's abnormal, I guess I shouldn't worry. I would have guessed that way more of me is abnormal, but that's just me.

You Are 12% Abnormal
You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.
You are at low risk for having a borderline personality. It is unlikely that you are a chaotic mess.
You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.
You are at low risk for having a social phobia. It is unlikely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.
You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.
How Abnormal Are You?

However, they could be a shade off about that hand sanitizer issue....


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Miss Independent and free flight...

On Easter day, cute husband and I took a little road trip north to see the tulip fields. It was a beautiful, sunny day that was promising to become rainy later, so off we went.

The day was a little windy, but perfect otherwise (swaying tulips are hard to photograph!) The tulip fields were much smaller in number than in years past, probably due to all of the flooding a few months ago. However, the fields that were there were spectacular!

The yellow tulip field was in full bloom. I just loved seeing a scattered "other-colored" tulip here and there amongst the one-color fields. This red one was especially proud---made me think it should be named "Miss Independent"...

While driving on the country roads looking for blooming fields, saw a large flock of snow geese grazing in an empty field. There were thousands of them! Unfortunately, as a few of us were quietly approaching for some pictures, some others who also stopped along the side of the road thought it was great to let their kids loose in a dead run from their car to chase the geese. (Don't ya just want to thump some people sometimes? What ever happened to teaching kids respect for nature...?) So, those of us who wanted to take pictures of the flock were left to try to get some quick shots as the geese took flight, to escape the intrusion of being chased by the children of morons. Fun for pictures, but for the geese, I'm sure, not so much...

The flock was awesome, all the same. When we drove back that way later, the geese had relocated to a field that was far off the road (smart geese)! We also stopped for lunch, and all in all had a really lovely day. We pulled into our driveway as the rain arrived---glad we missed it for a change!

>^..^< >^..^< >^..^<

Friday, April 06, 2007

A sunny day in Seattle.....?

Yes, it's true! It's one of those rare days around here, where you get up in the morning and the sun is already out! (for those of you not living the great PNW, even on our sunniest days, it sometimes takes a while for it to get going...). It's supposed to be into the mid-70's today---break out the shorts! (yeah, right....) But it does make me happy happy happy! Nice to see something besides grey outside. It's been a loooong winter...

In keeping with my commitment to always be late finishing seasonal projects, here's a pic of the Peekaboo mittens, finally done.

They came out pretty good for my first try at mittens, and the thumbs actually look like thumbs and everything! They were actually finished while the weather was still in winter temperatures, but then sat on the table waiting to be kitchenered (is that a word..?) for a few weeks. Yes, I am lazy about finishing...big shock. But this also involved my realization at one point that there was only ONE mitten left on the table, and the ensuing hunt for the second mitten (thanks to the toe-cat!). Like a good little tiger-in-training, he had hunted it down and dragged it to his lair under the armoir for later licking and chewing enjoyment. Thankfully, he chose only yarn ends to kill--no harm done. Good kitty.

I recently joined ISE4. Here's the scarf in progress for my downstream pal. She lives in a hot weather climate, so I wanted to do something light and breathable. Thought I would try out this Mountain Colors merino ribbon in a little simple lace pattern.

The colors are actually a little richer and more saturated than shown by this picture. I haven't done much lace before, so I thought keeping it simple would go much better, especially with a deadline---I don't want to be late when it's for someone else! I hope she is going to like it. I'm thinking about doing the pattern only halfway through the scarf, and then doing another half in the same direction, and connecting the halves at the center. I noticed with this feather and fan pattern that the other end of the scarf will be shaped differently because of the pattern direction, and don't know if I like that. I thought it might look nicer if both ends looked the same. Anyone with experience with this type of pattern have an opinion on that?

Met Ms. X a couple of days ago for some shopping at Trader Joe's and of course, some sitting around and knitting. I am beginning to believe that she is a bad influence (she is the one, after all, who suggested going to a LYS in Kirkland, as long as we were over there....). As it turns out, the store is in the process of closing and everything was on sale. (I believe the name of the store is Kirkland Yarn & Stitchery, in case you live nearby.) Here is what somehow snuck it's way into my hands (at 20% off, so it was justified)...

It was so soft and pretty, I just couldn't resist. And in my favorite color combo of purples and greens, it could not be left on the shelf! I plan to make a beautiful shawl out of it when I get a little better with the lace-knitting. Also got a great pattern at 30% off to knit with this gorgeous Kid Merino. Good thing I got to the sale a couple of days late---all of the sock yarn was gone already. If you saw my previous post showing the size of my sock yarn stash, you will understand my relief that there was none left!

I'm excited about going to a lace design retreat weekend with Evelyn Clark at the beginning of May! It should be lots of fun, and help to increase my lace-knitting skills so I can get started on my first shawl soon. It's going to be held at a couple of cabins by a lake up near Mt. Vernon, so that should be scenic and fun. The retreat also includes receiving a copy of Evelyn Clark's new book about lace-knitting. I have knit several of her patterns in the past (Fiber Trends) and so am looking forward to seeing her book!

Happy Easter and Happy Spring! I'm going out to enjoy the sunny day :)

>^..^< >^oo^< >^00^<

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How loud does a Panda sneeze?

You can find out here! Tooooo funny! (Thanks to Sharon for pointing out the video site.) If you have a minute, check out the otter and Caturday videos as well!

Have a happy Wednesday!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Stash Flashin'!

It is well-known that April 1st is the day for fools and folly, but I heard a little rumor that it is also "flash your stash" day. So, in honor of the official day of both folly and flashing, I give you a partial offering of my stash---the sock portion. I present here before you, in all it's glorious ginormity, the genus Sock-Stashosaurus Rex....

Or in layman's terms, more freakin sock yarn than I can ever knit in an average lifetime! If anyone is counting (and I knew someone would have to...), there is enough sock yarn in this pile to knit approximately 37 pairs of socks. Keeping in mind that I knit between a speed of slow and molasses, I have absolutely NO hope of ever working my way through it all. That's okay, though. I feel that shopping for yarn in all of its various forms and varieties is reward in itself.

Admittedly, there are a few yarns here that I bought in my early, pre-school phase of my exposure to sock-knitting and yarns, and would probably not have chosen after further education and exposure to the wide, wonderful world of sock yarns. But I love all of them like own family (even the dysfunctional ones), and will find some way to make them all feel important and useful in some capacity

Now that I have purged myself of the shameful secret of my inability to say "no" to sock yarn, I can move on to recovery....

Yeah, right!

I'm going into sock yarn-buying rehab like Brittney Spears is going out to buy some underpants. It's just not going to happen, I'm sorry to say. (and I'm even more sorry to observe that the subject of both Brittney and her imaginary underpants found their way onto my blog, but that's another matter....).

So, if you happen to see me out shopping somewhere, and see me jones-ing near the sock yarn or fondling a fresh, new skein of sock yarn, please don't try to be a friend and talk me down, or smugly remind me how many I already have. It might get ugly. I will assure you that I don't have a problem, while reminding you that I know where your stash is and I have a camera! You will suddenly have a change of heart, we will both scurry away with our new-found scores, and we will keep each other's secret. Because friends roll like that.....and because you are probably a big ol' yarn ho, too! Happily ever after, and all that...

And all that goes double if you actually came with me to the yarn store to shop....

Happy April Fool's Day, and may your stash grow to ever-more-humongous proportions in the year ahead....

>^,,^< >^,,^ < >^,,^<