Special Notices Only...

When I became obsessed with knitting, I also became obsessed with joining Yahoo groups related to knitting. I joined a particular group based on my current interest or if I thought I'd have difficulty with a particular pattern, I'd join a Yahoo KAL. Well, 15 groups later: "Stick a fork in me, I'm done!" Just like Ravelry (which I enjoy immensely), groups and the numerous e-mail messages that go along with them, can be real cyberspace vacuum cleaners, sucking up all your available free time!!!
As people who are involved in these groups know, you can participate as much or as little as you like. This morning, I decided to have it my way (just like McDonald's burgers) and used the Special Notices button! This means, I will only get a message from the group when something important information needs to be imparted. The amount of time reading e-mails was only a part of my reason for going on special notice. Lately, the threads seem to be the same tired topics and the "Off topic messages are worse! I think that people e-mail for the sake of seeing themselves in print ( you know 50 people sending a "Me Too" message). Others are lurkers, like me who only post sparingly. I generally like the lurkers because when they do post it's something interesting, helpful, or seem to put the group back in balance when the flame wars start. I've noticed a trend in the last year or so, in lack of internet manners or out and out rudeness. Members in various groups used to be gentler, kinder and more helpful, now behavior is more like the terminator! No question was too stupid and discussions were real discussions with various points of view accepted. people could "agree to disagree". Now, when one posts, he/she better read it 6 times over, wear their thick skins, and be prepared for the hailstorm because at least 3 or more readers is going to rip you a new...you know what! It's really sad. For instance, a member of one group writes in CAPS due to a vision issue. She was so excited to be a part of the group and share her experiences as a new knitter. This woman clearly explained why she did this. She still got several message telling her she was yelling when she did this and it was rude. Others replied that it was okay and they understood her need. Still, some people couldn't leave it alone and specifically told her what she needed to do to rectify this. One woman, was bold enough to tell this woman in no uncertain terms that it bothered her even though it didn't bother anyone else and instructed her in what needed to be done! The woman felt bad that she'd caused such a problem and offered to leave the group. Many people encouraged her not to and offered to help the woman figure things out off the group. This woman was very gracious and accepted offers and stayed in the group. Tell me, is it me or is this insane or what? I've decided for the most part many group members are sane, rational, polite people who love to knit and love sharing their knowledge and handiwork, but more people are critical, have to be right all the time know-it alls who lessen the experience for others. I'm a pretty laid back person. I'm usually one to go with the flow and just use the "delete" button, but it's time to reduce e-mail toxicity and take a vacation. Calgon, take me away! (do they even make this product anymore?). Now don't let me sway any of you away from groups, If you have a sense of adventure, can take the thrills and chills, then by all means continue on...
P.S. Hope this doesn't sound like a rant, it's not meant to be. Just expressing my personal experience. Next...

To my very small group of supporters of my 365 days of blogging (Chris, Are you here? ;^) lol, I've decided that blogging everyday just does not fit my lifestyle. I definitely plan to blog more frequently than last year and my ultimately goal is to enjoy blogging and continue to meet some incredible people. Since I started blogging nearly 3 years ago, I think I live in the best Internet neighborhood around. All you knitters rock!!! Now don't start pulling out the tissues, you'll get me started ;-(Other than having my ass glued to my desk chair reading e-mails, knitting blogs (I'll never give you all up!), I am really knitting and will have some progress pics for the next post or some eye candy to show!Enjoy the rest of you Sunday ( Mine is a bit snowy) and break out the knitting!


Tag, double dutch, rollerblading...

When I was a kid I was always outside playing with the neighborhood kids. We played tag, jumped rope (double dutch- that's exercise!), chinese jump rope,skating and riding bikes. Of course in the "old days" we had no choice! As soon as I got home from school, My mother or grandmother told me and my sibs to change into play clothes and go outside until supper time.
As an adult, I never seem to have the time...
Now I'm sitting at my desk and looking out the window at the bright sunny day. I think for 2008, I'll try to come up with more reasons to exercise instead of reasons why I can't!

Time to get off my ass and go for a walk! So, I'm off. Hmm...Where did I put those sneakers?
Enjoy your day.
Go for a walk!
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Knit Related

A few posts ago, I wrote that I had signed up to parallel play with some other bloggers who wanted to blog every day for a year, except on February 28th (leap year day). This will be a day off from blogging should choose too. This posting everyday is a lot harder than I thought! I don't want to bore people who visit often. So, it will be good to challenge myself to be a better writer and to find interesting material! Today was definitely a knitterly type day. I belong to a sock group and one of the women in the group mentioned a LYS in Cohassett, MA has moved to Hingham, MA. These are quaint little towns South of Boston. I had never heard of the store, so I thought this weekend would be a good opportunityto take a ride to find it, especially because all the yarn and books in the store would be 20% off this weekend. I'm so glad I went! The store is beautiful and looks exactly the way I like a yarn store to look (if I had one ;-) . This store has every kind of yarn you could imagine and some I'd never heard of. At this point in my knitting life, I recognize a lot of different yarn brands!

The store was very well stocked and organized. The owner was there and I was very impressed with her treatment of customers and down to earth manner. It's no wonder the store was as busy as it was. Both the owner and her staff were helpful, pleasant and seemed to really enjoy interacting with the customers. I over heard the owner helping a brand new knitter choose project, needles and yarn. I bet she's given many a newbie the passion to knit on! As I was shopping she came over introduced herself, offered help and chatted for a few minutes and then left me to explore her store. I was able to get the yarn I needed for the SOTSII KAL I joined (fiddlesticks/ lace weight 50/50 wool & silk). Of course, because there was a sale, I had to buy something else...Noro sock yarn!

For anyone trying this new yarn, one of the employees gave me some helpful hints for using the Noro . she told me to:
~pull the yarn from the outside, not the middle because the yarn tends to stick on itself

~ Use slightly tighter gauge for knitting the sock because if it's too loosely knit, it will felt in the
washing machine. At the tighter gauge (tighter or smaller?) it will not felt when machine

I had some restraint and just bought the 2 different yarns, but there many many yarns to be tempted by, but I was good today!

I will definitely visit this store again for future knitting needs!

No pics today. I will take some and post them later.

Almost forgot! The name of this wonderful LYS is Creative Stitch.
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This is going to be a really short post! It was such a crazy busy day today that I almost did the happy dance as I left work! I grabbed some dinner and headed for a knitting group I go to once a month. It was nice to sit and relax and laugh my ass off, cuz it's one funny knit group!!! Now 2 whole days of off .. time to play! So, this post isn't totally boring. Here is some random cuteness:

It's my favorite old chair and I'm not moving...

Where are you sleeping...

Never met a box, I didn't like!

355 knitting and blogging


Knitting Around the World

Last year I read a couple of blogs about Japanese knitting and was immediately drawn to the patterns and the idea of trying something new I fell in love with the sweaters in a book called "New Style of Heirloom Knitting" . I really wanted to knit the cover sweater! The problem I faced was my lack of the Japanese language. NO, it wasn't the language barrier in terms of making the sweater. I was bold enough to think if I could conquer a french language pattern, then ...Japanese-schmapanese.. this would be no problem! (yeah, yeah... I know...I'm an idiot). My biggest problem was order the book from a Japanese website. I was clueless and afraid I'd order a million dollars worth of books (a million yen might be a little cheaper). Luckily for me, after joining the yahoo group --Japanese knitting, I found an English website and ordered the book. Turns out Japanese knitting depends more on charts than text in making garments and they have standard knitting symbols! Maybe I'm not such an idiot. If you don't like working with charts, your SOL. I have to say, the patterns and the layout of the book are great and the pictures are beautiful. With a little patience and references from the knitting group, I could tackle any item in the book. Many people went Japanese knitting crazy (that old knitting OCD) and bought several books. Me..I bought two and that will keep me busy for a long time. (With my knitting OCD and ADD, they could just be coffee table books for a loooooooong time). The other book I bought is called "KNIT" and I love the patterns in this book too. they're a little more funky than the Heirloom book.

French patterns were my first trip in transatlantic knitting and Japanese the second and now in 2008 Denmark is the "it" knit! My first glimpse of this book was on Fleegle's blog last spring. At the end of her post on this book...sad news! It was not available here in the states and it was not in English. Damn, not another language to decipher!!! What's a knitter who has plenty of English knitting books to keep her busy for this lifetime and a future lifetime to do? Don't let unavailability of the book or not being born in Europe where people grow up learning 20 or so languages ( I know I'm exaggerating aaaaaaand I'm envious... Europeans do learn at least a few different languages!), find it! I e-mailed a Nordic yarn website and asked about the book. I got an e-mail a month later stating were interested in the book and would pursue getting it here! They are now the only U.S. distributors for the book. It became available in October and I was right there ready to order a copy. The book is not in English, a full 3 page translation from danish to English of knitting terms is included and the charts in the book are clear. The book was worth the wait! There's not one pattern in the book I dislike (this is rare!). So who knows, I just might be knitting a something danish. That's the nice thing about knitting..do what you want,when your want or not... or Hmm, it just might make a nice addition to the coffee table.
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In the middle of working on a language activitiy, one of my pediatric patients said "Bubbles!" with enthusiasm and a giggle. Now this is a kid who loves bubbles! He knows all the words to the "Bubble Song" (maybe I'll teach you sometime) and it's his favorite activity outside of playing with cars. I'm thinking to myself, cool ...that would be a nice way to end the session today. Then he says again: "Bubbles" and he's giggleing. I'm just about to to tell him, we can play with the bubbles at the end of this activity when I get a whiff of "eaude de Bubble". See class how "bubble " can have more than one meaning? Kids say and do the darndest things!!! Now where do I keep that room spray?
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A quilt, Couch, Clicker, T.V. and Knitting

I love it when I'm camped out on my couch with my "clicker" and knitting. What do people call their remote controls? Am I the only one (and my family) to call the remote control a clicker? I started calling it that when I was a kid and still do. Tonight, I'm watching two of my favorite shows: "Bones" and "House". I never saw the first episode of either one and tonight both shows are showing their first episodes! The shows are on the same station and back to back, so I might not even have to touch the "clicker". I have loved David Bonreanaz ever since his days as "Angel"! I love "House" because of the rare and weird diagnoses he and his team of tortured colleagues(House tortures them with that scalpel-like tongue of his) have to figure out each week. His bad boy behavior wouldn't fly in a real hospital, but it's fun watching him! It's also time to break out the Shibui! I feel a sock coming on.
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Just another Manic Monday...NOT!

I woke up this morning my usually Monday morning crabby self because it was the beginning of another work week. I arrived at work and put my coat and bag in my office. As I was heading for the fridge to put away my lunch, I ran into the outpatient team leader who had a total look of surprise: TL: What are you doing here?

Me: Huh? (looking surprised and a little speechless. Did someone have a pink- slip party and I wasn't invited?) Ah, It's Monday. I'm supposed to be here.

TL: No, your off today. I'm not kidding, really!!!

Me: No, that can't be. I was on vacation last week. I'm supposed to be here.

TL: (laughs) Come on in (her office) look....No patients on your schedule.

Me: Sure there....HUH? How did that happen?

TL: Let's see whose name is in the computer for cancelling.

Sure enough, somehow when I cleared my schedule for vacation. I inadvertently cancelled by self for today! My team leader said "No patients today means you get to have to have today off! WOOT! What did I do next? You guessed it. I grabbed by keys, coat and bag and said: Hold all my calls! I'm going shopping!
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SHAZZAM!!! ...No, it's SHIBUI!!!

It's time for some sock knitting and I'm trying some new yarn! It's SHIBUI and it's beautiful. The pattern is a mystery pattern so, I'll show progress photos until it becomes a whole sock! It uses two shades of yarn and has a little bit of intarsia. The pattern is on a need to know basis and that's all we need to know this week! I'm making mine in ivory and Chinese red. Here's a sneak peak of the yarn color. I lurve this yarn!

360 knitting and blogging


Here the first finished FO for 2008. It's a scarf made with Lion Brand 100% wool. It was a simple chevron pattern I found on the Crystal Palace website. This yarn knit up well with no splitting and it was very soft. It took almost 2 skeins of yarn knitted on size 10 needles. I started it in late December, but was not able to work on it too much due to the silly season craziness. So I finished it a couple of days ago. It's already been gifted ,so I have this picture to add to my knitting journal. I try to keep a journal with pictures and info on each project, but I don't always add them to the journal right away, so...

some day!. Of course being a creative knitter (lol) I have another use for this scarf...
The Kitty Shawl! Note the reluctant model or is that "Strike a Pose"?
P.S I didn't finish this post until after midnight. I almost forgot to post. I went out to dinner with friends and decided to see a movie. I saw "I am Legend" starring Will Smith. Intense!!!
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New Year , New KAL

It's not even a week into the New Year and I've already signed up for a knit-along!

After the fun of Melanie's Mystery Stole 3 last summer, I'm ready for another one. Mind you, I still need to block the the stole from it. The theme turned out to be "Swan Lake". It was my first experience with lace and I really enjoyed it. After this one, I'll be ready to work on the Here Be Dragone shawl. I still have a few UFO's from 2007 that are nearly finished that I'm working to turn into FO's. I don't know what's gotten into me, but I'm actually enjoying working one these. Sometimes, I get a case of "startitis" and then abandon one project to start a new one! Short post tonight cuz my stomach is growling and I see Chinese food in my immediate future.

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Gunslingers, Towers and Quests...No Knitting.

I learned to read at a very young age and have never stopped since. In elementary school it was fairytales, short stories for children and comic books. My grandfather brought me my first comics and I enjoyed them so much, I started asking for one everytime we went near any place that sold them! I liked the comics for "girls", but I really loved the superhero comics. Batman,spiderman, and others not as famous. As I got older, I traded comics and fairytales for the Secret Garden,Anne of Green Gables, and stories of the supernatural (ohhhhhhhh scary!). I loved scareing the crap out of myself with my blanket pulled up over my head, imagining there were ghost in my room . The closet door was always SHUT, because you never know what's hiding in there, damn closet monsters! I used to check it twice, just to be sure.

Let me loose in a bookstore and you'd have to send a search party in to find me. To this day, When I say: "I'm just going in the book store for a minute..." The answer I get from friends/family "We'll meet you at the_________" or from my smartass sister "Did you Pack some food and bring a sleeping bag?" My sister didn't read for enjoyment until she was an adult. Until that point, a book was like her own personal kryptonite. "NO,NO get that book away from me, your killing me! I don't need no stinkin books!"( only exaggerating a little B-> )

Right now I'm reading the last book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. If you think Harry Potter fans are a dedicated lot (I read all those books too). It ain't nothing compared to Rowland Fans. The first in the series of 7 books came out in 1982 and the last book in the series was published in 2004! I didn't come across the book until 1986. I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it. It was different then Carrie and another one I'd read. I had loved the Carrie book! Wow, to have telekinetic powers!!! Anyway, one rainy day, I started reading the Dark Tower: The Gunslinger and have been a faithful reader since. Unlike Rowling, who published a book every one to two years, King really teased and tortured his readers by writing the next in the series every 4 years. After Wizards and Glass, he took a 6 or 7 year break and he even stated in the afterward of the 4th book he might not complete it and leave the story where it ended! What? What!!! Are you F*%$#ing kidding me? What kind of Bullshit is this?! Luckily he came to his senses. Though he didn't come to his senses until after he was nearly killed by a hit and run driver! I don't know if his life flashing before him had any influence, I'm just saying... I'm glad he he got better from the accident and got around to finishing the damn book!

If you haven't read any of this series, what are you waiting for? Get thee to a library, used book store or friend's bookshelf. Thank ye sai and if your reading this post, its Ka. What am I talking about sai? Ka? Get the book!!! The story has influences of Lord of the Rings, Arthur legend, and a poem by Robert Browning called "Childe Rowland to the Dark Tower Came". The main character is Rowland, a gunslinger. A kind of knight of the Round Table. He is the last of his kind and on a quest. Along the way he meets 3 other characters who will become very important to his quest of reaching the Dark Tower and have their own personal demons to conquer. It's how they meet and become a band of gunslingers to be reckoned with that gets and keeps the reader invested in these characters. Just like Harry Potter, I'm going to miss these characters when the adventure ends! Some of the other science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers I enjoy are Graham Masterton, F. Paul Wilson, Dean Koontz, and Theodore Sturgeon (The Dreaming Jewels), and Terry Brooks. There are many more, but enough about me. What do you like to read? I'm always up for reading new authors (anyway, new to me ).

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Reducing your stash? Let me help!

I've given up on New Year's resolutions. That way, I can't fail and feel bad that I couldn't stick to them! Last year, I posted that I was going to not buy any yarn. I lasted about three months, before I found myself standing at the cash register of my LYS with an armful of yarn, reaching into a bag to see what my discount would be (Damn mystery discount sales!). I got all that fiber goodness for 50% off. How can you argue with that? It's like getting yarn for free!

Joining Ravelry made me take a good look at my yarn inventory. It's too large to call a "stash" anymore. I think of a stash as a little (yarn, money etc..) something you can put away for a rainy day. My "stash" is not small enough to hide away (lol). My plan this year is to knit some of it up. So, I'm on the look out for patterns. Like I really need more patterns!!! We won't go there today.

Here's one very nice neck warmer to help reduce that stash and keep you toasty on a winter's day! I found this today on Veronik Avery's blog. It's a Chevron Neck Warmer. She didn't write a formal pattern, but provided her notes on making it. These notes and chart are very easy to understand. According to her blog, people saw her wearing it and requested a pattern.

I know exactly what yarn I'll be using and where I can get some buttons ! Go visit Avery's blog and get knitting that stash down. I'd love to see other's neck warmers. So, post it to your blog so I can see ! I'll Post mine too.

364 knitting and blogging


Only 364 more days to go...

Reading my blog post title, you'd think I'm anxious for 2009 to arrive, but I'm really not. Instead, I've just lost my mind and signed up for blog 365 ! I've seen badges for this on other blogs and my curiosity got the best of me . The premise is to blog every single day for 2008. Currently over 600 people have signed up. This will be quite a challenge for me seeing as I only blogged 24 times for all of 2007. This means more knitting posts than ever before AND you'll get to know more about me than you ever have or maybe want know!!! I have to have something to write about daily!

365 and knitting/blogging!