Monday, January 31, 2011

racing... finish my January socks before my lunch w/ Tracey tomorrow. Think I can knit a heel and an entire foot tonight? Cooking & cleaning might suffer, but the knit will go on!

And in lieu of knitting photos... how about an LOL cat to make you smile? This is for all the Boston knitters.... I love my wool socks, but this Wednesday snowstorm stuff is gettin' old...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Looking for a man in a yellow hat....

Next weekend, we'll celebrate my nephew's 2nd birthday (which was 1/24). It's hard to believe he's been on the planet this long, but I have to say, he's a pretty awesome little kid. He plays h-a-r-d and is so curious. No wonder his favorite thing in the whole wide world is:

And my sister-in-law has established Curious George as the theme for his party! How cool is that for a room full of 2 year olds?! Being the wonderful Auntie that I am (insert applause here), I decided that he needs to "look the part" at his party. Behold the Curious George sweater:

It's a basic boys' sweater from Ann Budd's handy book of sweaters (drop sleeve), knit at the smallest size.

Size: 26 inch chest (2-4 year old size)
Yarns: Cascade 220 Superwash (blue), Berroco Vintage (browns, whites)
Needles: US 7
method: Intarsia (*shudder*)--- my skills improved on this project, but I chose to embroider the eyes and mouth.

And this past week, the birthday boy was visiting his maternal grandparents in Florida and was arriving home sans mittens. My sis-in-law has been having quite the time getting 1) mittens that fit, 2) mittens that stay on, 3) mittens that he doesn't immediately rip off, and 4) mittens that don't interrupt Very Important Toddler Play (this kid takes his snow play seriously!). Entire Auntie again:

Some leftovers in the stash from his dino hat resulted in a quick little mitten set (w/ string to eliminate LMS (lost mitten syndrome)). I chose a twisted rib (extra long- 2 inches!) to keep the cuff snug and a two-color pattern to make them doubly warm and add interest. The final product is 5 inches in circumference. and... direct from a facebook post: "Mittens were a success. He don't love having them on but at least he kept them. The size is perfect. Thanks again."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

10 on Tuesday: girlie edition

Top Ten Beauty Products? Oh, this is one for me... I'm a beauty product grrl.

1. Neutrogena Anti-Wrinkle, Anti-Blemish face cleanser. A must have. Wash with it twice a day and you get clear, firmer skin and who doesn't want that?
2. Neutrogena Fast Absorbing Hand Cream. This is a must for New England winters... quick, fast drying, non-oily hand cream that you can rub in and immediately knit after. Yeah. It's that good. I'm on my 1st tube of 2011; it's always in my purse, in my travel "go" bag, and one on my desk.
3. Neutrogena Body Wrap Treatment. Yes, there is some brand loyalty here, but the bigger issue? Brand loyalty due to two things: a) good for sensitive skin & noses, b) well-priced.
4. Burt's Bees lip balm. I wear every day, under lipstick, over lipstick, instead of lipstick.
5. Oil of Olay moisturizer. Yup, the sensitive skin version of the pink lotion my mom & my nana both put on every morning and every night after washing their faces. In my family, it's a family "secret" that most of us use it and we all have fabulously soft skin. I used to steal my mom's when I was little because I thought it was make-up. *giggle*
6. Essie nail polish. I get a mani every two weeks (silk wrapped because I have messed up nail beds that lift instead of curve) and a pedi once a month. I am loathe to leave the house is my nails are a wreck (yes, I'm the same girl who camps in the woods for weeks on end, but guess what I do the day before we leave? Yup- mani/pedi).
7. Secret Clinical Strength Deoderant. This has saved my life and my shirts. 'Nuff said.
8. Aveda foot cream. Pricey, but totally worth it. PC says it smells horrible, but it goes on my heels every night because if not? I could shred the sheets with my dry cracked feet.
9. Almay Smart Shade foundation: fights wrinkles and no more guessing about if you are a "light buff 02" or a "medium buff 02?" while in CVS? I'm all about this. I wear very little make-up and this helps me feel "done" without making me feel like I'm wearing grease paint.
10. Vitamins! I take a multi-vitamin (prenatal for the folic acid & extra calcium), Vitamin D (3000mg), a Viactiv chew, and "fish sticks" (omega 3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil) every day. No one product will do as much for your skin as eating right and vitamins!

Monday, January 24, 2011

tale of wee mittens

Yesterday, like every other Sunday during football season, I met my friend Dora for some knitting (first we had lunch: yummy open faced prime rib sandwich for her, pastrami for me: yum!).

(That's Dora, seaming together her adorable butter-yellow bolero 3/4 sleeve jacket). Also seen, my mitten... sans thumb.

Close up of mitten detail: simple twisted rib cuff (2 inches long to keep the snow out!), followed by a two color vertical stripe pattern.

Finished and ready to be mailed! I crocheted the mitten string this morning, and packed them up and headed in the bitter cold to the post office.

Last weekend, I went on my annual retreat for my guild and while gabbing, gossiping, learning about vacuums, eating, drinking, laughing, gambling and refilling my heart with the power of knitters, I made this hat. It's Clotilde from Alison Green Will. and it's too big. It's destined to be re-knit, but since there is nothing wrong with it besides my gauge (it's off my a miniscule amount, like 1/8, it's going to be a gift. I loved the pattern though, so I'm stalking my stash for the right wee bit of dk yarn...

Now this item was also finished that weekend: my quiviot cowl. With beads. I love it. 1 ounce, 218 yards and 4 pattern repeats... on Size 3 needles... it's decadent, it's amazing, it's warm and I love it! Thanks again for the yarn PC! (he gave it to me Christmas 2009!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Sock club and more..

As you can see; my sock club has begun. I'm 70% through the 1st one: basic sock, 72 stitch leg, 66 stitch foot, slip stitch heel, triangle toe....on US 1 dpns. The yarn is Lisa Souza's Yarn! In gendarme colorway.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

10 on Tuesday: game night

10 favorite games from childhood:

1. Sorry! There were 3 siblings, all within about a year or two of each other: this was the perfect board game from age 5-10.
2. Chutes and Ladders. Simple, easy to play, didn't take more than an hour.
3. Gin Rummy. We camped (alot!) and card games were the ultimate in entertainment for us.
4. Cribbage. Yup, we learned addition quickly when learning this game.
5. Gin. I still remember the first time I beat my dad in a game of gin.
6. Scrabble. As kids, we were all big readers, so this was a fun one... showing off your spelling words via the Scrabble board. (PC and I still play this, alot... if you ever want to play scrabble, come to our house: we have 4 versions!)
7. Trivial Pursuit. I loved this game! I am the queen of useless knowledge, so it came in handy, but oh, what fun.
8. Plinko: it involved not dropping a marble while removing sticks from a tube.
9. Boggle. (see Scrabble)
10. yahtzee!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knit night deluxe

So, I'm home from San Francisco and I'm in Maine!!! At the York Harbor Inn, on my guild's annual knitting retreat. Tonight was a 3 course gourmet dinner (see the smiley faces of my tablemates?? Hi Jen, Jen, and Mari!!) followed by some wine (thanks Sharon...yum) & knitting. The yarn above is kathmandu dk and the pattern is Alison Green Will's Clotilde...and it's a lovely knit. Hopefully a finished knit tomorrow :)

Oh, and if anyone wants to pop in and check on PC, tell him 1 night of pizza is enough and to stop making my pillows hot. 

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

10 on Tuesday

10 ways to get more organized. 

I'm still in San Francisco (about to stretch my legs and wander to Artfibers. yes, you should be jealous, but I was on a conference call at 5am Pacific time this morning, so it's time for me to stretch)... i'm hoping to get home Thursday morning via the redeye, but let's see what happens in Boston tonight & tomorrow, right?


1. calendars. day planners. outlook calendars.... write it down. I stay organized by keeping a daily journal (a day planner) and keeping an online calendar (bonus: my online work calendar syncs to my google calendar, which is my personal one). 
2. make lists. I make a lot of lists, but usually deviate from them. For 2011, I said I'm starting to shop with a list and some cash: and no more. it's an effort to be more organized, waste less and save more($$). 
3. Donate. Donate clothes, odd household items (those college kids need kitsch for their apartments, it might as well be yours), and anything else in good usable condition to local organizations. Oh, and shoes.. donate shoes. i hate doing it, but I need to 'cull the herd' of shoes when I get home.
4. Use any system that works for YOU. The Container Store (*heart*) will tell you that this way or that is the best, but honestly, if you buy stuff to stay organized and it's just not the way you function, it's really just more clutter.... right? 
5. Post its, scrap paper & pens should be handy to you at any given time. In your purse, your kitchen, the bedroom... perhaps the loo, but that's not how i roll, but then again: see #4.
6. Sort mail. Mail is a huge headache in chez Mini y PC; i deal with it by ignoring it, but it just stacks up. PC assumes that if it doesn't have his name on it, it's not his... but I do argue that he is, as a rent paying household member, a "resident" and should deal with the ads once in a while. 
7. Recycle. Yup: it's organizing at its easiest. Newton has single-stream recycling now and having the "one bin" saves a lot of headaches.
8. Purge. Yarn. Clothes. Shoes. Accessories. Purses. Books. CDs.... one day when you have some down time, look at a stack/pile/group of whatever and say 'I'll go through the one stack/pile/group" and nothing else. Move into "want, need, donate, trash" (yes, I added a new category: PC says I don't "need" shoes or yarn or purses or accessories, but I want them). Spend an hour. Be brutal. Be honest.  
9. Buy.Less.Stuff. Easy, right? Not really,but it's an effort we're making at our house b/c we'd like to own a home. And we don't want to move a lot of crap. 
10.  make it a daily thing: don't wait until it's too much to do, do a little everyday. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rice 'A Roni...

Greetings from San Francisco! Yes, that's a laptop, work stuff and knitting..all on my hotel room desk. All work, a little play on this trip. :) Actually, I'm covering for a colleague who had her 1st baby last week. Mini's karma points are adding up. Unfortunately, not for my United flight: 2 scream-y babies and no bathrooms. Yup: all 3 potties were "out of order" within 15 minutes of reaching cruising altitude. That's a LOT of people running for the restrooms at the San Fran airport. 

The sock you see is a little 2011 experiment I am trying with my friend, Tracey. We are taking a clue from the Yarn Harlot herself and attacking our sock yarn stashes: 2011 Kate & Tracey Sock Yarn Club. :) Every month, we'll knit a pair of socks from stash. Every OTHER month, we knit from each other's stash :) Cool right? Feel free to join in: grab a friend and swap sock stash yarn in Feb, April, June, August, October, & December. By New Year's Eve 2011, you'll have 12 pair of socks and a nice dent in two sets of stash!

I've also cast on for a hat, but I need to email the designer, I think I'm reading the pattern wrong. :(

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

10 on Tuesday

So, this week's 10 on Tuesday is for things we can't live without. Oh, and they can't be people. They must be things. Believe it or not, this was tough for me... I have lived without a lot and I've lived with a lot... this requires some really deep thinking.

*deeply thinking...*
*navel gazing...*

Got it!
1. My car. I love my Subaru, I do... but I absolutely 100% require a car to live. Stressed out? Long drive. Need some quality time w/ a friend; hop in the car. Camping vacation? and let's roll out. I am unnaturally attached to my car, and PC knows I am obnoxious when other people drive it.
2. My Coach purses. (wow... #2 and I'm starting to feel *slightly* superficial) Coach bags are comfy, stylish and rugged. Oh, and timeless. I'm currently rocking a nice hobo style from PC,which he so nicely purchased for my birthday. My goal is to carry it every day until my next birthday. :) This is tough b/c I have a LOT of bags. 
3. cell phone. Ugh. I love & hate this device all at the same time. It has email (work & home), phone, GPS, facebook, twitter, games.... all in one little black case. I'm a cell phone whore, too... i've been eyeing the new Android phones but haven 't pulled the trigger b/c I am pretending to have self control.
4. my knitting bag. It's Lexie Barnes (Lady B) and I love it. I can carry up to 5 small projects or 2 really big ones and it's perfect and did I mention that I love it?
5. My new Bartlett Yarns wool blanket. Srsly? House on fire, that puppy's coming with me. It's warm, it's made from sheep from my brother's girlfriend's mom's farm... I love it.
6. my kitchen island. This is the hub of our house. PC sits there and talks to me while I make dinner. Sometimes he's the sous chef, sometimes he's the peanut gallery. Friends sit here to chat and it's my fave place for a  cup of tea and a magazine. I do need to cushion the stools though.
7. My bed. PC & I have a super comfy bed...even though last night we realized it might be dipping in the middle (note to self; lose weight). It's where we laugh, love, and lay our heads to sleep each night.
8. my "Queen of Fucking Everything" mug from Christmas 2009. 'Nuff said.
9. my coffee warmer thing on my desk at work. Sylvie gave it to me b/c she knows I can keep a cup of coffee going all day long. This keeps it hot. 
10. .... I know we can't list people, so I'll say the tv... it's a source of entertainment and information. And we watch a LOT of it.

11.... PC. I can't imagine my life without you. *smooch*