Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Time flies when you're having fun.....or sick

Well, it's been over a week I know but I have still had a touch of stomach bug so I am slow. I am still working on the Kitty Knits bag. I have the back finished and the front about 1/3 done. Jerry's socks may never get done :) It seems the snow is over but we have had our fair share of rain. Which I hate for the most part except it makes the flowers bloom and I have daffodils in bloom in the back yard already. Jerry took some pics but I have to get them off the camera before I can post them. Jerry also got a pic of Mrs Cardinal but it's still on the camera as well. I had a dentist appt yesterday to get a filling (yuck!) but it wasn't too bad. I am glad it's over :) I also stopped by the eye Dr. yesterday to drop off some paperwork and I got to see my new PURPLE frames :) I am liking them a bunch! I have to wait for the lenses to come in so they can be cut to fit. It's taking a while for them to get in because these frames are a little bigger than my old ones plus they are bifocals (yeah I know, I am OLD) actually the pair I am wearing now are bifocals too, which I got before I was 40, so I guess I am REALLY old :) Well I guess that's the highlights for now. Hopefully I will have some pics to post later on today. Bye all!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kitty Knits Blog Tour!

Well today is my stop and I am so excited that Donna let me be a part of it! I had a few questions for Donna and she was nice enough to take the time to answer them for me.

Me I always wanted to knit because my grandmother did. Who or what inspired you to knit and how long have you been doing it?

Donna I learned to knit from my grandmother when I was about 5 years old, maybe younger. I actually do not remember not knowing how to knit! I don't know what projects I made when I was young, but I do remember making a yellow swatch of honeycomb cables. My grandmother was going through a phase of making Aran sweaters -- she called them "Iris Patterns" -- and honeycomb was my favorite stitch.

Me Do you plan on doing any more animal related books?

Donna I have enough ideas for a second volume of Kitty Knits, but it won't be right away. I've got all of the sketches and some swatches already done and filed away, though. Other than that, I haven't had any ideas for animal-themed books.

Me I wonder if I can order my copy now :)

Me How did you learn to knit, were you self taught or did you have a teacher?

Donna My grandmother taught me, but then I stopped knitting until I was a teenager and I bought one of those $5 "Learn to Knit" books at a hobby store when I wanted to start again. My mother also hadn't knitted in many years, but she did remember how to cast on. Which is a good thing, because I didn't remember and I don't think I could have figured out the long-tail cast-on from a book! Once I started to make a sample swatch, my hands remembered the rest.

Me I do basket weaving, jewelry making, and I used to do cross-stitch. What other crafts do you do?

Donna I crochet and spin and dye my own yarns from time to time. That's all I've done in the past decade or so, but in the past I've done all kinds of things like candle- and soap-making, and sewing most of my own clothes as well as curtains and other home dec items. I also like to cook and bake and make jam. When I used to work for computer companies, my co-workers were always completely shocked that I did these kinds of "domestic" hobbies, because it didn't fit in with their idea of me as a techie-geek.

Me What is the most number of projects you have had going at one time?

Donna Right now, I think I have 28 UFOs. I wasn't aware of this until I started to take inventory to post pictures on Ravelry. Now I am trying not to start one more thing until I get a least half of these finished! It's embarrassing. I do get behind on my personal knitting when I have publication deadlines, though. So does that give me an excuse?

Me Yes! :)

Me What items do you love/hate to make?

Donna I love mittens and scarves and lace shawls. I also enjoy making sweaters. I also love felting projects. The knitting is so fast and I never get over the little thrill of seeing it shrink in the washing machine. I usually like to have 2 kinds of projects on the needles: something challenging like lace or cables, and something really easy, like a garter stitch scarf or shawl made out of a fabulous hand-dye yarn. That way, whatever I'm in the mood for is already started. I made socks for a while, but I didn't catch on to that addiction. I like Fair Isle for small projects, but I don't really like it for sweaters. I prefer the rhythm of texture stitches. And I hate doing Intarsia, although I absolutely love the finished projects! I actually bought a very expensive kit from La Lana wools a few years ago, and I never started it. I'm seriously thinking about hiring someone to knit it for me.

Me Well Donna thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, I am sure everyone enjoyed learning about you and your book.

Donna Thanks again for inviting me to your blog for this interview!

If you are interested In Donna's book there is a link to the left of this post showing the book (it's a little cut off I know but I don't know enough about blogs to fix it) but you can click the picture and it will take you directly to the Amazon page listing the book so you can purchase it.

I have to say that if you are a knitter or even know a knitter who likes cats this is the book for you. There are so many wonderful projects that I almost didn't know where to start. I have made two of the cat toys but they aren't felted or stuffed yet. I am waiting to do that part because I am working on another project from the book that will be felted as well. That project is the felted Carpet Bag with a cat chasing a butterfly on it. When I saw it I knew I had to make it since cats and butterflies are two of my favorite things. If I had stopped to think it through I probably wouldn't have started it this soon because I am a self-taught knitter and still pretty much a beginner but those of you who know me know I don't often stop to think! :) I just plunge ahead with what ever I am doing. I did have a bit of an advantage because I was used to reading charts because of doing cross-stitch before. Plus I also had a magnetic board to keep my pattern on and it helps keep track of the row I am on. I also have my own scanner so I scanned the chart and that way I could make notes or marks as needed. I did not have access to the yarn Donna used for her tote so I ordered Wool of the Andes yarn from knitpicks.com. It is a beautiful yarn and very soft. I was a bit hesitant to use wool because I remember wool being very scratchy but this yarn was wonderful. I will post pics of the finished articles as well as the pics of the "in progress" items as well.

I can't say enough about what a great book this is for knitters and cat lovers alike. You can see by the pics that Donna is owned by two cats and the pictures below of my four "owners" :) This book would make a wonderful addition to any knitter's library and I am sure you won't regret getting it. You will love the patterns and your cats will love you for making more things for them too. Especially if they are like mine and think I never do enough for them in the first place :)

PS I should have the work in progress pics up in a bit, hopefully it won't be too long but since they need to be taken outside and it's raining right now that makes it a bit difficult!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

So Excited!

I got my yarn yesterday and it's SO pretty! I have already started the Cat Tote from Donna's book. I was hesitant about using wool because I remember it being itchy but this yarn is really soft. It's called Wool Of The Andes from knitpicks. I have to say that the shipping was pretty fast as well. So we will have to see how things go. Well I am off to knit! :)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Bird Feeder

Yesterday we went to Deals variety store, and we made several purchases. I happened to find a bird feeder that cost $1.00 - it is of the type that is a vertical clear cylinder with 6 ports where the birds can land and get food. there is some assembly required, but it is simple.
Yesterday Deals had a large number of them.
The birds are happy and they are calling me cheep cheep. :-) what the heck a deal is a deal.

All Quiet on the Western Front.......NOT!

There has been so much going on I don't know where to start! I know it's been a while so bear with me. First of all I wanted to invite everyone back on March 10th when Donna Druchunas will be here to talk about her new book Kitty Knits. I have posted a link to the left that you can click to go directly to Amazon.com to purchase it. If you love to knit, have cats, or know someone who does, then this book is for you. It has projects from beginner to advanced, including cat toys, a scarf, afghan, hats, and sweaters, all with a cat theme. I have already made a couple of the cat toys and I am waiting for the yarn to begin the cat tote with. I will post pics when Donna stops by. If you want to check out her blog and visit some of the other stops on the tour and also her other books you can find it here http://sheeptoshawl.com/index.html

Now let's go back a few days. First off Valentine's Day. Jerry bought me a beautiful set of earrings. There are three graduated sizes and they look like diamonds or cz's but the have a coating or finish to them that make them look purple/pink depending on the light. Of course I love them! He also got me a gorgeous sterling silver blue butterfly charm. We all know how much I love butterflies :) It looks kind of like it's flying to one side just a bit. Very pretty! I just have to fix it to my bracelet. We also went to Texas Roadhouse for the first time for dinner. It was DELICIOUS! They had a special and we got sirloin steaks plus bbq ribs. Normally I don't care for ribs because they are so messy and you have to work too hard for the meat. They said these were fall off the bone tender and they weren't kidding. YUMMY! I signed up for email specials from them and they sent me a coupon for a free appetizer so we back last week and took Matt. He loves bbq! He spent Valentine's weekend at my friend Lisa's house so Jerry and I could enjoy some time together. I love Matt to pieces but it's nice to just be a twosome every now and again instead of aways being a threesome with Matt along.

Let's see next on the list. My sugar is getting under better control but it isn't perfect. My A1C is down to 8 wich is much better even though it isn't down to the recommended <7. Although from what I have been reading lately I am not sure I want to get it that low. I will have to wait and see what future studies say to determine how low I need it to be. I went back to my foot Dr. this week. My toe is doing great, YEAH! He wants me back in four months but hopefully I won't be here. I also went for an eye appointment. My eyes have changed enough that I need new glasses. I can't use the old frames because I am rather hard on them so for the first time I get purple, well lavender, frames! Anyone who knows me for more than five minutes knows my favorite color is purple. Hey it's the color of royalty so it's perfect for me :) I also joined an online service called SparkPeople. It's a free online lifestyle group, not a diet group. It's a nice place for support and you can track food and exercise, plus there are some great recipes.

Now it's Jerry's turn. We went to the VA this week to see the Dr. about something for his back. He was just suffering so much, he barely slept, he would spend hours soaking in the tub, use the heating pad, whatever he could try just to get a little relief. The Dr. gave him a muscle relaxer and some pain pills. He has only been using them a few days and he says it's better already. It will never go away, it's been chronic for over 40 years thanks to the Marines, but he is just trying to get it down to a manageable level. Hopefully if he gets it under better control we can get more done around here. If he sleeps better then I sleep better, and if he isn't hurting as much he can do more. The smoking med is helping curb his craving but he hasn't quit yet although he has cut down a lot.

We also had a couple more snow/ice/rain storms go through. Nothing new there, once you have seen it, you've seen it :)

I have gone back to knitting the socks I was trying to do for Jerry's battleship feet :) I figured out what I was doing wrong and how to cover up the holes. Once his are done I will post pics and then I can get started on mine. I have also made a knitted and felted cat toy and mouse from the Kitty Knits book although I haven't felted them yet. I am waiting for the wool yarn to get here to start the kitty tote with. I can't believe I actually spent money on specialty yarn for something (well Jerry did) like this. Up til now I have used yarn I had or stuff I could get at Walmart or Hobby Lobby. This project is special plus you have to have wool or animal fiber to felt with. I haven't tried felting yet so we will see how it goes. Well I think that is all for now. I will try to not be so long between posts next time. Bye All!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cardnal picture

When you click on the Cardinal Picture it will fill most of your screen, You might need to adjust horizontally and vertically to get the full affect. As you can see the male Cardinal is fat and sassy, The female is very elusive, but with patience we will be able to include her picture also.
Yes we do feed the birds, It is such a pleasure to be close to such beauty and to be entertained at the same time. It is nice to have a back door and be able to look at Nature just a few feet away.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Well when it rains it pours, or in this case snows! Yesterday we got our first big snow/ice storm and boy was it nasty! We got about 2 inches of snow and ice with more on the way. Then Jerry went to wally world for a few things and got a flat about 6 blocks from home. Well he wasn't sure what street he was on so he couldn't call AAA for a tow. He tried to call me to find out where he was but I was asleep and didn't hear the phone. This new med he is taking is making his sleep even worse so the last week or so about all we have done is take naps :) Any way a police officer stopped to help, told him the street name and he got home ok. Then at about 4 this morning I was sitting here checking email and all of a sudden there was a flash and a bang and we had no power. A tree down the street decided it had one too many branches and that 4 in the morning was the perfect time to shed it. Jerry heard it and got up so then we got Matt up and they went to check it out. Apparently all the snow and ice made the branch break. In the process it took down a power line. I have to give credit to the power company, they had it repaired and back on in about 3 hours. We survived just fine partly because despite the fact we had no electricity we still had coffee! :) How you ask? We have a gas stove :) So we heated the water on the stove and then poured it through the filter of the coffee pot. It was slow but it worked! I also discovered that if I am desperate I can knit by flashlight :) So right now I am home trying to get work done (yeah right) while my friend Lisa takes Jerry and Matt out to get another tire. There is never a dull moment around this crazy house, but life would be boring if there was!