Friday, April 28, 2006

Naturally Nazareth rises again!

Do you recall a few weeks back when I talk about how much I loved the Kraemers Yarn Shop? Well - I also can now officially say I love their yarn too! Naturally Nazareth is wonderful. Even though the process started out a little rough - (I got three quarters of the way done and then realized my future felted bag would be a future felted Moebius strip! My screams could be heard through the state and the sounds of riiiiiipppping filled air as I pulled out all of my lovely work. *Sigh*

When I wiped up the tears and balled up all the yard - I decided to try it again. I am after all making this bag as a gift for my friend Sue (how has helped me out so much at work - I owe her a lot more than a bag!) and I have to get back on that horse.

So - I started again and this time it's even better than before! Mostly because it's not a Moebius strip!

My DH has been harassing me again about making him socks and a wool hat. I mean come on! it's almost May - do you really need a wool hat right now! I am looking forward to knitting in Scotland - now there's a place you can use a wool hat! Hopefully out travels will give me plenty of time to knit! I need get one of those cool knit along bags I keep seeing.... like this one

from Purl.

If I don't find one at the Sheep and Wool Festival next weekend - I may have to break down and buy one!

I finished the landscaping in my front yard - yeah! I'll post a completed picture soon - but here are some of the things I have in there...

A cool blue spruce dwarf tree topiary type thing. When I tried to describe this to my DH as a topiary - he becamse very upset... "Topiary!? I hate topiaries!" But when I described it to him as a trunk with a big puff of needles at the top - he was like, "Oh cool". So - I guess it's all in the presentation. I dont' think it's that bad...

I also planted a cool redbark dogwood bush. I love the color of the leaves and the bark.

I still have a few peonies and dinner plate dahlias left to plant. I hope they grow!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Rainy Weekend

It was a busy and mostly rainy weekend. Friday I drove down to Va for my friend Helen’s rehearsal dinner. I have to read this very personal poem that her fiancĂ© Michael. Wrote. I am not looking forward to that! More on how that turned out later…

I decided to leave work early so I could some shopping in  I stopped at Tysons and got some cool stuff for our trip to England and Scotland. I got us some nice warn fleecey type pullovers from LLBean and a cool embroidered bathroom bag. I also got this neat squeegee type towel I saw everyone using when I went backpacking in 98. It can dry your entire body and it’s only about 20inches square! Very cool. I also got a pillow that rolls up to a small oblong shape but unrolls and fluffs up to almost full size. I love travel gadgets!

Best of all – I was able to stop at Bedazzled and got some new cool beads. I can’t wait to make some earrings etc out of them!

It was sort of raining all day and just felt icky – but I managed to make it to the rehearsal where I didn’t do anything more than sit there and watch. So – yeah I think that was a waste of gas! After the rehearsal (that the minister didn't even show for!) we all went to Ruby Tuesdays where we waited and waited and then waited some more for out food. I felt so bad for the bride - who's mother in law was being a cheapscate and made her have the dinner at Ruby Tuesday instead of a nice restaurant. She was just to calm down and get a martini - but it took them over an hour to get it for her! Unreal. So - I left immediately after shoveling down my buffalo chicken burger and drove home in the rain.

Woke up Saturday to more rain and we had to drive down to VA again - this time for the wedding.

It was a very nice wedding and I read the love poem written by the groom. I managed to get a few laught from the audience too! I tried to read the sexy , lovey parts as quickly as possible. Here I am reading...

You know it's meant to be when two people are equally as enthusiastic about their tongues as these two are. Helen has always been photographed with her huge tongue hanging out - and when I discovered Michael does the samething! Well - let's just say it was a tongue fest!

It was very nice to see all of Helen's family there. Her brother and her gaggle of cousines. I admit I am envious of her family's closeness. I wish I had cousins and brothers and sisters that lived close by and were around my age. Her one cousin Matt used to live in Baltimore! He went to Johns Hopkins and got a PHD in Electrical engineering and now lives and works in Silicon Valley! Must be nice!

Sunday started out just a rainy and yucky as Saturday - but soon turned into a beautful day! I went up to White March to have lunch with Marcia and Michelle. We ate at Chillis and got all caught up on each other's lives. After that - I went out to the Farmer's market an dbought almost $200 worth of plants for my new front yard! I love the way it is turning out. I am also glad I waited to plant stuff until I am a more experienved gardener. I think it has a nice flow to it - that I never could have gotten a few years ago. BAck then it was just stick the plant in the ground anywhere and the more varieties the better. Now - I have limited myself to a color palette of purple, pink and yello with green accents. It is really very hard to limit yourself - especially when there are so many plants to choose from ! But I hope it helps me have a more pleasing display. I'll post pics soon of the plants!

DH is gone on ANOTHER racing trip. This time somewhere in southern VA. I really don't understand it - but oh well. I knit and he doesn't really get that either - so I guess it all works out.

Speaking of knitting - I had the most heart wrenching discovery yesterday. I realized that I twisted my rows in my new felted bag project and instead of a nice round bag shape - I was getting a Moebius strip! Escher look out - because I'm coming for you! I could have screamed! Well - I think I did scream actually. I had to rip out over 40 rows! It was looking really good too. Oh well - Started over again last night and I hope I don't lose the will to felt!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

My toes are pretty!

I got my first pedicure of the year today! It is now officially spring! I couldn't go back to the one across the street after the episode I had last weekend when they blew me off - so I had to go to a new one at Lark Brown. It was ok - but they didn't use the razor thing on my feet. I don't know about you - but I need that razor thing! Especially the first pedicure of the season. I have some major excess skin on my feet and it looks terrible. I need to get it chopped off!

I had to miss my sit and knit in order to get my toes done - but I guess it's worth it. I returned my shoes too and got new ones. Clarks! I love Clarkes - they are so comfortable! I really hope they are more comfortable than the ones I returned. I can't believe they didn't even look at the shoes - they had written that it was returnable if you wore them - I wore them one day - but thye took them back anyway. Hee hee!

I planted some plants today in my new front yard - at 8:30 at night! It was dark and I was digging in the dirt. Oh well. I planted yellow sedum, purple creeping phlox, and some other plant I had never heard of - spanish roses I think they were called. Anyway - they are all creeping spreading plants and I planted them in my new rock garden! I can't wait for it to grow!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My front yard is done!

Yippee! My front yard is finally done! It's so beautiful! I love it! Take a look at the before

and after...

I can't wait to start planting!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kraemer yarn store rocks!

Happy day after Easter!!
I went back home to visit my folks and found the cutest yarn shop! Since I've only been obsessed with knitting for about 6 months - I hadn't ever noticed it before - but there it was - not far from my parent's house.

The Kraemer yarn shop in Nazareth PA is awesome! If you ever find yourself in Eastern PA with nothing to do - I highly recommend checking it out! They make their own yarn and the wool mill is around back! There was literally wool in the air and hanging from the fence outside - I love it! I think the part I liked the best was that they named their wool after the local towns in the area - Naturally Nazareth, Tatamy Tweed etc. I bought a sampling of everything of course.

I just found out they have a website - so here it is if you're interested...

I took some pictures too...

Oh and I spoke to the owner - and she will be selling her wool at the Sheep and Wool festival! So - if you see something you like - you will have a chance to get some.

And miracle of miracles - I brought my husband with me to the yarn store (dragged is probably more like it) and he actually had fun picking out yarn too!! I now have two projects that he wants me to make for him and he is already nagging me about starting his "funky socks" and wool felted hat. He now officially is wool crazy. He vows he won't ever knit himself - but he says he will go along with me to the yarn store! hehehehehe (evil laugh)

It was also my grandmother's 90th birthday. My mom's side of the family definitely has good genes! She's still energetic and gets around very well. Her mother lived well into her 90s too. Art, Mary and Mary Rose were over as was my mom's cousin Jerry. We ate well and had a wonderful time!

As for my knitting projects - I finished the washcloth and also finished two paris of booties for my friend Aimee's new baby Kaylin. She is so tiny!! The "newborn" booties I got her were enormous on her tiny feet! She was just adorable and Brendan was a great big brother and very gentle with her. We had a little easter egg hunt for Brendan too and he enjoyed eating the chocolate more than finding the eggs!

Since John is now a yarn whore like me - he made me start his new wool hat - even though it's way too hot for wool hats right now! I am a bit nervous about how it will turn out. I've never done a felted hat before - so I'm not quite sure how big it's supposed to before felting. He picked out two shades of orange and a bluish gray. NOT the colors I would use - but it's his hat!

Friday, April 14, 2006

"Working" from home

Have you ever been allowed to work from home? Not too many people are allowed to and now I now why. You don't actually work much. So far today - I've showered, (amazing I know) played outside with the dogs, ate breakfast, played on the computer, IM'd, and wrote this blog entry. Can you even beleive my progress! Yeah - I know!

Now - On the knitting news. I finished my washcloth last night! It's gorgeous!

I finished it in two evenings. I like that feeling of satisfaction after finishing a project. It's such a rush! And now the best part is that I get to start something new! I guess I really should finish one of the other projects I started - but new ones are so much more fun! I got some new wool to make another style of felted bag. I think I'm going to try something new - instead of a booga bag - I may try a messenger bag or something. Here are the directions for the washcloth:
Petal Dishcloth

Designed by: Hazel Schrock
Rating: Easy

Materials: 1 ball of cotton yarn, Size 8 US needles.

Instructions: Cast on 16 stitches
Row 1: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, yarn over (YO), K 10, turn and Knit back.
Row 2: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 9, turn and Knit back.
Row 3: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 8, turn and Knit back.
Row 4: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 7, turn and Knit back.
Row 5: Slip 1 stitch, K 3, YO, K 6, turn and Knit back.
Row 6: Bind off 5 stitches, Knit to end of row.
Row 7: Knit across row.

Repeat these 7 rows until there are 12 points.
Bind off next row, leaving 12 inch end. Stitch around center, pull together and join 2 sides.
Also, you can make the "petals" in different coelors by changing yarns every 7 rows

I'll be leaving soom - off to visit mom and dad for easter. I think I better get my toes done - it is Spring after all and two grit and calluses aren't really in this year are they!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Knitting a Washcloth - Who knew it could be fun!

Ok - So I started my first knitted washcloth last night and I'm hooked! It's so easy to beautifyl knitted FINISHED items in as little as one evening when doing these wonderful creations. I admit I didn't totally finish mine yet - I started it very late last night - but I am already halfway done!
I can see the end in sight! That means - I may actually finish it before getting distracted by some other piece of new knitting genius or fanciful yarn that I just have to have. This is a good thing since I've got about 5 projects started in my knitting basket that i have yet to finish. Does this stop me from starting a new project? Are you kidding!

Speaking of fanciful yarn... I found a cute little yarn store in my wonderful hometown! Since I'm fairly new to the yarn obsession - I never looked for yarn shops in the area I grew up. Well not only are there some shops - there's one that also has a wool mill and makes their own yarn!
They have yarns with adorable names like:
Bear Creek
Little Lehigh
Little Lehigh Pebbles
Mauch Chunky
Naturally Nazareth
Summit Hill
Tatamy Tweed

All named after local places in PA near where I grew up!! How awesome is that! I may just have to stop by when I'm home visiting the folks for Easter. I know I will need some Tatamy Tweed and maybe a few Naturally Nazareths so amuse myself! Gotta love Mauch Chunky - it's just fun to say!

Anyway - to update you on the progress of my new front yard - I will tell you that I awoke to the sound of a stone saw this morning. About 7am to be exact. Ah - the sweet sound of grinding in the morning. I couldn't believe how lovely it sounded until I realized I was able to sleep through it! Not only didn't I sleep through it - I slept until 9am! Yes - that is usually when I am walking in the door at work - not stretching in bed wondering how I was able to sleep through the grinding sounds coming from outside. Anyway - I was able to to get ready in record speed (if only I could do that everyday - I could sleep in longer!) :)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Snot filled weekend

Dh and I were sick the entire weekend - but overall it was very productive. I managed to clean the entire house and use the most coolest cleaning tool ever! I must say I love the Pledge duster cloths! I know - I sound like a commercial - but they are so awesome - it was actually fun to clean my house! They fit in between every little nook and cranny and held so much dust I couldn't believe it. Well - I had fun at least!
I actually managed to clean out my craft room and make it workable again. I can get in a mood to clean and organize and go nuts on the whole house. It doesn't happen very often - but when it does - look out. I'm gonna clean everything in sight. I organized the bedroom and I can actually see the surface of my dresser again - imagine that!

I started knitting baby booties for Aimee's new baby girl! She had her on our anniversary I think - April 6th. Her name is Cailyn - but they don't know how to spell it yet. hehehe! I can't wait to see her - we'll be visiting over Easter weekend. I hope I can get the booties done in time!

We are getting the front landscaping done this week too - it's very exciting to see it going in. I love the huge stone slabs that will be the steps. The concrete truck is coming tomorrow - so that should be some nice progress - once that happens -the flagstone pavers can be laid in.

I met up with Joanie yesterday and did some shoe shopping. I love shoes! I wish I could spend more on them - but DH would kill me. He has already told me if I come in the house with another pair of black shoes - he'll kill me. Well... what he doesn't know won't hurt me!

Oh -we watched the most amazing movie this weekend - Crash. It was about race relations in America. It was so true - the stereotypes we apply to people and the way we treat people we never even met. Scary. I got chills repeatedly.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I'm sick :(

I wish I could say I feel like a million bucks - but I have a bad cold. Yesterday I didn't think I'd make it home! My eyes were closing and I felt dizzy. I ended up going to sleep immediately - and slept (sort of) until the next morning. The dogs were barking at every noise - so I'm not sure I actually slept too much.

BUT! The exciting news is that I was given an award yesterday! We had a team lunch and L and I were nomitated by G and N for a Silver Recognition Award!! We got two beautiful plaques and $2000! I was very honored. I didn't know you could do that for a peer. I feel kind of bad that S wasn't nominated. She worked harder than any of us. I think she feels a little slighted.

Oh well.

They started our landscaping today - it took me several days to dig up all the plants from my original garden beds and then I had to replant them in a new area on the side of the house - all because I knew they wouldn't be very careful with the digging up or transaplanting or the plants. I have a bad feeling all my bulbs are going to die - because they aren't looking too good right now. They are looking wilted and have fallen over.

I hope the new stone steps and planting areas will help the yard look nice again!