Shoes and Yarn

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

Friday, December 30, 2005

Looking back on 2005...

So, here it is the last day of 2005 and it's time to look back on the year and survey what, if anything, did I accomplish this year... Hmmmm...

Well, I had a good year at work, didn't get fired or laid off, got a pay increase and a bonus, always a plus.

Moved to a new apartment and bought new furniture. New Bed. New Couch. New Knitting Chair with Ottoman. Oh Yeah!!! (We'll ignore the fact that I haven't unpacked half of the stuff pending the potential relocation to KC)

Still no man. :-( On the other hand, had a lot of wonderful times with friends went on several mini-vacations. Had a great time.

Volunteered - finished out 1 full year as a volunteer on the Housing Corp board and was elected a director.

Read 53 "real" books...and countless other trashy romance novels, but those don't count. Favorites include Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" novels, Mary Janice Davidson's "Undead..." books and my perennial favorite Pride and Prejudice by the immortal Jane Austen.

Finished 22 Knitted Objects this year including:
1 baby hat
3 pairs of baby socks
7 pairs of adult socks (Only 1 pair for me!!!! What's up with that???)
2 baby sweaters
1 Flower Basket Shawl
2 Clapotis
2 Dish Cloths
1 Soleil Tank (for me!!!)
1 Ruffles Scarf
1 Misty Garden Scarf
1 Baby Blanket for Project Linus
Definitely need to work on making more stuff for myself because out of all of that, only 1 pair of socks, the Soleil tank and 1 measly dish cloth remained in my possession...

So, tonight I will spend with friends (YarnEnvy Beth and Suzie) at the First Night celebration here in St. Louis and ring in the New Year which will hopefully bring wonderful things for me and all of my family and friends.

Best Intentions...

Well, I had the best intentions of getting a lot done. I got most of my x-mas stuff taken down. I did 2 loads of laundry. I met Julie for lunch. Dealt with a work problem.

I had the best of intentions for knitting the collar on Lindsay's sweater. Made a calculating mistake in my first attempt and ripped it out. Realized I put it on backwards after 40 rows... ripped it out. Put it on backwards again but realized it after 10 rows...ripped it Had some weird stitch where I switched colors and ripped it out again. I've decided that it doesn't want to be knitted this evening and that it's better to put it down and leave it for tomorrow as opposed to ripping out half the darn sweater in frustration!!!!! UGHHH!!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Two ties, a turned heel courtesy of 2 new tires...

Why is it that it always takes longer than you think it should to get car maintenance. I read 2 people magazines and completed 2 inches of the sock in the time that it took them to put two new tires on my car. (One tie I finished last night and the 2nd tonight.) UGHHH!!! Worse than that, I went at 11am and about noon, the brought lunch in from this nearby deli and it smelled so good. My stomach started growling and I sat there like that for the next hour and a half while I waited for my car to come out of the black hole called the garage. Meanwhile, I could hear "Oh, Yeah Baby!" coming from said garage. Kind of made me wonder what exactly was going on back there...

One step closer to finishing Lindsay's sweater. The ties are done. That leaves me with no option but to work on the collar. I've put it off as long as humanly possible.

On the schedule for tomorrow: Lunch with Julie (Yeah!), laundry (Enhh...), putting away christmas (ughh!) and the collar to Lindsay's sweater.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Angel in a Clapotis

Yes, finally, the picture of the my neice in the clapotis I gave to my sister for x-mas. Isn't she just a doll. We definitely missed her on x-mas this year.

All in all, Christmas was good this year. I got a Niddy Noddy and Nancy Bush's Vintage Sock book. Hurrah. There was knitting over x-mas. I finished the sleeves for Lindsay's x-mas sweater.

Now all I have to do is finish the collar, ties, block and sew together. Progress...finally the end is in sight.

I also turned the heel on the Caruso sock and am now on the home stretch. Although I really like the way the sock looks, it seems to be taking forever to do it. Pictures when it's done...soon hopefully.

I was a bad, bad girl today. I used my x-mas money from my grandfather to buy some Mountain Colors sock yarn in the Wild Raspberry colorway. I've been coveting it since August... Bad, bad Gwen.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

So, after returning from Stitches way back in August, I decided to go on a yarn diet and to knit up some of my stash which kind of got out of hand. So, as I approach the end of the year, I started wondering about how I did with, here's the count of finished objects vs. yarn from?

1. Jeff's Birthday socks - ummm...had to buy new yarn didn't have anything suitable for a boy in the stash.
2. Baby Einstein for Knitting Guild - ummm...couldn't pass up the skein for $.25 @ Target deal. I should get credit for giving it to charity shouldn't I???
3. Clapotis - Stitches 2005 yarn. I think we consider this stash yarn since it came into my possession prior to the "use stash yarn vow." Yeah!!
4. Misty garden scarf - Stash yarn. Bought at the Knitorious inventory sale last December. Yipee!
5. Project Linus blanket - Had to buy new yarn as I didn't have any suitable blanket for child yarn in the stash. :-(
6. Flower Basket Shawl (in progress) - Stash yarn. Made out of knitpicks yarn my aunt and I dyed. Yippee.
7. Carusoe Socks (in progress) - Stash yarn! Tess's Super Sock yarn purchased at Stitches 2004.
8. Baby Einstein (in progress) - Stash yarn! Plymouth Baby yarn purchased at the Knitorious Inventory sale last year.
9. Lindsay's Sweater (in progress) - stash yarn. Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton bought last spring.

So, 6 of 9 items items started or started and completed since August 15, 2005 have been stash yarn. Not too bad. The yarn purchases weren't out there, but for specific reasons. Although I would certainly enjoy socks that are striped pink, I have the feeling that my brother would run the other way as fast as possible. He does like the grey socks I did knit for him. The other two were charity. The Target yarn I bought specifically to make a charity gift since it was so cheap I couldn't pass it up. I bought only enough to make the baby sweater and then for the blanket, I had no suitable yarn in the stash.

Not too bad, although could be better. I have to admit, that I'm absolutely chomping at the bit to start something new. You'd think that I would be going gangbuster's on Lindsays sweater so I could start something new, but so far, I've cast on for the sleeves and knit just a few rows. I need to step it up. So many things to knit, so little time.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I started the sleeves for Lindsay's x-mas sweater today. No, you didn't miss that the collar was finished. Finishing the collar requires frogging back most of the work already completed and coming up with some great plan so as not to run out of the pink yarn prior to completion of the collar. Since that requires more mind power than I currently possess and god forbid I have to rip it out more than once, I decided it would work out much better if I were to take an afternoon during my time off between x-mas and New Year to work on it. So, I cast on for the sleeves. Yes, multiples. Not only does it go faster, they will be identical. You wouldn't think that would be an issue, but look at who we're talking about...

I forgot to mention that I finally finished my holiday shopping last night. Yes, it's finally ended after a 30 minute wait in line at the local Border's. I will not make any more gift trips this year, although, I will be going to the local Barnes & Noble to meet the Knitting Posse tomorrow, but that doesn't count. Yippee!! I'm so excited. Now I only have to wrap up the ones that I bought last night.

I also found out that I'm on X-mas cookie duty for X-mas eve at my aunt's. Ummm...small problem...I haven't made any x-mas cookies this year. What you say???!!!! Well, I was busy and then I was sick and then last weekend I helped other people make cookies and celebrating x-mas early, but no, I have not yet made any cookies and wasn't in fact planning on making them... So, umm...this Friday afternoon after I get off work has officially been designated as cookie making day. I think I'm going to go with the quick and easy Chocolate chip cookies and I'm thinking I might make some of the kisses cookies, but instead of peanut butter with a regular kiss, I was thinking about making it out of the sugar cookie dough with a chocolate cherry kiss in the middle. Mmmmm... I'll wind out the platter with a few of the cookies that I made with my aunt and brought home and chocolate covered popcorn I got as a gift (not a huge popcorn fan, so convenient way to get rid of it). All of this requires going to the store and buying food, which is a good plan anyway seeing as I haven't been grocery shopping in 3 weeks.

Monday, December 19, 2005

So, I celebrated christmas early with my sister & her family on Saturday. My niece (1 year old) went into gift meltdown after about 3 gifts. She wanted to play with the gifts she had already received. She didn't want to open any new ones... What were we thinking???

My gift was a big hit. The Bee Bop Band, which is a drum filled with a bell ringing thing, a tambourine, a maraca like shaker thing, a small xylophone (which I'm sure my brother-in-law is thanking the lord since it doesn't work very well and the sound is much diminished) and of course drum sticks for the drum. She handed out different pieces to everyone to make noise with her. I'm sure that my brother-in-law would like to shoot me dead.

I gave my sister the clapotis that I made from her out of the yarn from interlacements that I bought at Stitches in August. It turned out fantastic. Unfortunately, the pictures are in my camera, which I left at my mother's house. I have a very cute picture of it being modeled by my niece. All in all, it was a good day. I got a necklace and the Betty Crocker cookbook - Breast Cancer awareness edition. Yes, although I cook a lot, I'm probably the only person on the earth without one. I'm still scouring estate sales for a copy of an old one. It's interesting to see how the recipes change as people's tastes change.

In case you were wondering, I did not finish the sweater for my niece, but I'm not allowed to start another knitting project until it's done. So, I can work on a UFO or the sweater, but no new projects until the sweater is done. Now, just so you're not under the impression that this limits me, I do have several UFOs in progress:
1. Caruso Socks - Currently working on sock #2
2. Flower Basket Shawl - in the yarn I died in the ball.
3. Baby Einstein sweater - Another one,I know. People should stop having babies...
4. Faina's scarf - Yes, this is still in progress. Yes, I'm aware of the fact that it's been more than 2 years. Yes, I still know where the last ball of the Red Frog Tree Alpaca is to finish the scarf. Yes, there is a slight problem in that I lost one of the size 5 needles needed to complete this project. I don't see that as an obstacle, I have others.
5. Lindsay's sweater.

Now, I'm off work for 10 whole days starting this Friday at noon. I should, theoretically, be able to finish the collar on Lindsays sweater and the 2 sleeves and put it all together and finish at least one of the other UFOs so I can start something or maybe 2 somethings new. I think this year's new year resolution will be to finish Faina's scarf. It's lingered in it's lonely bag too long.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Where in the world has Gwen Been???

Well, it seems as if I have yet again dropped off the face of the world. In actuality, I was stuck in the mall, shopping endlessly trying to finish my christmas shopping. Shopped Monday. Shopped Tuesday. Shopped, knitted with the posse, shopped again on Wednesday. Had a nice dinner with a friend tonight. I'd just like to make it home before 10pm one night. I have about 2 weeks worth of laundry and my house looks as if someone has ransacked it after being sick last weekend and coming home late running back out again the next morning with something or another in tow. Ugghhh! Next week should be better .

In knitting news, I gave away the Ruffles scarf that I made to my boss for x-mas. She took it home where her 2 year old son fell in love. He looped it up over his head around his neck to hold it in place and ran around the house on his hands and knees roaring all evening long because he was a lion. I told her she had a take a picture of Jack and his "lion mane."

Sunday, December 11, 2005

No I'm not dead...

...although on Saturday, it was touch and go... Sinus infection, Upper Respiratory infection and the kicker, on Saturday, the stomach flu. It can't get much better than that. I think I should be exempt from all sickness for the rest of the winter since they all decided to gang up on me at once. Ughhh. I'm almost feeling human again. Now I need to get cracking on my christmas shopping seeing as there are less than 2 weeks and I'm no where near done.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Christmas Gift for me...

...or how I spent the money I would have spent on a dress to the company holiday party...

I went to a glass show this weekend and look what I bought...
I didn't intend on buying anything, but in the end, I just couldn't resist. The bowl just called out to me. It's so much prettier in real life. The small pitcher was an incredible deal. The larger pitcher was just cool. And the candy canes are for my tree. I bought 2 other ones last year.

I did get some knitting done/undone this weekend. I was working the collar on my neice's x-mas sweater and discovered that I was going to run out of the pink yarn before finishing the collar...oops... I'm going to have to reconfigure this some how... So, needless to say, I ended up ripping out all of my work from the day. Ugghhh!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

So you say it's my birthday...

When you're one, you don't quite know what a birthday is. You get lots of toys...that come in boxes (cool!), but sometimes don't work...
as evidenced by Aunt Gwen's gift that requires assembly. I'm sure Dad will have lots of fun putting that together least I didn't get anything that made noise.

You'll allow people to put a funny crown on your head for about two seconds...

but only because Aunt Gwen has distracted you with Fruit O's... (Don't we look cute??)

And last, but not least, not to be left out of the party....Gunther felt the need to play personal inspector and make sure everyting thing was okay.

Happy 1st Birthday to my niece Lindsay.