Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cocoa Question #4

What is your most memorable vacation? Where did you go? What made it memorable?

We haven't been on vacation in awhile. Everytime Dave and I went out of town, I got a little tipsy and got pregnant. Once we figured out getting pregnant was not the result of vacations or wine, we planned a family vacation to Charleston.

I loved going to Charleston, SC this past summer. It was our first vacation as a family and I enjoyed every minute of it. Well, except the part about Regan getting sticky pralines in her hair but watching the kids' reaction to Charleston was so fun. My best souvenir was the yarn I bought at the LYS and made into a shawl.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Car is on life-support...

We JUST paid off my little Mazda and now the car stalls every time I brake. Although I barely use my brakes (witness my driving record), it is disconcerting to be behind a dump truck braking with a Mack truck behind me. A few seconds and a screech of tires could see me in the middle of a Mazda sandwich.

So now it starts...the trudging around dealerships looking for the "right" car. I tell myself I am not going through a midlife crisis yet so I really don't need a 2008 Dodge Charger in salsa red. The Caliber is a better fit for a mommy with two kids who needs really good gas mileage. Sure the Toyota Matrix would be perfect for me but the Ford Mustang GTO beckons me like Blue Sky Alpaca. So what if Dave has his dream truck, why do I need a race car with a V-8, 354 horsepower engine?

Because I do but I'll be the good little mommy and end up buying something sensible. But I'm stopping off at the yarn store with my Matrix and filling the back up with yarn!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

And the winners are....

In case the writers' strike forces the cancellation of the Oscars

Drum roll.....

The winners for the Love Knit, Love Knit, Love Knit contest are TanteJ and Cauyeung. Since both are not living in Georgia, they cannot personally accept the award so I'll accept for them and mail it to them this week.

I had oodles of fun reading all the fave yarns. I've never used about 1/3 of them so I'm off to go shopping! Thanks for all the entries--I appreciate it. Also thanks to Dave for randomly drawing the winners. He had no idea what he was doing and blindly stuck his hand into a tupperware bowl.

Monday, January 28, 2008

I'm to be Published!!!!!!

Just got my contract today. Lela Nargi is editing a book called "Knitting Through It: Inspiring Stories for Times of Trouble".. I sent off a story to her about 18 months ago and she liked it enough to include it in her book. It's the true story of my klutziness and why I started to knit.

Look for the release on 3/15. Yippee!!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Day After My Last Yarn Store Visit

Take this quiz at

But they didn't find my hidden, super secret emergency credit card!!!!

Found a boatload of blog quizes courtesy of Knitsbella (aka a deadly strain of projectile vomit)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It has to be Friday the 13th.

I know it's not Friday nor is the 13th but good gosh, why am I the target of strange people and happenings?

Case in point: I'm dyeing my hair back to my natural color of reddish/brown early this morning. The grays have staged a violent sit-in on my head. Regan, in her usual unerring way, decides it's time for fight with her brother. Heads boink, fangs come out and hell breaks out in the living room over a decapitated Transformer. I run out of the bathroom with a towel over my new Bali bra to intervene. Wesley is thrashing on the floor like a rapid steer with Regan pulling out my Louet Riverstone wool to hogtie her brother. Why? For branding? For rights to the departed Optimus Prime? I don't know. I separate Calamity Jane and Tonto.

I go back into the bathroom only to discover Natural Instincts dye peppered all over my beautiful white bra. It looks like a piece of lingerie left over from the Catwoman's wardrobe.

After the kids get to school, I brave the winter morning to go geocaching. The coordinates lead me to the American Legion where I feverishly search for a film canister holding the log near the retired howitzer. A woman comes out of Quizno's next door and thrusts a piece of old ham and individual package of mustard in my face and shrieks, "Have you found it?"

I feign innocence while I evade the ham. "It?"

The woman looks at me like I'm crazy (but she is the one still shaking the ancient slice of cured pork, not me). "The dog? You know the one that's been running around here. I brought some old meat to lure him out."

So you can what? Kill him with outdated ham? Scare him into submission with condiments?

"No, not here about a dog." I smile politely. You know the smile--you're crazy and I'm going to back away slowly and call in Homeland Security.

"Why ya here?" She continues to get closer to me and the cannon.

I didn't want to explain geocaching to her--I just didn't have it in me. So I lied (so sue me) and told her I was taking measurements of the cannon for Wesley's school project. Hamming Hannah bought it and left me alone. By then, I was freezing and my fingers were numb.

I come home to a pile of previously clean clothes. Zack made himself a nest in our flannel pajamas and slept the morning away, snug and cozy. Teach me to throw clothes in a basket, put the basket on top of the washer and leave for the morning. Actually, I think he's testing me. Will Mommy drop me off at the pound? No, I won't. He's just got microchipped and I was stupid enough to put in our real address, not some totally fake one in another part of the country.

I decide to knit and pull out an old unfinished project. It was supposed to be a beaded ribbon scarf but it's ugly so it's getting frogged. The round things are not spider nests but beads. They look better in the package.

I need a drink--only I can't because I have to pick up the kids in thirty minutes. I search for a cold Diet Dr. Pepper and chocolate. Can you believe I have neither in my house? I've resorted to eating Godiva Hot Cocoa mix straight out of the canister because I ran out of milk.

Goodness knows what is going to happen this afternoon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Exorcism in the Fabric Department!

If you're familiar with me, you'd know my ineptness at crafts (not including knitting)

I'm in Joanne's (the enemy's camp) to shop for my beginner's sewing class. I'm trying not to look like a deer stuck in the headlights but I'm starting to panic. My list is long and I have two hours before I pick up the kids from school. I will never get it all done because as soon as I walk in, half of the associates go on break or go into hiding in the silk flower department or cower behind some large bolt of hideous flannel fabric.

I try logic--something that I know I lack. Get the pattern first. Simplicity tote pattern 8831 sounds fairly easy to find. Neatly organized by name and number. I wait patiently for an elderly lady in a walker to shuffle out the way. As I reach to pull open the drawer, the old lady with the dexterity of an Olympic gymnast whips her walker around to grab the LAST pattern 8831.

That's alright--I'm sure there's more in the back. Which there isn't according to the three associates I cornered in the candle-making department.

I consult the list I got from the registration. Two different types of fabric. Some belting and some notions including a seam ripper, some overpriced wax paper and a mini-torture device with a serrated rolling blade and wicked handle. Some dressmaker scissors are next as well as a sewing box. I spy the old lady with the walker selecting some shears that I think Freddy Krueger used on Elm Street. I give her a wide berth when she smirks evilly as her lower dentures shift out of her mouth.

A quick detour to grope the yarn calms me down and I wheel myself to the ten mile long check out line. I feel a jab in my leg. The elderly pattern thief/serial killer had pushed her walker into the back of my keds. I bite my tongue not because it would be impolite to swear at a senior citizen but because I think her eyes are glowing red. We have the almost exact same sewing supplies and merchandise. My God, the devil is at Joanne's and she's probably signed up to be in my beginner sewing class!!!! And me without my holy water and my wooden stake. I'll be better prepared on February 2--my first class.

Cocoa Swap Question of the Week

What is the most 'random' memory you have from your childhood?

The first memory that popped in my head was smashing Stacy Cook's fingers in a bathroom door during a Brownie meeting. She cheated at musical chairs and started to make fun of me in the girl's restroom. I got mad and grabbed her hand. Shoved it in the door and closed it. Really mean I know and if you're reading this Stacy, I'm sorry.

Let's see....My favorite memory is spending a week during a summer at my Aunt Erna's house in Beaumont, Texas when I was six. We (my younger brother and cousin Johnnie) went to Sea Rim Texas State Park on the Gulf Coast and accidentally set fire to the beach with sparklers. And if we didn't have enough sparks, there was a July 4th firework display. We bought three helium balloons and tied a bologna sandwich to see if it would float away. It fell on a couple three rows down.

Monday, January 21, 2008

You Make My Day Award

Wow!!! Thanks to Knitsabella for being such a web sweetie!

My five nominees (the blogs I check daily for sanity) for the "You Make My Day Award" are:

Knitsabella: Of course, somehow or another, we've bonded over canines and needles and moving and others.

Lil' Knitter: She always is so neat! Love checking her blog out of patterns, family stuff and inspiration.

Cindy: My Secret Pal 11 partner. I'm so jealous that she gets to live in Texas. But she's an awesome person with cutie pie family.

Tiffany was my Tea Swap partner. Check out her blog. She lives in Japan and always has the most amazing pictures. She also got me addicted to Royal Milk Tea.

Becka Knits: Totally beautiful blog. And a super nice gal who helped me with my blog.

Now here's rules:
Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Mommy and Muffin moment

Ray in a rare, peaceful moment giggles while compressing her mother's ribs into her lungs.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Cocoa Swap Question

Has my knitting habits or yarn changed during the winter? Gotta say, nope. Still knitting whatever strikes my fancy. Lace shawl, scarf, socks. Whatever.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scavenger Hunt Swap

A new swap. I hope I get in!!

1) Do you knit, crochet or both? How long have you been doing it?
Am a knitter, not much of a crocheter (in fact, not at all) Been knitting for three years

2) What is on your needles/hook right now?
The better question is what is not on my needles. Two seperate socks, a lace shawl, two scarves and hat

3) What is the most frequently used tool in your knitting bag?
My scissors and Tylenol

4) What are your 3 favorite yarns (fiber type or brand)? What are your 3 least favorite? Fiesta, Louet, Blue Sky and Handmaiden. I know it's four and you asked for three but I can't narrow it down anymore. I love soft yarns and color draws my eye first to a new yarn and then I grope. If it's not soft, I don't buy it. I don't really like Berroco. I don't know why--it just doesn't knit up well for me.

5) What is your favorite color? Pale blue or sage green or mauve or butter yellow

6) If you had a 5 minute shopping spree in your LYS, how would you plan your attack? Go for the alpaca, then the wool and finally cashmere

7) What is your favorite FO and why? (post a pic if you have it!) I made a shawl from some yarn I picked up on vacation in Charleston, SC and really love it. It's here.

8) What are your favorite things to knit/crochet? Shawls and scarves. I am learning socks--I can see why they are addicting.

9) Do you collect anything? Yep, anything related to Scooby Doo (DOO FOR PRESIDENT!). I love mysteries and tulips.

10) What are your five favorite things (not necessarily knitting related)? My family, my house, my Red Cross blood drive gallon pins, my library, and my yarn.

11) Are you on Ravelry? What is your ID? Yep, as Hissyknit

12) Do you drink tea/coffee/cocoa? Yes to all three

13) Favorite Sweets? Chocolate. I'm the Bubba Gump of chocolate

14) Any allergies? Nope

15) Do you have pets? kids? Four (two large hairy doggies and two disobedient humans)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's Snowing!!!

Not a lot but still, it's snowing in Georgia! Regan is singing Christmas carols including "It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas". But it's snowing. Which means the kids will be out of school tomorrow and the stores will sell out of bread and milk tonight. I bought mine Monday. Yippee!!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Weasel's Scarf

In an earlier post, I wrote about my weasel husband and his almost superhero-like ability to lose knitted items. I started a scarf but wanted something easy but not garter. He's just going to lose or destroy it anyway.

Using size 10.5 needles and a bulky weight yarn (I used the two Louet Riverstone yarns left over from his third hat--but I'm not bitter), cast on 16 stitches in one color of your choice. I started with the gray.

Knit first four rows
Row 5: K4, P4, K8
Repeat for 20 rows total. This will form a strip of stockinette and reverse stockinette on each side, making the scarf semi-reversible.
Switch to other color. I used the dark blue.
First blue row: K8, P4, K4
Knit this for 20 times total.

Continue pattern until it reaches the length you'd like. The pattern makes an elongated basket weave.

Knit last four rows and cast off.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Day the Chicken Died

Zack, the artificial fowl murdering collie, finally accomplished one of his goals--killing his rubber chicken. He's well on his way to be crowned King of the Annoying Pets. The list of his misdeeds is long and in no particular order:

1. Hacking up a rawhide drool-y bone onto my Handmaiden Seasilk Yarn
2. Wrapping his cow-lick tail around the working yarn of my first lace shawl
3. Causing a huge pool of drool on our loveseat while snoring
4. Carving out a sharp shank out of his compressed bone to threaten us for brisket
5. Stealing and devouring a raw pork chop (yuck-o) out its soy sauce marinade
6. Catching and nearly digesting (don't ask) a baby chipmunk
7. Terrorizing the other animals at the groomers by sitting on a min-pin
8. Almost breaking the obedience teacher's arm by leaping over a six foot stack of Iams dog food
9. Digging up a small pine tree
10. Playing tug 'o war with a fifty foot water hose and winning
11. Cleverly making and disguising foot deep holes in our back yard
12. Being voted most likely to knock over the ice cream truck (literally)
13. Snouting the vet in the backside in an attempt to get his ears scratched.
14. My personal favorite, knocking over two kitchen chairs in his quest to avoid the three drops of flea treatment.

The Putz....Love him

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cocoa Swap Scavenger Hunt

1. Who's favorite animal is an Otter
Annie K
2. Name someone who prefers whipped cream with their hot cocoa
Angela A-H
3. Find 3 people who live outside of the United States
Alice , Alex, Tricia R
4. Name a fan of Harry Potter
Charity R
5. Name someone who crochets
Mary B
6. Name someone who DOES NOT have a healthy supply of notions.
Angie F
7. Name someone who has NOT put up their questionnaire yet (just put a date with your answer in case they put it up after seeing their name listed somewhere ;-) )
Rhonda C 1/8
8. Who likes to have Kahlua, Baileys, or Peppermint Schnapps in their cocoa?
Annemarie M.
9. Name someone who knits fingerless gloves as a 'quick knit'
Cindy F
10.Name someone who's looking forward to gardening this spring
Amanda R.
11.Who's favorite way to drink cocoa is with a gorgeous Frenchman, while overlooking the eiffel tower from a French Cafe? (I'm right there with you... well at the table next to yours!) Kris L
12.Name someone who's favorite animal is NOT a dog or house cat
Amanda D.
13. Name someone who's favorite treat is NOT chocolate.
14. Who plays Candyland?
15. Name someone who DOESN'T get the winter blahs.

Jason--The Later Years

We gave Dave's dad, Pop Pop, a chainsaw for Christmas. I was feeling lazy and I didn't want to wrap it so I found a Jason (from Friday the 13th "fame") hockey mask and wrapped it. Pop Pop didn't catch the reference.

Dave the Amazing Hat Losing Weasel

This is the third hat I've knit for Dave. Granted the first hat was made from a Caron yarn so the fiber quickly dissolved like a molting snake. The second was from a very sturdy yarn. The hat was lost in the line of duty of geocaching. I used Louet's Riverstone 100% wool yarn for the third. The yarn was awesome to knit. I warned him about felting but knowing Dave, he'll deliberately throw himself in a washing machine with his hat on and felt it.

I'm now making a matching scarf for him to lose. I'm almost afraid to finish his pair of bed socks. Will he lose one sock and in the process lose a foot? Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hot Cocoa Swap!

1. What is your favorite way to drink cocoa? Prepared with milk? Water? from home made recipe or store bought?, In a tea cup, or big mug? Just about anything. I love William Sonoma's chocolate but since my kids need things like that pesky food and shelter, I buy whatever's cheapest. I'm partial to using water. I drink out of big mugs.
2. Marshmallows or whipped cream? Yes to both

1. What is your favorite type of yarn? In what colors? Anything soft. I'm not particular about the type. I like alpaca but acrylic is okay with me. I like beachy colors like seafoam, taupe, peachy, etc. Anything you see at the beach.
2. Do you knit or crochet (or both)? Just a knitter
3. What are your favorite type of needles, would you like to try something new? I love my Knit Picks Options. I'm always up to trying new needles.
4. Do you have a healthy supply of notions? Always, always need stitch markers. Mine end in the strangest places (i.e. at my neighborhood's barn)
5. What one thing do you keep thinking you need to buy for your knitting habit (outside of yarn)? Shawl pins
6. What is your favorite 'quick knit/crochet' pattern (quick gratification) Drop Stitch scarf

1. What is your favorite thing to do in the Winter? Geocaching, knitting, reading
2. What is your favorite animal? Dogs, monkeys and dragonflies
3. Do you get the 'winter blahs'? Nope. Not really--I love cold weather. I'm one of those disgusting people who wear shorts in January and leave the window open at night even though it's 20 degrees outside..
4. What is your favorite way to beat the blahs? Knit, of course or visit bookstores
5. What is the thing you are most looking forward to this spring? My tulips blooming and being able to go mountain biking
6. What are your favorite treat? Foodwise--hands down it's chocolate. But I love lotions that smell like lavender.
7. What is your favorite board game? Clue--I'm ALWAYS Miss Scarlet, the tramp
8. Do you have any children (furry or human)? Four (two human and two large hairy dogs) None of which really listen to me.
9. Do you have any allergies or special considerations you partner should know about? Nope

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Love Knit, Love Knit, Love Knit Contest

I had such a great time in November with a blog-aversary contest that I'm hosting another. It's just in time for Valentine's Day and in anticipation of spring. It's the Love Knit, Love Knit, Love Knit contest.

Post a comment on this post telling everyone what is your favorite yarn, where you can get it and what you knit with it. It is really important to say where you can get it--I'm a yarnie and I love to visit new shops/farms. If you link this to your blog, you get an extra entry. Contest ends 1/31. I'll need a way to get a hold of you so blogless folks, please let me know your email. I'll mail the prizes on my dime (or Dave's) just in time for Valentine's Day.

The winners (there will be two randomly drawn) will receive one of two prizes. One prize is two skeins of Andes (100% wool in color lot 08). Knit recommendation on size needles and 165 yards per skein. It's a blend of purpley heather, cream and yellow. Second prize is two skeins of Mission Falls 1824 cotton (100% cotton in a slate gray--colorway Graphite C105) Each skein is 84 yards of delicious yumminess knit up on receommended size 7.

Please no gross comments or I'll delete your post and sic my kids on you. This would be after I pump them up on sugar and take their toys away.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Taking the Plunge into Sewing...

I did it. I signed up for sewing classes at Joanne's. I slunk in, oblivious to loud clanging warning bells in my head.

The voice of reason kept repeating, "Hey, klutz, remember the melted plastic spatula from soapmaking or the decoupage still on the fireplace or even the world's longest crochet chain dying a slow dusty death in your yarn lair b/c you can't figure out how to crochet?"

Dave who still thinks I can do anything I put my mind to, gave me a gift card for the sewing class. He even got my in-laws to pony up another gift card to help with the class.

Since there was no flash of lightning when I got out of my car, I took it as a sign from God to go ahead and register. Which I did and then received a list of materials needed that made my kids' school supply list look like a Dick and Jane novel. What the heck is Fiskar? And why do I need it?

Dave said he'd help me gather all my tools. Sweet boy--he knows more about sewing than I do.

On the bright side, I found three more geocaches today! Yippee! And no strange looks from cars while I hunted one down in an old cemetery. I think I'm becoming Igor in search of body parts for Dr. Frankenstein.