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May 27, 2008

Cats, Crochet and Fireworks

Well perhaps I should just stick to knitting or crocheting instead of book reviews. Or perhaps everyone was too busy this weekend? 2 comments on my book review. Sigh... Was it really that bad? Like I said, I will try to stick to the knitting/crocheting/spinning.

Let's see where do I begin? I don't believe I have told any of you the latest on my poor kitty Suki. She's the fat one. Well we know why now. SHE HAS DIABETES!!!!! Poor thing! Here is a before shot when she weighed 18 pounds! Yes 18 lbs.

susan.jpg

We just discovered this last Monday. She was at the Vet for 2 days so they could regulate her insulin. They shaved her neck!

the neck.JPG

How undignified! She is very modest. So we have to give her special food and insulin shots 2 times a day. Yes, with a needle. Sigh.... to top that off Mr. Big Geek had to leave town this weekend! (he comes back tonight thank the lord) So I have been giving her the shots. It's really not that bad. In fact I think it may be easier than giving her a pill. They don't feel it really. You sick it in their backs. They have a lot of skin back there.

So she is slowly getting better, I hope. Here she is now:

Suki and flower.JPG

She weighs 10 3/4 lbs. She can almost fit into her bikini.

*** NOTE ***
Suki lost this weight over 6 months. She didn't loose it in a week. I forgot to mention it in this post. Sorry!


I actually managed some knitting and crocheting this weekend. I knit a ton more on my brown comfort shawl. I am hoping that will be done soon. No picture of that. It's just a big pile of brown yarn.

I also managed to whip out this cute little hat:

TAM SIDE.JPG

TAM BACK.JPG

Specs:
Pattern: Tam - from the book: Get Your Crochet On-Hip Hats and Cool Caps by Afya Ibomu
Yarn: Various left over scraps of yucky acrylic yarn
Hook: US H

I love how it turned out, however, I am not happy with the stiffness of the fabric. I am hoping when I wash it it MAY soften up. I used acrylic yarn because the pattern called for it. I seem to end up with this type of yarn when people die. What is it with old people and acrylic yarn? I know it was cheap and all, but you can't tell me that wool was that much more expensive. Maybe it was easier to care for back then? It didn't shrink when you wash it? Whatever it is I always end up with the little balls. So I made this hat. I am thinking when I pass on, someone is going to get a GREAT stash of yarn. And a great library. Ahem, but that won't be for a LONG LONG time right?

Oh! I started a new project too!

LEAF.JPG

It is the Alpine Shrug from Rowan Magazine 42. I am using Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick. The yarn is $6.00 a ball so I am buying a little at a time and using coupons. I feel like being cheap with this. I think I am going to like this project. I am using size 15 needles (they are pink bake lite needles and it feels like I am knitting with Barbie legs....) so it's going to be a quick one. I hope. I am liking what I see at Ravelry on this project.

I am going to leave you with this:

Fireworks 18_.JPG

Doesn't it look like an ostrich? My best friend had a great cook out Sunday. The weather was perfect! They also do fireworks every year and I always take pictures.

Over and out.

Posted by beth at 12:40 PM | Comments (16)

May 23, 2008

Book Review Time!

I have been threating this for a while now and today is a good enough day to do the review. Let's just start and say that I paid for this book full price at the book store. If any book publisher ever wanted to GIVE me a knitting book to review, I would gladly take it! I mean who doesn't like free stuff right??? By the way, I am not the best "writer" in the world and we all know my spelling is very BAD. I hope I get my feelings accross with out repeating my self.

I am going to review this book:

Shear Spirit.jpg

Shear Spirit
By Joan Tapper and Photography by Gale Zucker
(Potter Craft)

Have you ever had visions of owning your own sheep or alpaca or any kind of fiber farm? Yeah, I know I have. Well this book let's you feel like you are right there on the farm with out shoveling the shit! I love this book. I want to go to every farm in this book! Each chapter is devoted to a different farm (10 total)across the United States. They range from farms in Maine, Texas, California, Oregon!

Not only are the photographs gorgeous, but each chapter tells you about how the farm was started and what kind of "flock" they have. The best part are the patterns (20 in all) using the fiber from each farm in the pattern. Sweaters, socks, hats, bags, shawls, scarves, vests. Definately something in here for anyone to make.

What I like best I think are the stories of why the people wanted to start a farm in the first place. These are hard working people doing something that they love. AND they all look very happing doing it! There are different crafts people in here, weavers, spinners, knitters, felters.

I wish I could have a sheep farm or a couple of alpaca's in the back yard. But that is probably never gonna happen. I feel like after reading their stories and looking at the beautiful pictures that you are right there visiting the farms. I will probably try and visit the ones that are closer to me. Heck I may even vist them all some day.

I hope this review helps if you ever wanted to buy the book. Take a look at it at the store, trust me you will love it.

Have a wonderful and safe Holiday!

Posted by beth at 12:43 PM | Comments (4)

May 20, 2008

Who is going to be Santa's favorite this year?

ME!!

elf socks 2 _.JPG

Either that or I'll look like a Who down in Whoville

side view.JPG

I really loved this pattern. However, the heel leave me a bit dismayed.....

puffy heel.JPG

No it's not a weird growth on the bottom of my foot. If you stretch it out it doesn't look so bad.

streched heel.JPG

It will be in my shoe. Who's gonna see it.

Specs:
Yarn: Wool Ease Speckles - Hunter Green and Burgundy
Needles: US 3 - 2 circulars
Pattern: Pippi Knee Stockings from Stitch N' Bitch - 1st book

Once again a super fast knit. May socks are done. Now what do I do?

Don't worry, I have started something. I am just not ready to share it yet. I am trying to like it.

Posted by beth at 12:58 PM | Comments (13)

May 16, 2008

I love yarn

bobbin shot.JPG

finished yarn.JPG

I have finally finished up spinning this stuff. It's been at least a year and a half when I got the roving (at Rhinebeck) I don't know what the total yardage is. It should be approx. 600 yards. It was 8 oz of fiber.

up close.JPG

I am still working on my elf socks. I am still on the leg of the second one. I dunno if it will be done by the weekend.

I have been doing a little organizing over on my flickr account. I have taken photo's from the blog and set up a finished project gallery. It's kinda neat to see what I did for one year - through the years. There are definate phases that I go through. Like making a bunch of socks or calorimetries or mittens and hats. I am slowly adding stuff to ravelry to get myself organized over there too.

I see that I have 4 unfinished shawls going. We need to do something about that. I also need to start a bigger project than all these small things... I want something I can sink my teeth into. Like a sweater! I always seem to make them during the summer. Cookoo that I am.

Next week I am going to do a couple of book reviews for you. I picked up 2 new books for my birthday and I think I should do reviews on both. Just so you know, I PAID for both of these books. FULL PRICE too. I couldn't wait for Amazon to deliver. That's how good they are.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by beth at 12:58 PM | Comments (6)

May 13, 2008

Hobby Hands 2

This time it was my turn to host

Hobby Hands 2.JPG

We had a much larger turn out! And different Hobbies! Let's see Helen was there doing needle felting with her husband Mike (on the right)He also did some needle felting. He made big meatball like balls for his drums. Stephanie on the left was doing linoleum block printing (she was using the digging out tool) Margaret brought her crocheting, Mr. Louis (next to Stephanie) brought a model to make. I did some spinning, My mother in law brought a foot stool to re "web". My husband worked on his model and my son played his nintendo ds (not very hobby like).

Everyone brought a dish to pass. Mr. Big Geek made spaghetti sauce, I made the meatballs and cooked up sausage, Helen and Mike brought a big salad(the size of Idaho)Stephanie brought yummy bread sticks, Margaret and Mr. Louis brought these:

pb cups.JPG

mmmmmm..... peanut butter cups.....mmmmm.....

Over all a successful Hobby Hands! Lot's of laughs and good food.

OH! I also finished my Pippi Elf Knee Sock! Just one though.... I did start the other so I hope to have finished pictures next week.

Posted by beth at 12:48 PM | Comments (5)

May 09, 2008

May's sock

I wasn't going to share this with you. I wanted to wait until they were all done. But what the heck. Here is the start of May's sock:

elf socks 2.JPG

Yes, I realize that they are a bit "elfish". They will be great at Christmas time! It's the Pippi Kneestocking Pattern from the 1st Stitch and Bitch book. I don't know what it is about knee socks and me. They knit up so fast! It could be the size 3 needles. It could be the easy stockinette stitch. It could even be the thicker yarn.

I had this yarn in my stash for a while. It is Wool Ease. I don't know for the life of me why I picked these colors so long ago.... I could have got this when I was pregnant. Pregnant women don't always think straight. I found the yarn while I was rearranging my little craft space. It's a shame to let it go to waste. Well maybe not...
So there you have it.

I also wanted to plug my friend Margaret's new etsy shop. She makes the most beautiful bracelets in the whole world (at least I think so)! I got one for Christmas:

mb bracelet 2.JPG

Here it is on my wrist:

mb bracelet 3.JPG

Isn't it the coolest? She's so talented. You can find her here. They may seem pricey, but oh my are they worth it! All you Mothers out there, get your hubby's to buy you one! It's our weekend after all!

Enjoy!

Posted by beth at 12:39 PM | Comments (7)

May 06, 2008

Finished Socks

Log Cabin socks done 1.JPG

YAY!!! I got them done on Sunday. 4 days over my deadline. Am I worried?
Specs:
Pattern: Log Cabin Socks from Hand Knit Holidays
Yarn: Jager Como
Needles: US 5 - 2 circulars
Notes: Loved the pattern, they knit up quick. I used this yarn because:
A) it was in the sale bin at my lys (3 bucks a ball)
B) it was similar to the yarn spec'd in the book
C) it is PURPLE!
I am not sure I would knit socks with this yarn again (it may even be discontinued). It felt like I was using pencil roving plyed with very thin elastic thead. I don't have much left over. Enough for my "scrap" bin.

I love the little "dandylion" in the middle of the picture

dandylion.JPG

What a glorious day! The sun finally came out so I could take a picture

log cabin socks 3.JPG

Sorry about the garden hose. Did I mention it was a glorious day?
It was also my birthday! YIPPIEEE!!!!!!!! I had a really nice day not doing much of anything. OH, but my husband got me this:

intertwined.JPG

While I may not like everything in here, it is inspiring.

Posted by beth at 12:56 PM | Comments (13)