Shoes and Yarn

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

Monday, February 28, 2005

Still sick, not dead...

Yes, I was run over by the truck of the cold that's going around. It started to get worse on Friday and Saturday was spent in a haze of medicine induced sleep. Apparently the congestion and cough from this thing linger on for several weeks. SEVERAL WEEKS. UGHHHHH!!!!! It's been over a week already. Not very encouraging. At least I'm upright...

So, needless to say, not much knitting got done this weekend. I did a few repeats on my sock on Sunday, but that was it. I gave the cute confetti baby sweater to my co-worker today. She loved it. Hurrah!!!

My brother and SIL will be in town this weekend. My niece's baptism was this weekend. I'm so excited to see them. I'm taking off on next Monday to take them to the airport. Yipee. So, must be well for the weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2005


It may amaze everyone, but not only is my birthday flower still alive, but it is blooming again. I can't believe it. I almost fell over dead when I walked into work this morning and saw three little pink flowers opening up. Hurrah for Gwen!!! I might even have to buy a pretty pot for it so it looks pretty sitting on my desk instead of the green plastic thing it came in, although that might be the kiss of death...

I'm still sick. The cold has moved up into my head and down into my chest. Yuck!!!! I hate being sick. Worst of all, I can't go see my neice because I don't want to get her sick either. It's going on two weeks. I'm going through withdrawl. I have gone to work every day this week and spread my germs amongst my co-workers since I'm absolutely convinced that's where it came from in the first place.

So, I had some unusual selections come from netflix this week. I ordered two old favorites and a newbie, The Piano and Hackers and then Shark Tale. Talk about total opposites. I don't know why I love The Piano. It has absolutely nothing to do with Harvey, because it ain't that pretty. Hackers, of course, because of Johnny Lee Miller, the first Ex-Mr. Angelina Jolie. He's just beautiful in that movie. The plan for the weekend is to lay around, watch movies and get well.

I have startitis. I want to start new knitting projects. I want to start the Flower Basket shawl with my hand dyed yarn. I want to make some socks for me. I want to make a summer tank for myself. I want to... Are you getting the picture. Of course, I have my 3 secret projects going. I started a baby sweater for my cousin's wife. I still have Faina's scarf to finish and I need to seam my Two-Toned Sally Melville sweater that I'm never going to wear. I must finish at least one thing before I start something else...

Oh, I almost forgot. The knitting gods were smiling yesterday. My aunt went to visit my grandfather and as she was a knitter and a weaver, asked to look at her stash. Most of the yarns were weaving yarns and not interesting, but she found...Yep, you guessed it...A swift!!!!! Hurray!!!! Susie said that she and I can share it. On the look out for a ballwinder this weekend. Yippee. Now I can wind the lace weight I bought from knitpicks for the Madli and start that too.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Being in HR really sucks...

Monday - One of my favorite people resigned to me. Being in HR really sucks.
Tuesday - Another employee resigns and there are issues. Being in HR really sucks.

I'm sick. I have to work late tomorrow and I have feeling that tomorrow isn't going to be an improvement over the first two days of the week.

Conclusion...Sometimes, being in HR really sucks.

Monday, February 21, 2005


So, I finished a baby sweater for my co-worker. See yesterday's post for a picture. I wasn't feeling very wordy, so neglected to write anything about it. I'm posting random pictures nowdays. That's the ticket. Anyway, so I blocked that a little bit tonight to see if I could get a little bit less curl at the bottom of the sweater. I've decided that I just hate to seam. So, what did I do tonight??? I cast on for another baby sweater. Yes, indeedy. My cousin's wife is having a baby and a sweater needs to be done by 3/19. I think these days I always have a baby sweater going and a pair of socks and then whatever else.

I am one of the unlucky people. I had to work this morning. I would have given anything to have been able to remain in bed this morning. I so did not want to get up. To make matters worse, I fear that I may have picked up that cold going around. I started sneezing this morning and now I have a sore throat. Yuck. So, I think I'm going to have an early night tonight. I had an orange for a snack and took a vitamin and some cold medicine. Wish me luck in fighting this off.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Saturday, February 19, 2005

Neckline issues

Well, I finally did it. After ripping out the neck 3 times, I finally got it to work. Well, to be honest, if I had read the directions correctly, it would have worked the first time...well maybe the second time. I put it on backwards once so it curled inward instead of outward. Oh, well. Here is is with one sleeve and one side seemed.

Now I know why I do some many of the baby einstein sweaters. There are only two seems. Ugghhh!!!

Friday, February 18, 2005

That darn ball of yarn...

Reason # 612 to buy a swift and ball winder is presented below.

For those that were at the yarn dyeing party last weekend, it is the purply/blue skein. I like it better in a ball than I did the skein. That I'm very happy with. Not so happy with the fact that it took me almost two hours to wind the silly thing into said ball UGHHH!!!

Needless to say, between the ballwinding and my trip to the store, no knitting got done. Everyone will be very proud of me, I made it out of Target spending only $32!!!! Hurrah!!! I only bought what was on my list. Fun stuff like shampoo, saline solution, shaving cream, etc. How did I do that you ask... Well... I went to Best Buy before target and bought movies. In my defense a gift certificate paid for 75% of said movies. I bought the last of the Lord of the Rings triligy extended versions which I've wanted for a long time...and then ...I bought a guilty pleasure movie. Yes, I finally gave in and bought Last of the Mohicans. The acting is terrible and it's about indians, but there is something about Daniel Day-Lewis in buckskins saying "Stay Alive, what ever you do, Stay Alive. I will find you" My heart just melts...

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Meaning in life

My boss has this new theory that she doesn't want to attend any meetings where she doesn't offer something or learn something. After today's training class, I'm going to be her biggest fan. Now, don't get me wrong, I like the person in charge of giving and arranging the training, but it was a waste of my time. 1. She is someone who talks so quietly that she could hardly be heard with the microphone. 2. She was either nervous or unprepared. 3. Way too corny jokes. Last, but not least. Training was not really all that applicable to the audience. We'd have been better served with some kind of brainstorming session about how to improve things than watching this video. Oh well, it wasted away 3 hours of my day and I got free lunch.

Tomorrow's Friday. Hurrah!!!! My plans for the weekend were to lounge around in my apartment all weekend, watch movies and knit, but yet again, I've been thwarted. I have to drive 2 hours each way to attend an emergency meeting for this organization where I volunteer. Ugghh! Not that there aren't issues that need to be dealt with and my presence is uneccessary, but I was looking forward to a weekend of sloth. The worst part is it's on Sunday and the yarn store in the town is closed. Ugghh!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Sadest day of the year so far...

It was a sad, sad day in the world. The Hockey season was officially canceled. It never really felt like winter this year without at least one game (I'm ignoring the possibility that unseasonably warm temperatures could be a factor, so bear with me). Such sadness. Oh, the humanity. I might have to go watch the River Otters just to get my fix. Will there be hockey next year?? Who knows. I'm a fan, but I'm not one of those people who's never going to go to another game because they canceled a season. That's ridiculous. Of course, this whole thing has been ridiculous so who am I to judge. I think the ridiculous amounts of money players of all sports get are just ridiculous. Of course, I don't think that the owners necessarily need to pocket all the profits either. I think the ones being edged out are the fans who are expected to pony up more and more money each year for the same nose bleed seats. Okay, rant over.

I've decided what I'm going to do with my newly hand dyed skeins of yarn. I'm going to try the Flower Basket Shawl from the Fall Interweave Magazine. It says to use lace-weight (437 yds), but to use two strands of it. I really hate to do lace with doubled up yarn, what a pain. I'd drop stitches and pick up extra's all over the place. So, I figure the DK weight will be a good substitute. I don't care about gauge really because it's a shawl, we're going for drapey, not exact fit. I'm going to use the purpley/bluish/creamish skein for that. Here's hoping it turns out well. If it doesn't, I can just frog and start something else. I've decided on socks for the other skein. What else do you do with bright blue/green/yellow/orange verigated yarn?

I'm done with the Debbie Bliss baby sweater except for sewing it together. Working 2 sleeves at the same time is so much easier. Although, next time, I will work from two balls because working with the 2 ends of one skein kept getting tangled up. My industrious co-workers have started a pool on the arrival date of the baby, so I will have to finish the sweater this weekend. Pictures upon completion. Probably this weekend.

One of my collegues in a similar role, described our job as adult baby sister. Tonight was feed the natives (co-workers working late) night and on a personal note, knit night. Thankfully, dinner is done in time for me to make it to knit night. That would have been a deal breaker on wednesday night for dinners.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Black Monday

Welcome to Black Monday. The day that all single people hate with a passion. Now, I'm a about as hopeless a romantic as they come, but even Valentine's day is too much for me. To make matters worse, today there was this article in one of the papers today about single people being the new pariahs of society. It used to be divorcees that were looked down upon by society seen as failures. Now it's the singletons of the world. Apparently, we've never grown up. Gee, isn't that cheery...

The true day to celebrate is tomorrow when all that lovely chocolate goes on sale.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

A yarn party you're dyeing to attend

My knitty friend, Maryann, had a whole bunch of the knitting girls over for brunch today. She had been inspired by new knitpicks line of dyeable yarn to have a party and dye yarn. First, Maryann, had the best brunch. Mmmm. Creme Brulee french toast, fritatta, scones, grapefruit with mint sugar. Mmmmm. It was an amazing spread. Almost forgot the Cheesecake from McArthurs for dessert. Thank you Maryann!!!!Then we got to the fun part. Kool-aid dying yarn. We must have had a million packets of koolaid that we agonized over trying to pick the perfect colors. Here's Teri, in from KC, prepping her yarn

Ellen's Yarn

My Yarn

Everyone and their yarn! Don't we look happy???

And the final presentation of all of our yarns

A fun time was had by all! Thanks to Maryann for feeding us the wonderful food and introducing us to the fun of dyeing. I have a feeling that Knitpicks will soon have some more orders from all of us.

Friday, February 11, 2005

#1 Secret Pal

I love friday, especially when I get a package from my secret pal. First, the post office sucks. Look at the condition of the envelope... They had it held together by rubberbands. The contents was okay though.


Isn't that awesome. Three skeins of Crystal Palace Wakiki and an awesome button. The colors don't show up so well in that picture, It's muted pinks, lavenders, green, white and sand colors. It's so pretty. I've been sitting here imagining what I'm going to do with it.

Here's a more close up picture of the button, but it doesn't do it justice. Secret pal says it comes from a woman who makes them with things that she picks up in nature. How cool is that. I'm thinking a big chunky felted bag would be perfect to showcase the button.

Last, but not least, look at these awesome cards she sent.

I have the best secret pal in the world!!! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I love it!

Thursday, February 10, 2005


I camped out in an office on the 19th floor this afternoon. I was listening to a webcast. We've been asked to dedicate ourselves to listening to these things and to cut out the multi-tasking. So I diligently tried to sit and listen to the webcast and not answer e-mail, work on a spreadsheet, surf the internet, sametime co-workers, read assorted office paperwork, etc. I soon drifted and remembered an "important" e-mail I had to send. Caught myself multi-tasking. Rededicated myself to watching the webcast and listening...only. Minutes later, found myself watching the arch and tour groups go in and out of the Old Courthouse. Ooooh, Darn! Supposed to be listening to webcast. Focused...again. Another e-mail I had to send. Focus. Good idea for staff morale booster. Focus. I really want to vacation on a beach... I was thinking touring Italy would be fun, but laying on a beach for a week is sounding better and better... Opened web browser to look for all inclusive resort in cancun... Ugghhh!! It's really hard to pay attention to webcasts...

It seems the package with the cute outfit (bought) and matching hat ( that I knitted) for a friend's baby has gone missing... I checked with another friend and her package arrived, so what happened to mine??? The package had a return address on it, so even if I got the address wrong, more importantly, why hasn't it come back??? Darn USPS. I should have known to go to One Stop Mail guy instead of the computer thingee in the post office foyer that lured me into thinking it was safe. One stop mail guy is always there to help me in crisis... Glad I went to One Stop Mail guy to send Secret Pal package. I feel much better about it's prospects for arriving at the intended recipient.

I'm working on three, read that three, secret projects. Projects for people that I know read this blog. It kind of cuts down on the fun of having the knitting blog. I'm reduced to purposely taking blurry pictures just so I can prove I haven't been neglecting my knitting. I'm still on the hunt for a summer pattern to work on for me. Susie started that wrap around sweater thing from the S&B Nation. So, now, I have project-start envy. I will admit to everyone that Yarn Envy and Project-Start Envy are much better than the other types of Envy. For awhile I had House Envy. Now that's some expensive envy. I, for the most part, have left that behind, although, I'm covertly shopping for a permanent residence that will entail being in hock up over my head for 30 some-odd years sometime in the next two years. It's also better than baby envy. Although, regular visits and cuddles from 2 month old neice have largely eliminated that as well. Living vicariously is working so far for me on this one. Hope is stays that way. In world news, limp fish, Prince Charles is going to, finally, marry bland Camilla Parker-Bowles. Oh Boy. The two of them are the most bland, vanilla couple in the world. Even their affair is bland. How do bland people stir themselves to have affairs?? Thankfully the sons take after their mother. What a brou-haha in the media though. Good lord. By the way, I still haven't made my way through all the SP4 blogs. I'm on "T" now...

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yarn Envy

I'm over yesterday's yarn envy. It may have been a product of the all the medication I took yesterday or an overload from reading too many blogs...

Wednesday's are knit nite. It was a small crowd this evening. Only 5 of us. Fun all the same. I worked on a new baby sweater for a co-worker. Ignore the green tint. It's the variegated Plymouth Dreambaby. White with bright pink, green, blue and yellow. I'm hoping it turns out looking fairly unisex as I don't know the sex of the baby.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Headache rising in the morning...

I woke up with such a headache this morning, it was all I could do to drag myself out of bed. It's pretty bad when you're downing the Excedrin Migraine before you've even left the covers. Two of those babies, two ibuprophen and a vat of diet coke later I was actually able to walk out of my house without wincing at the brightness of the dull grey overcast morning. Headache went away mid-morning thankfully, except for the residual migraine hangover feeling and I was fine by the afternoon. Thankfully my morning was pretty easy. We handed out the ballots for our Academy Awards contest at work. We're trying to drum up some fun in our dull grey lives.

Well, I've made it to S in trying to read all of the Secret Pal 4 blogs. This is addicting and also bad for me as well. I'm now officially on the hunt for some yarn to do the Clapotis. Yes, I know I just bought a second batch of yarn to do the Madli shawl and no, I don't feel bad about coveting the Clapotis. I also have sock yarn envy. The Six Sock Knit-a-long, the Sockapolooza, random socks, the beautiful yarns... Not that I don't have enough yarn to make 9 pairs of socks, but all the different kinds, colors, patterns and the koigu, oh, the koigu. You would think with 10 yarn shops in town, that one would carry koigu. No can do Shamu. I'd have to drive to the Yarn Barn in Kansas in order to get my hot little hands on some. I could, of course, buy some from a catalog or on line, but that seems like cheating. I am putting a seperate fund aside to buy some at Stitches Midwest this year. I stupidly saw, and neglected to buy some in my yarn stupor last year. If you've been to Stitches, you understand the yarn stupor, even as you ridicule me for neglecting the koigu. In other news, I just heard they're discontinuing the Mission Falls 1924 Cotton. I'm so sad. It's like the perfect yarn for so many things. I'm going to have to score some on-line (yet another thing not carried by the LYS) before the supply is gone.

I'm also about at the breaking point regarding buying a swift and ball winder. I keep looking at the hanks of yarn stashed around my place and shuddering at the thought of winding them all without the benefit of either.

In shoe news, my black boots are wearing out. I need to buy new ones.

Can you tell I have shopping withdrawl or what?

Monday, February 07, 2005

I hate Mondays...

It was all I could do to drag myself to work this morning. I hate Mondays. At least it was a busy day and it went by really fast and when I got home I had a card from my secret pal!!! Hurrah, thanks for brightening up a bad day. I'd post a copy of the card, but batteries in camera are dead...

I went to a superbowl party at my friend's house yesterday. It was fun. I saw some people that I hadn't seen awhile. The boys and die hard football fans were in one room with the big screen tv. The girls were in the other room knitting and watching the commercials. Now that's what I call a superbowl party.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Will you be my wingman???

So, for days now, the local news has been running teasers for this revolutionary dating idea that's going to change lives. The concept, you ask??? Hire a wingman. Apparently this is all the rage in NYC, Chicago and LA. You pay this person $50 an hour to go to bars with you, meet people and then introduce you. The theory is if you're a woman, you take a man. He dresses nice, but not "HOT" and buddies up to groups of guys and then throws some line in to introduce you. If you're a guy, you take a woman. Now, they say you can use this concept with your friends for free. Get one of your male friends to go out with you and do the same thing for free. The problem, all my male friends are married, all their male friends are married, there are more single women than men in St. Louis and I'm just not in that stage of life where hanging out in bars every night is a good time. Nor do I want a man who thinks that hanging out in bars is my idea of a good time. Nope, I don't think this is going to revultionize my life. Nice try.

In other dating news, I got caught with my guard down while home sick with the stomach flu a couple of weeks ago and participated in a dating survey. Well, the wonderful people from "Great Expectations" - which is a social club, not a dating service, but they'll screen the men for me for $$ (yeah, right)- has been bugging the crap out of me. They call at least once a day. I'm just not into it. UGGHHH! Being single is both a blessing and a curse. Where have all the good men gone??

I've been blog surfing all of the blogs for the Secret Pals 4. I'm working my way through K now. I came to the conclusion that I should be bookmarking the ones I'd like to come back to. Unfortunately, I didn't book any of the first half of the alphabet... So, I'll have to go start back at the beginning once I'm done. It's amazing how different everyone is. I can even kind-of-sort-of read the french blogs. It's been awhile since my last french class.

I'm putting together a package for my secret pal. It's so much fun. I just need one or two more things and it will go out. I can't wait until she gets it!!!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Hurrah!!! Yarn Delivery!!! Well, to be honest, it came 2 days ago, but I haven't had a spare second to blog since then. Yarn has that unerring ability to arrive at the most fortuitious time, like after you've had a long...long...12+ hour day of meetings and it's 10:30pm, you have a headache and you know you have to get up early the next day to return to more meetings and then, there it is...the package of yarn from Knitpicks... Ahhhh....Everything is all better now. I immediately ripped into the box, too quickly it seems since I gave myself a box cut on my thumb that bled and bled and hurt like the dickins' and delayed the joy of touching new yarn, because I didn't want to get any blood on it. Okay, so thumb is properly bandaged to assure no leakage, back to the yarn. Ahhhh.

I have mixed feelings about what I ordered. I had ordered some of the sock yarn, both the Sock Garden and the Simply Stripes. The simply stripes was everything I imagined and I think it will look great knit up. The Sock Garden, not as happy with. The yarn feels fabulous, don't get me wrong. It's a color thing. I ordered the Hydrangea color. On line, it looks all different muted shades of purples with a little pink mixed in. The skeins I got, more of a lot of pink with some purple mixed it and the colors are so bright. All in all, I think I'll like it a lot after I get over the disappointment about the color. I also got some of the Wool. Even though I knew the yardage, I expected the skeins to be bigger, thicker, longer, something. Also the yarn looks thinner than the stitch count/needle size would predict. Only swatching will tell I guess. Colors on these were exactly what was expected. Very good. The best of the bunch that I ordered though was the Alpaca Cloud. I ordered it in Peppermint. It looks exactly like I imagined. The weight of it is what I was expecting and it feels amazing. I can't stop petting it. Everyone I show it too pets it as well. It's addicting. Ellen brought her Knitpicks selections to knitting last night as well. She had some of the silk/alpaca mix which was amazing and the silk, which was okay(in my opinion). Ellen had also bought some of the sock garden yarn and the color was not what she had expected either. Nancy was happy to take it off her hands for her. Ellen also had some of the Sock Landscapes, which I liked better. If I order again, I will probably get some of that. A word of warning to those ordering, just because the Sock Landscapes kind of looks like Koigu it is not koigu, but is good when judged by itself. See, much more pink than on-line

So, on to real life. I've been co-hosting some meetings in town for about 30 people from my company. How exhausting. Tuesday went until 10:30 and yesterday from 8-5pm. I was never so glad to get out of someplace in my life. When I got to knit night last night, I didn't know how long I was going to stay because I was so tired & stressed out from trying to manage everything (food, lodging, transportation, technical glitches, etc.). But, as usual, it was so good to get together with everyone and just knit and talk about what everyone was doing. I ended up staying until almost 10pm, in spite of the snow. Thankfully, everyone got on their planes last night and returned to their place of origin leaving me in peace today. The e-mail system was down and I didn't have phone access, so the day was rather relaxing after all the hubub.