Shoes and Yarn

This blog is dedicated to my search for the perfect shoes and the perfect yarn.

Monday, January 31, 2005


I feel like I've been working on a lot of small projects lately. Baby Sweaters, baby socks, easy scarves and hats. I need to start a big project. I'm just stuck as to what to start. It's kind of like I have too many things that I want to make that I can't make up my mind which one to start. So, I've been working on an oldy...the infamous Faina's Scarf. I'm now on the last repeat. I'm thinking I might have enough yarn to do one more repeat. I'll roll off the yarn necessary for the fring and make a decision. It's only about 40 inches long right now. I like long scarves, so I'm hoping I can add the extra repeat.

I've also been working on a few Mystery projects for people who read the blog. Below is my current project, but I have another going as well. It's dark and doesn't photo well with the crappy camera.

In other news, my dad sent my "Christmas present" digital camera back to the manufacturer to get fixed. God only knows how long that will take, but I can't wait to get it back.

Other than that, I've been planning this big regional meeting that starts tomorrow. It was an exhausting day running around finishing up all the little details for that and then also tying up lots of loose ends so that I can attend the meeting without constantly being called out to deal with issues. Can't wait until Thursday when this is all over and life goes back to normal.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Secret Pals has started!!!!

Hoorah!!! Well, although it doesn't officially start until next Tuesday, I got my secret pal and sent a happy message and I got a message from my secret pal. How cool!!!!!

Secret Pal:
Thanks for your postcard. I'm very excited!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

I give up!!!!

I have accepted that the picture of the cute red socks for Lindsay just will not post. :-(

Leftover sock yarn

Ever Since I learned to knit socks, I've been saving these sad little balls of leftover sock yarn thinking one day I would have a use for them... Oh, sure, I knit a little stocking cap for my sister's cat that he hates, but I was looking for something better. Well, my sister was complaining about socks for my neice. How expensive, how they didn't fit right, etc. etc. Tada, light goes one. So I knit up one pair. Hopefully the picture finally appears in this post because I've tried it twice.

These beaties, are made of some left over soccotta yarn that I made some socks out of for myself.

Well, it was snowing here in good ol' St. Lou last night, so I popped in Harold & Kumar go to White Castle and knit up a second pair.

These are out of the soccotta yarn that I made some socks out of for my sister. They came out as anklets because I was running out of yarn. I only had about a yard lef after finishing them, on account of how I took the original pair of socks I was knitting with me on vacation, put the sock in one of the inner pockets of my luggage, thought I'd lost it and proceeded to knit another one so I could give the socks to my sister for her birthday. So, finally found the 2nd sock after I'd given her the 1st and 3rd socks. Oh, well, she has an extra if anything ever happens to one.

Back to Harold and Kumar...that movie was hilarious. I don't know if it caught me in the right mood or what, but I was LMAO!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Secret Pals 4

I remember last fall, on an evening of blog reading, I encountered a blog of a knitter who had just gotten a gift from her Secret Pal. I thought "What fun! How do I get in on this???" Well of course, I was to late to get in on it, but I soon found the Secret Pals for and waited anxiously for January to roll around so I could sign up for Secret Pals 4. I can't wait to get my secret pal!!! This should be fun. I love secrets. I love surprising people. I can't wait.

So, here are my answers to the questions:
1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? Sadly,I am a yarn snob. I'm a touchy person. Part of the reason that I like to knit so much is that I love the feel of real fibers running through my fingers. I love the softness of angora, the fuzzy mohair and even the scratchiness of lopi. With acrylic yarns, it's sometimes that fingernails on a chalkboard feeling, whether real or mental recoil reaction (It could be all in my crazy little head).

2. Do you spin? Crochet? No and no. I sometimes think about spinning, but am trying to limit my vices. I've tried crocheting and, although I have no tension problems in knitting, my crocheting keeps shrinking and getting tighter and I just can't fix it.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.) Allergic to a lot of perfumes and soaps. It's a skin reaction, not smell.

4. How long have you been knitting? 2 years.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other on-line wish list? I have an amazon list.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Jasmine or Pear

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Absolutely! I love tart sweets and, of course, chocolate.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I used to have other crafty hobbies before knitting took over my life. I used to cross-stitch and do a little scrapbooking, but if I have free time nowadays, I spend it knitting or reading or reading blogs and knitting at the same time

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) My computer can play MP3s, but unfortunately, not my stereo. I'm an equal opportunity listener for the most part and what I listen to is a product of my mood. I love loud fast music for the drive home after work (The Killers are my current favorite), especially on sunny summer afternoons with the top down. I listen to peppy music in the mornings in a vain attempt to wake myself up before I get to work. For those mellow afternoons of knitting, I like James Taylor, Van Morrison, Sarah McLachlan, you get the picture. I also like classical music. I'm a huge parrothead and love BNL.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Favorite color is red. I also love pinks. And any shade of red or pink. I like sagey greens, autumn orange and plum purples, but not dark greens, bright orange or lavender. So, a fall palette seems to be the current favorite even though it's almost spring.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? Single and free. No pets. I have a hard enough time keeping myself alive at times. I have a new baby niece who is the light of my life. Such a cutie pie!

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know) I'd really love to do an "Under the Tuscan Sun" and buy a villa in Tuscany to live in and write a novel. I'm (fingers-crossed) going to Italy this fall. Maybe if I win the lottery...

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? I don't think I've done enough knitting to zero in on a favorite yarn because I've used something different with each project.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? Red heart and not a big fan of novelty yarns. I bought some Amelie because I love the feel. I pet the ball all the time, but can't seem to translate it into a project yet.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? Scarves!!!! It was that scarf style book that started it. I've been making scarves for several months. Did I keep one for myself yet???

No. 16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks!!! The problem being, I keep making them for other people and not myself. I've made 9 pairs and only kept 3 for myself. When I christmas shop, the rule is 1 present for someone else, one for me. Shouldn't the sock policy be the same??? I need to get cracking as I am currently knitting 2 pairs of socks for other people and none for me.

17. What are you knitting right now? Faina's Scarf (80% complete), Ruffles scarf from Scarf Style, Socks in Soccotta striped yarn, and some more socks in a regia striped yarn and seaming for the Two-Toned sweater from Sally Melville's the Pearl stitch.

18. What do you think about ponchos? I'm not a small person and I'm rather on the short side. I think I look rather like Jaba the Hut in a poncho.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Both depending on the project. Large projects (i.e. baby blanket) definitely circular, Scarves - straight needles all the way.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Bamboo or aluminum, again depending on the project. Always Bamboo in double points. Things always slide off the aluminium double points. Again, a Gwen mental issue, I'm sure.

21. Are you a sock knitter? Yes. I think it stems from my shoe thing. Yes, I have a shoe thing. Socks naturally go with shoes. I learned to knit so I could knit socks. My friend Beth had the coolest pair of socks that she had knit herself and I HAD to learn.

22. How did you learn to knit? Beth, Technical goddess and owner of the aforementioned socks, taught a group of us girls(mostly college friends) to knit about two years ago.

23. How old is your oldest UFO? 1.7 years. Faina's scarf was the second project I started after learning to knit. I was afraid of the socks for awhile. I go through Faina phases. I'll work on it for 3 nights in a row and put it on hold for 2-3 weeks. In my defense, I frogged it after two pattern repeats because I finally figured out how to fix my twisted stitches. It continues to amaze me how far I've come in two years.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Garfield is my idol. Anyone who can lie around all day long and live the life that he does. I'm also a huge lover of Lasagna. Mmmm. Favorite animal is a Flamingo. Pink Birds that stand on one leg, got to love it.

25. What is your favorite holiday? I'm a huge holiday person in general, but I would have to say, my favorite holiday is Christmas. I love the tree, the decorations, I love that everyone seems to have a renewal of hope each year, everyone believes. I love Santa. I love to watch people open gifts and see their reactions.

26. Is there anything that you collect? Shoes. The actual ones that go on my feet and then things with a shoe motif. I don't collect the little Hallmark shoes, but other things. I have coasters with shoes, shoe picture frames, shoe photo holders, shoe books and calendars, and even a shoe candle holder.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Lindsay's socks - 2nd time around

For some reason the picture disappeared from yesterday and the socks are just so cute, I had to show them to you!!! Here's hoping they fit Lindsay. I'm waiting for confirmation or instructions on how to make them fit better. Now I know what's going to happen to all the little bits of sock yarn I have left over at my house...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Not a good night for dinner...

My friend Julie was taking me out last night for dinner and it was like the night where everything that could possible go wrong did. The first restaurant we picked was closed because of a water main break. We should have known something was up when the parking lot was practically empty and neither of us had been to that restaurant without an hour wait.

At the second choice restaurant, we sat in the bar to order a drink while waiting. I ordered Bud Light on tap. No Bud Light on tap. They had run out. Did I mention that this is St. Louis and Bud Light practically runs out of the faucet's in your house. It wasn't a big sports weekend. What kind of restaurant runs out of bud light on tap at 6pm on a Saturday??? It didn't get any better from there. We got a seat by the fire (kudos), but unfortunately, there was a large party in the section and the waitresses had split the large table and their other tables and it seemed no one knew which tables was theirs and service really sucked. Julie ordered a dish and they didn't come back to say they didn't have any more until after our appetizer was finished and the waitress looked at her like she should have the menu memorized and be ready to real off a second choice right there.

So, we left our dining experiences behind us and decided to try the movies. You would think there would be at least one 8pm movie wouldn't you? Nope, none of the other movies started until 10:10pm. Well crap!

But, they always say "all's well that ends well." We ended up at borders and look at the awesome calendar I picked up for $4 at borders!!!!

In knitting news, look at the socks I make for my neice out of some leftover sock yarn. Too cute. Baby socks take up so much less time than people socks. I finished a sock in 2 hours from cuff to kitchener!! very cool.

I also succumbed to the new Knitpicks yarn. I ordered two sets of sock yarn, some lace weight alpaca and some wool for felting for my aunt (because you must order enough to get the free shipping...). I'll show pictures when it comes in.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Black thumb betty...

So, the aforementioned plant is a Primrose (greenhouse variety) Why do I know this you ask, especially since the pot says Primula??? Because after 48 hours in my possession, it was already on the brink of death. Droopy yellowing leaves, limp flowers, you know the drill. Not wanting my little friend to die and look like a murderer, I looked it up on the internet to find out what it was so I could attempt to care for it. Apparently, it doesn't need direct sunlight, and likes cool temperatures (which is good, because my office is like the frozen tundra). I was looking for watering instructions because I didn't know if it needed a lot of water or a little water or what. Turns out, you fill the little up on the bottom and let it adsorb up into the soil. So, that's what I did and it's looking much better now. I think one of the leaves is a goner though and I might have to practice some surgery at some point.

I can grow outside flowers, but have never been able to sustain life with the indoor variety. In a previous life, a misguided soul gave me cactii for my birthday, even knowing that I have a black thumb thinking even I couldn't kill them. Yep, you guessed it, deader than a doornail. I did manage to keep one of the 3 alive for more than 6 months, but I think it was because she kept sneaking into my office and watering it behind my back...

The primrose deathwatch begins now... If it lives a month, I might even repot it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Happy Birthday to me!!!

I'm up and at work. As I lay in bed this morning, I seriously considered not getting up and calling in, but of course, some smart person scheduled a conference call from 11-1 that I have to be on, so I'd have to work anyway. I will take a friday or monday off in March (5 months without a holiday is a long way to go...) and have a three day weekend in honor of my birthday. One of my co-workers gave me a flower. I'm taking bets on how many days until I kill it. Any takers? It's very pretty, but I have a black thumb when it comes to house type plants. I can keep outside plants alive. Maybe since it's at my desk I'll be able to keep it alive...

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Birthday Sheep

Isn't he cute?? The family celebrated my birthday friday night. It was very nice. I got to hold my cute neice. She was awake after dinner and very curious. Totally in love with that little girl. I got an MP3 player (hurrah) that I'm getting ready to load up. My sister gave me a gift certificate for a cooking class so we can go together and the lamb came from my aunt.

I went to the LYS yesterday and bought some yarn for a secret project, which I can't, of course, publish here because the intended recipient(s) would see it. I had to buy extra yarn to make a trial one for myself and so I sat on a couch yesterday and knitted all day long and finished it. It's so cool. I don't know if I can contain myself until it's time to give the recipient the gift. That's the bad news about doing things like this. Being pro-active can be a burden.

I'm trying to decide whether to go out shopping. It's really cold outside, but there are some big sales on. Hmmm...

Thursday, January 13, 2005


So it snowed all morning. Unfortunately for us, the big boss was out of town during the 3 hours when it came down hard, so we did not get off work early. For all my college buddies, it's supposed to snow again on my birthday next wednesday. We could do a 10th anniversary reprisal of my 21st birthday. "Oh My God There's soooo much snow."

It's hard to believe I'm going to be 31 next week. I don't feel 31. I don't necessarily think I look 31. I don't act 31. I live in an apartment, I'm not married, I have no responsibilities. I don't have kids, pets or even plants. I was watching that movie 28 days with Sandra Bullock the other day, and I keep thinking about the advice coming out of rehab (which I'm not) that you should first keep a plant alive, then a pet and then have a relationship. Well, I'm not coming out of rehab and have no addictions (yarn & shoes not included) and I can't even keep a plant alive for more than a month. I'm doomed. I remember when I was little, my mom had my siblings and I convinced that she was in her twenties for many, many years. It wasn't until her best friend, who shares her birthday/year, told us how old they were (37) that we even knew. I need to be more like my mother. Yes, I do realize at this point, it is too late for this year as I have just revealed my true age to the entire world. I will have to start early next year and propagate the myth that I am, in fact, younger than I really am. I

hate having a birthday less than a month after christmas. When I was a kid, I would get those christmas/birthday presents from some family members. Not my parents (bless them). Now that I'm grown up, you get all of these really great gifts for christmas and then when people ask you what you want for a birthday you're like "Uhhhh...I don't know....I really loved my christmas presents..." So we're celebrating my birthday tomorrow with my favorite meal, lasagna & Cherry pie. Mmm. Our family is weird. We don't really do traditional birthday cakes. Pies, yes. Cake, not so much. So I asked for lemon meringue or cherry and will get cherry. MMMmmm. Can't wait.

In other news, I finished off the heel for the labor and delivery socks and should finish them sometime this weekend. Julie's birthday present will be done 2 weeks early. Hurrah. I will more than likely wait until the absolute last minute to weave in the ends, as usual, but the knitting will be done. I finally found a heel I like. It's wrapped short rows. Which I just learned to do with the Ruffled scarf, which I think I'm going to frog and restart. I liked it better on the smaller needles. I'm itching to start a new project. I have yarn to make 2 winter type sweaters and two summer sweater/tanks. I think I'm going to work on the summer sweater since I'll probably finish just as it starts to get warm. Now all I need to do is decide on a pattern. That will be my weekends chore.

Although, I named this blog after my two great weaknesses, yarn and shoes, there has been sadly, little news about shoes on my blog so here is a picture of my cool shoe picture frame and my new shoe photo holder. Hurrah. They'll go on the shelf with my shoe candleholder and shoe book. I've got a theme going if you didn't realize it...

Monday, January 10, 2005

Lament for the new digital camera that does not work...

Yes, my luck with electronic items continues. I charged the batteries for my camera and was all ready to take a picture. I put the batteries in correct (sometimes a problem). Turn camera on. It works! Focus in on my Faina's scarf to take a picture for the blog. Hmmm, what's that black line accross the screen. Turn camera off. Turn camera back on, black line is still there. Turn camera around. Ahhh. Shutter is not closing correctly. Yes. The camera that sat in it's protectice covering in it's box on my family room table has a shutter that won't open/close correctly. Well crap. I turned it over to my father to see if he can contact the manufacturer to find out what's up. So, I won't see my camera for several months. I do have hopes of seeing it prior to my vacation this fall (Fingers & toes crossed).

In knitting news, I turned the heel on the Labor & delivery socks. It's a good thing too, my friend's birthday is at the end of the month and they are her birthday present. Pictures as soon as I buy new batteries for my crappy old camera.

I think I need a dream analysis book. I've been having the weirdest dreams. Last night, I dreamt that one of the "bosses" in my office bought this huge turkey (like the size of an emu). It was cooked and being served off of this silver table top by two guys in tuxedos while the boss looked on. What's up with that. All night long, people were coming by, making small talk with him and eating turkey. Nothing else, just turkey. It was truly bizarre. The terrible thing, I have this taste for turkey now...

Friday, January 07, 2005

It snowed...

When the weather forecaster's predict snow, days in advance, we get no snow and then when they're predicting and end to the rain and a warm up, it snows an inch. The good news, is they're still predicting weather in the 50s this weekend, so the snow should all melt.

I have been a very bad blogger lately. I have been neglecting to blog. Admittedly, I was busy and then I was sick, but enough of the excuses. I'm back.

My new year's resolution this year was to finish Faina's scarf. Those of you who know me, know I've working on this scarf for almost a year and a half at this point. It was the second project I started. Since my brother and sister-in-law left, I have been working on this diligently and I have 1 1/3 repeats left. Which is better than having only 2 repeats of 6 finished. So there. I'll get around to posting pictures eventually, but I kind of want to wait until it's finished and blocked to be most effective. I have to finish this scarf before I'm allowed to start any new projects, so I must get going. Then I have to finish the two-toned sweater. I should have never tried it on. I would have lived in ignorance and finished it...

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Flu Bug

Well, got taken down by the stomach flu for the 2nd time this winter. Thankfully only 24 hours again. No other news.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Where in the world has Gwen been??

Well, I was on vacation. A vacation from work and blogging too, it seems. I did not take a vacation from knitting. I finished up the hats for my brother and SIL. The one from my SIL looked so cute on her. Pictures later.

So, I got a new digital camera for X-mas and I've been trying to figure out how to work it. I think there's a problem with the batteries or the recharger (which came with camera). Put the batteries and charged 24 hours per instructions. Put in camera, batteries recorded as next to dead. Put batteries back in charger 48 hours. Batteries half full according to camera. Took pictures and played around for 10 minutes, and left to go somewhere else. Picked up camera tonight to take a new picture of the Faina's scarf I've been knitting to put on the blog. Batteries dead. Weird. Will talk to my father to see if operator error (which is frequent) or machine problem. Any opinions?

So, I've been seeing all of these people recording all of the items they finished in the 2004 and I can't remember them all (lots of baby hats and sweaters), so I've decided this year, I'm going to keep a list of all completed items in 2005. So far, I've finished a garter lace baby hat (Interweave Summer 2004) for my friend Jenny, who try as though she might, did not manage the new year baby. Her baby was born at 6pm on 12/31/2004. Well, at least she gets the tax write off. Since this was a girl surprise, I sat right down and kntted up a hat to go with the onsie I bought to send to her.

I've identified a new challenge for the new year. The 50 book challenge. Not 50 trashy romance novels, but 50 real books. Since I love to read, I'm going to see if I can do this. I'm going to start with Jane Austen's Emma. Although I've read Pride and Prejudice a million times and had Emma sitting on the shelf for more than a year, I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. You can find the 50 book challenge here: