Sunday, November 15, 2009

Visiting family (and yarn stores) in Maine & Vermont

Hi All,
I’m just back from a 2 week vacation to Maine and Vermont to visit family. We had a good time catching up and visiting. The weather was nice (for that time of year), and the trees were beginning to turn color.
I also got to stop in 5 different yarn stores while there, so I thought I’d spread the word.
Brattleboro, VT (southern end of VT) Not just Yarn - a nice friendly store with a reasonable yarn selection. I stopped in while the Tuesday social group was there - a lively group of knitters. I bought some yarn to make my niece a pair of legwarmers.
Also in Brattleboro, Knit or Dye - a smaller yarn store, smaller selection. I bought a sock book - Favorite Socks.
Nearby Putney, VT is the home of Green Mountain Spinnery. It has a small store in the front of their spinnery selling their products. I didn’t buy anything because of my limited packing space and because I was only looking for sock yarn at that point. It did have some very nice yarn.
In Maine, the Yard Goods store in Waterville, ME is yarn overload for me. They have 2 storefronts with a inside door between them. One side is all fabrics and notions - I don’t shop on that side but they look to have a large selection. The other side is 3/4 yarn and 1/4 rubber stamp/scrapbook stuff. They have a very extensive selection of yarns. One section was all sock yarn, floor to ceiling and baskets on the floor. I bought sock yarn (Heritage by Cascade, Melody by Jojoland) and a very yummy Mulberry Merino by Plymouth Yarn Co. The staff here is very helpful. One year I was looking for baby yarn and didn’t see what I wanted on the shelf so they took me into their basement - yarn in plastic bags on shelves all over the place. I strongly recommend a visit here if you’re in the Maine area.
Then, last but not least - Halcyon Yarns in Bath, ME. This is a large store with yarn, roving, supplies for knitting, weaving, spinning, etc. They have a good selection of yarns including their own label. Due to lack of space in my suitcase, I only bought a skein of sock yarn to make socks for my mother. The store even had a gas burning wood stove - it made the space seem even more pleasant. If I’d been by myself I would have pulled up a chair and started knitting.
So - if you’re planning a trip to the East Coast, here’s a start for yarn stores to visit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Yeah - I won three of Anne's patterns. :-)

Anne is such a generous person. I got a free copy of her Carmen Bolero pattern, plus two others yet to be determined. Now I have to find the right yarn in the Handicraft Cafe
In other news:
My part-time, temporary job is over, so I'm taking it easy for the next month. Doing volunteer work (filing mostly) at the local Family Court Services office. I got the volunteer job through a knitting friend.
I'm slowly working on my knitting projects again - scarves, etc.
And spending way too much time on Facebook, Pogo, etc.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Anne's pattern contest - I really like the 'Carmen' pattern

Anne Kuo-Lukito is going wild with designing patterns. She's giving some away that are slightly stained due to a tea accident. Since I really like free stuff :-), I figured I'd post about her 'Carmen' pattern which I really like. It's a long sleeved bolero with a hood. Here's a link for the pattern in Ravelry - Carmen
and here's a link for the pattern on Anne's home page - Carmen
And yes - I do like to promote Anne's patterns since she's one of my friends.

Life is going well for me. I spent last Thursday at the fair with Renata - she had a deep-fried Twinkie and a deep-fried Oreo, and I ate three deep-fried Oreos. Sooo good! I want more!
I'm currently working part-time (20 hours/week) until the end of September. I'm also volunteering 3 hours a week at the Family Court Services where another friend works. Mostly filing - which is a nice change from tax work. :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Yarn swift, other news

1) My darling husband made me a yarn swift based on Anne Kuo-Lukito's pattern. Anne's swift
Of course, being an engineer, he made a couple of minor alterations - he used 2 CD's instead of 1, and we used a straw over the bolt to make the swift spin a little smoother. It's already been put to use on one of the huge skeins of yarn from a Newton's Yarn Sale. That's why I wanted one of these swifts. My little umbrella swift (a gift from my mother-in-law who found it at an estate sale) is great for small skeins of yarn. However, the Newton's skeins are abnormally large. This new swift is handling it with ease.
2) I'm spending Sunday at Disneyland since they let me in free on my birthday. I'll be 7! After a certain age, you can be creative with your age. Me - I add the 2 digits of my age together to get my new age.
3) Monday I start a part-time, temporary job - 20 hours/week for 3 months. It's with the company i worked for last year as a temporary. I didn't want to hire on with them due to the commute and the lack of decent restaurants in the area. I have not yet heard the real story of what happened to the person they hired to take on the job. The temporary agency said she'd taken 6 weeks of vacation (funny, she's been there less than 1 year and now is their busy time), the company person said she'd left the country. I'll find out the real story on Monday.
Have a Great Fourth of July!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WWKIP day - awesome!

Saturday, June 13th was World-Wide Knit in Public day. So, Renata and I hosted the 2nd annual picnic at El Dorado Park in Long Beach. It was a great day. We got there around 9:30am and set up the tables and pop-ups with help from Jamie and some others whose names I didn't get (sorry, I'm bad at names). We hung the All Things String banner between 2 trees, and our new banner - which has the WWKIP logo and 'All Things String' on it, from one of the pop-ups. We also had 2 folding signs that Renata designed and I helped make - we used them to point the way to our area.
There was a steady stream of people who started showing up - I think we ended up with over 40 people. Lots of goodies on the table. Denise W. brought her delicious cupcakes - I grabbed the first one.
We had a table set up for 'Free' yarn - anything people wanted to give away, and a table for 'Raffle Prizes'. Renata and I took some skeins from the Free table and moved them to the Raffle table - 4 skeins of Koigu, etc. :-) There were lots of goodies on the Free table - I limited myself to one skein of ribbon yarn in a blue/purple color. At the end of the day there was 1 bag of yarn left that will be passed on to Project Linus.
After the lunch, we had the Mystery Pattern Battle - started with 13 contestants, a few dropped out during the game due to wrong-size needles, yarn trouble, etc. The pattern was for a water-bottle cozy. I think most people had fun with it. We also had 2 spinning speed contests - one for wheels, one for drop spindle. And a speed crochet contest. Denise W. won the Mystery Pattern Battle as the first person finished, I called Gwen as the last one standing since we were running out of time and had to start the raffle.
Sabrina (the 13 year-old knitter) was one of the lucky raffle winners - one of the jugglers had a winning ticket and passed it to her. :-) She also won the fiber and lady-bug spindle - another person lured into spinning. :-)
Towards the end of the raffle, Margo arrived with 2 alpacas - Seven and his little sister. They were so cute.
We packed up and were home by 6:30. I spent the next day recovering. :-)
I got to wear my tiara all day, although I should have been wearing either my sun hat or more sunscreen.
Thanks to all who participated, and extra thanks to Jamie and Abraham for all their help, Melyssa and Su for the name tags and badge holders.
Here's a link to Jan's pictures.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yarn Will

Another contest to enter! :-)
My Yarn Will is easy - I leave all my yarn, needles, etc. to Renata - leader of our All Things String group. She can take what she wants and divide the rest up among the group. If I ever get around to writing a real will, I'll try to remember to put that in. And also leave her a few bucks for the hassle of dealing with my stash. :-)
Happy knitting to you all!

Needles won - Yeah!

I entered a contest on Craft Gossip and won a set of 15 circular needles from . Yeah. I started my first project on them yesterday. I really like the cables on these needles - they're thicker than the normal cables, so when I'm doing a project on 2 circulars, I'm not overtightening the end stitches. I got the 30" set. They're bamboo and feel very nice in my hands.
Thanks to Linda for organizing the contest. New needles for free - yeah!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Prizes in the cereal boxes

Yesterday I bought a box of Frosted Flakes - I needed a sugar cereal for my Sunday breakfast - and it had a Star Trek LED light. It looks like the badge but has no pin on the back. I'll have to glue a pin back to it.
Anyway, I was reminded that when I was younger, the prizes in the cereal were buried inside the cereal, not nicely packaged on the outside like they are today. I'm sure it's easier for the cereal manufacturers to package it that way. However, they're taking away the thrill of tipping the box carefully to see if you could see and grab the prize. Since the prize had usually settled to the bottom of the box, this could take a few days. And of course, if you had siblings, it was a race to see who could see the prize first and grab it with their grubby little hand. You weren't allowed to dump the cereal out, nor to search it with said grubby little hand, but you could manipulate the sides of the box in order to get the best possible chance of seeing the prize at the bottom. Of course you usually ended up having to share the prize with your siblings - most unfair. :-)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back from my first SCA Event - Pentathlon

I had a busy weekend. I spent Friday with old friends from craft night. We used to meet once a month to play with rubber stamps, making cards, etc. That evolved into scrap-booking - however, since I have no children I didn't scrapbook. So, I knitted instead. The monthly meetings ended a year or so ago, and now we get together twice a year for weekends.
Since my friend Tonwen/Rae was going to be honored at an SCA event on Saturday, I decided to go to my first SCA event. Renata arranged for Kim to lend me a dress. Thanks Kim! I traveled to Van Nuys on Friday night with Medb/Renata. We were staying on Friday and Saturday nights at Howard Johnson's in order to take some of the stress of the event away.
It's called Pentathlon, and it covers all the Arts and Sciences covered by SCA - Society for Creative Anachronism. This group is devoted to recreating the best of Medieval and Renaissance life. People enter their items on Saturday for judging. They have 1 hour to set up their exhibit/exhibits. You can enter one item or many. To win the First Prize, you need to have the highest score from at least 5 items in 4 categories. So, people who wish to win, enter several items. There were also dramatic presentations, musical presentations, dance, etc. Those were going on during the day and anyone could attend as audience. Alas, the food competition was only for the judges. After the setup, those not judging were over in the Artisan's area where people set up pavilions and pop-ups to present their crafts. I was with Medb/Renata at the calligraphy/costume pop-up. I sat and knitted during the day and talked to Serafina/Sabrina. (I've tried to put their SCA name first, then their real name).
The winds were heavy and broke a pole on the tent next door which happened to be owned by the King and Queen. So, their tent lay on the ground for the rest of the day. Then, JonThomme/Thomas had barely set up his pavilion, when a plastic tent-stake broke and in seconds his pavilion was down. Luckily no-one was in it, and there wasn't a flame going at the time. At that point, Conchobar/Ric took his ropes and stakes and tied down the pop-ups we were under.
The Whole Hogs of Damocles was the name of Tonwen's team - Medb, Conchobar, Elidh/Cat, JonThomme and his wife Eva (sp?). They created a model of a bog and buried a doll in it. The doll was made of balsa wood and rawhide and clothed in garb complete with miniature shoes (Conchobar). Also included in the burial area were miniature beads (Conchobar), a spindle (Elidh), Nalbinded socks and hat (Medb) and a miniature comb (Jon Thomme). Eva did a castle complete with cabbage fields and six sugar pigs for the pastry competition. Tonwen did a research paper. Each person did full size items for entry in the appropriate category also. They won the People's Choice award and the Team competition. Yeah! Jon Thomme also won a Queen's Favor for his full size version of the comb - made from horn.
Saturday supper was at Red Lobster after Claim Jumper said it would be a 3 hour wait for a group of 8. Red Lobster has the best biscuits.
Sunday I went to church, taking Renata to see her first Catholic Mass.
Sunday morning was for viewing the exhibits and placing small tokens (beads, etc.) by those exhibits you like the best. We stopped in Michael's to pick up tokens. I used small strings of seed beads - purple. Sunday afternoon was Court when the awards were presented.
Sunday supper was at Claim Jumper - since we got there at 4pm there wasn't a very long wait. We were back at Rae and Renata's by 8:30 or so - I helped unpack the car and then drove home.
It was a great weekend, I had lots of fun, and no, I do not plan to join the SCA. :-)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Back to scraping walls, hoodie is finished - yeah!

I finished the hoodie at the All Things String meeting last Tuesday and have worn it and washed it. I like it a lot, it's snug and warm. The edging of the hood curls under, so I just curled it under all around. The sleeves are raglan as opposed to the straight sleeves on the original pattern.
Now that I'm recovered from the virus, I've started scraping the walls again - such fun. :-)
I did manage to finish off a couple of UFO's, so the pile is shrinking. One of them needs some yarn to sew it up, so I'll have to make a trip to Velona's, another has yarn somewhere in this house for sewing up - I just have to find the yarn.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mostly recovered, 5th Kiva loan

Well, it was a virus - the doctor said - Fluids, Tylenol for fever, 7 to 10 days duration. No antibiotics. I didn't start feeling like I was going to recover until Day 8.5, then I was still a little weak for a few more days after that. Not fun at all.
Now, I'm exercising again, working my way back to my normal state of health.
My Kiva loans repaid enough so I could make another loan - Yeah! It's so much fun - I usually check once a week to see how they're doing.
Knitting is going well. The hoodie is almost finished, and I'm poking some of my UFO's in an attempt to clear some of them out. I think my next big project will be either a shawl (with some lovely yarn I got in Solvang), or a clapotis (with some yarn I got in Colorado mixed with some rayon ribbon). Such fun decisions.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Recovering slowly from flu?

I don't know if it's the flu or what. Severe tiredness, fatigue, etc. for the past 3 days - not much appetite and a sore throat. But no sneezing, sniffling, etc. If I still feel blah by Wednesday I'll have John drag me to the doctors. Hope everyone else is doing well.
I finished my first pair of socks Thursday and wore them all day - just before I became sick (I'm certain there's no correlation).
I just made my fourth Kiva loan, and at the rate the other loans are repaying, i'll be able to make another one soon.
I'll try to post pictures of the socks when I put enough brain cells together to plug in the camera, etc.
Off to take another nap.

Monday, February 16, 2009

No Quidditch for me. :-(

Sadly, the Quidditch game was called due to Rae not feeling so good. Instead we played Harry Potter Clue at Rae and Renata's house. Me, Kim, Kelsey, Rick and Rae played (Rae won) while Renata cooked and fed us deviled eggs w/curry (Yum), popcorn and roast chestnuts (even more Yum). It was fun.
I need some exercise! I'll have to take a few walks this week when the rain lets up.
The socks are finished - however I'm picking up stitches on the cuff to use up the last of the yarn in making the cuffs longer. The hoodie is progressing well despite having a couple of parts frogged twice. I didn't like the dropped sleeves of the pattern (after I'd sewn the first in) so I'm doing them raglan style instead.
I'm also experimenting with Kool-aid to overdye some yarn I got for free that's in pinks/yellows. I'm using blue Kool-aid in the hope of getting some more purples into the yarn.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby blanket is finished and delivered

I finished the blanket on Saturday and washed it.  Then I delivered it on Saturday night.  Yeah!  Now I'm back to finishing my socks and my hoodie.
Here's a fuzzy picture of baby blanket:


So, now I'm back to my socks and my hoodie - yeah!  I'm also trying to get my house a little tidier - I've invited friends to visit so I need to start making it presentable just in case they accept the invitation.  The walls haven't been touched in a week or so - maybe next week ...

Here's a picture of my Icelandic Wool sweater that I made eons ago.  Unfortunately I can't wear it in Southern California unless I get a job in a freezer somewhere.  I may see if my niece in Maine could use it.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Quidditch was great! Back to scraping walls.

Our first Quidditch game of the year was on Sunday.  We had a good turn-out.  Sadly, Rae had to leave early.  I hope she's feeling better soon.
We had 2 new players - Chad and Sarah.  We divided up into teams - Blue and Green, had a warm-up session and started the game.  The score ended up at 120 Green, 40 Blue.  (I was on the Blue team).  However, we all had a lot of fun, with no life-threatening injuries incurred.  Pren did get Bludgered in the face - she was O.K.  Jim had his ear scraped a few times by Rick's blocks, until Rick went in as Keeper.  Better for Jim, not so good for trying to score goals.
Nigel showed up late, so he ended up being the referee when Rae left.  Jessie and Rio were bystanders, with Rio distracting everyone with her cuteness.
I did not score any goals, but I got in a lot of fast walking.  I managed to survive despite not being in great shape.  Next game - Feb. 15th.  3rd Sunday at Byerum Park in Fullerton.  Parking is on nearby streets, or on Chapman on the south side of the park.
One of my Kiva loans has made a repayment - a month before their scheduled date - yeah!  The Kiva loans are fun - I loved getting the e-mail about the repayment.  Once I have $25 repaid, I can roll it over into another loan.  They're having a lot of loans funded right now, due to some groups pushing for funding to tie into the inauguration.
Meanwhile, I'm back to scraping the walls - it does help to build up my arms.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Orthodontist shake-up, getting ready to work again

Well, my orthodontist office had 2 orthos.  The one whose name is on the door, and a second one.  I preferred the second one - he seemed to know a little more, etc.  So, of course, he's now moved on, and the first one is the only ortho in the office.  I can't easily take my braces and follow the guy who left.  That's the one problem with braces - they have you in a financial lock for the time you're in them.  The first guy's not bad, he's just not great.  I'm heading for my first anniversary with these things on, so far no major problems.  I've got one set of elastic bands (the colored ones for fun).  I'm not looking forward to the time when they add more to the mix.
I had a 'Meet and Greet' with a couple of guys from my temp agency - these guys are located in Cerritos.  They seemed happy with my resume.  Of course they're like salespeople everywhere - they give you vague assurances.  I'm waiting for the real phone call.  This is the agency who got me my last job, however they're also the same agency who called me regarding the position I'd left after 15 years.  :-)
Knitting is proceeding slowly.  Runescape is doing well.  The wall is the same as last week - i.e. no progress.
Our first Quidditch game of 2009 is this Sunday (1/18).  I'm not in great shape, but I think I'll survive.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year - may yours be Healthy too!

Just a quick post - I looked and realized I hadn't done one for 2009 yet.
I've now got 2 Kiva loans (whee).  I'm planning to do another one in Feb. and then one in Mar., then I'll see what happens.
I've called my temp. agencies and put my name back on their lists.  Next I have to start my Internet searches, as well as taking the Accountemps online computer courses.
Meanwhile, I've started scraping the walls again.  The people who owned our house before we bought it from them, did some decorative plastering? on the walls.  It's ugly and holds dirt really well.  So, last year I scraped the popcorn ceiling from the entryway and hallway, and did the entry way walls too.  Now I'm on the hallway walls.  It's tough on the arms = all that scraping.  I spray water on, let it soak in, and scrape away.
I'm hoping one of the agencies finds me a job soon so I can quite scraping walls.  :-)
Knitting - I'm working on a baby blanket for Lena's daughter at church, I have one sock done and one half done, and my turquoise hoody is 3/4's done.  I'm attaching the sleeves.
I'm limiting my Runescape addiction by only allowing myself to play after I've exercised for the day, and after I've knit at least 6 rows on the baby blanket.  So far it's working well.  After all, I have to get in shape for Quidditch on the 18th.