Monday, November 28, 2005

Reminiscing

All these knitter's blogs say the same things today... "Back to work." Everyone is nagging about going back to work after a long weekend... I LOVE IT. For once, I'm more optimistic than everyone else. I felt so refreshed when I woke up this morning. Normally my alarm goes off at 4:15 am, and I turn it off. I get a SECOND alarm that jolts me out of bed at 4:30. This morning when I woke up at 4:15 I turned off both alarms. Granted I didn't get right out of bed. Instead I gathered thoughts and mentally prepared myself for the day.

Granted, I had a crappy "divorce" day, but really. I felt rather rested and ready to go back to work. Weird I know.

I have had a hard time keeping my eyes open past 8pm every night, but the last few nights have been great. I think I'm finally getting hang of this working 9 hours and coming home to deal with "household" stuff thing. This is "normal" life and I'm really quite happy with my adjustment thus far.

Okay, so yeah, maybe it's still the pumpkin pie talking... Maybe tomorrow or Wednesday I'll be back to my grumpy, mostly negative side. But I hope not.

Anyway, Nick had requested a few pictures of Zander today, so tonight I sat down and composed an e-mail from Zander to his family, complete with pictures. I am posting this a lot for me, so it's on file and I can look back and see where he was in his life November 2005. But I do know that a lot of you genuinely care about my little rugrat and what he's up to so here goes:

Zander's First E-mail:
"Dear Daddy, Great Grandma Huddle, Grandma Linda, Grandma Sherrie, Uncle Craig, Aunt Erin, Aunt Leslie & Uncle Dick, Cousins Connie & Ryan, Tracy, Marilyn, Claira, and Ava:

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. I sure did. I got to sit at the "adult" table on a big boy chair and eat whatever I wanted. I especially favored Aunt Leslie's yummy stuffing. After dinner she made Mississippi Mud Cake and I got to lick the beater. I also got a full sippy cup of coke even though Grandma Donna said I wasn't allowed to have it. I love when I get yummy treats like that! It sure did make me bounce off the walls.
You can see my yummy beater licking extravaganza with these pictures:

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I also got to get in the holiday spirit this weekend when Mommy took me to see the trains at Devou Park. In the picture I am controling my very own train... it drove away from me and back towards me. I thought that was really cool.

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I could also make the train whistles blow by pushing the big red button as seen in picture:

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There was also a brio train room which I LOVED.

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As for those of you who don't get to see me very often I am getting much bigger. I grow a little bit more and more everyday. At least that's what my mommy says. She also says I hurt her back alot. :-) I am also starting to talk a little more each and every day. I now say the following words, "hi, bye bye, dada, woof woof, moo, tweet tweet, buzz buzz, choo choo, honk honk, meow, thank you" and my newest two words: "Juice and ball." Every day my mommy works with me on making "M" sounds which I still have a hard time with. I'm getting closer to saying "mama and more." But right now they come out as "Ba ba and BAAAA." But mom thinks this is better than saying dada for EVERYTHING! ;-)

I am going to "School" 5 days a week now, for about 10 hours a day. My mom wakes me up at 545 and we have to leave the house by 615, and I am really good about it even though that is really early in the morning!!! I am a very good boy there, and according to teacher Sara, the reason my mommy can never find me when she comes to get me is because I am such a well behaved boy that all the teachers fight over who gets to take me for afternoon activities. That makes my mommy proud. The teachers also say that I really "go with the flow." which makes mommy happy that she has finally found a trait we share. Well, that and our expensive tastes in shoes! ;-)

But it's not ALL peaches & cream... I am DEFINITLY a 2 year old, and have several temper tantrums every night after school. Grandma Donna and mommy think it is due to the fact that I hold my feelings in all day at school, and they think I have the urge to release them at home. Sometimes it makes mommy really grouchy when I scream, and some days she is able to just let it roll off her shoulders and chalk it up to the terrible twos. I do better if my evenings are very organized, scheduled, and regimented. Sometimes this is possible, but if laundry, errands, or other things need to be done I get frustrated if attention isn't given ALL to me.

My favorite toys these days are anything with wheels, (my hotwheels and my thomas the trains), my little people, little touch leap pad, and books. I will now sit through most books, but my favorites are definitly "hands hands fingers thumb," "Mister Brown can moo," And "Stop Train Stop." Thank you Ryan for passing along Stop Train Stop, it is my favorite book right now... and much to mommy's dismay she usually reads it AT LEAST 5 times a day. And when we're only together about 5 hours a day, she thinks that's an awful lot of times!

Mommy keeps trying to teach me who santa clause is but I'm just not sure I get it. Like Dr. Phil says, "you either get it or you don't." And I just don't get it. But I'm sure I'll GET IT on Christmas morning when I see all those presents under my christmas tree.

I got to help grandma Donna and grandpa Jim set up the christmas tree yesterday which was a lot of fun (for me.) Finally after many times of touching the ornaments I wasn't supposed to I got put on the bad boy chair for a few minutes. I really don't like that chair, but it really does make me shape up. Every time I sit on it I have to stay there until Mommy comes back and gets me. Sometimes it's a LONG time. Before I'm allowed to get off the chair I have to tell mommy that I'll be a good boy, and give her a hug and kiss. I am usually good for about a half an hour after that.

Well, I think that's all the news from me now. I'm glad I was able to take this time to catch everyone up, but as for now... I have to go back to chasing Zoey, and mommy has to chase me and tell me no.

I love & miss everyone and can't wait to see you all!
Zander"



Oh yeah, and in knitting news... I've started and am halfway done with Tracy's multi-dementional scarf. I will try to do 2 more repeats tomorrow, and on thursday I'll try to do the final "real" triangle and then the ending "right angle triangle" so that I can have a blocking party this weekend. Pics (of knitting) to come.

Posted by Melanie at 9:16 PM 3 comments

Saturday, November 26, 2005

November Block Completed

So I finished the first "block of the month" block.
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closeup of the simple stitch motif:
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[I'm sure you realize that the yarn is not that washed out and that the color is very rich and bold. I am never home and settled during daylight anymore, so the pictures have been flash forced which equals shitty pictures.]

Anyway, the block is not hard. Just took 3 hours. I can't remember the exact gauge at the moment, but most of the gals are using size 9 needles and getting 13" blocks (which is what they're supposed to be doing.) I used a size 8 needle and got a 14" block. WTF? I'm certainly not bumping down to a size 7, as it's tight enough on size 8s. I normally knit RIGHT on gauge. Not sure if it's this weirdly spun yarn or what?
You may also notice the slight bit of pooling that began to take place. I had to knit off both ends of the skein to break that up... it was slightly annoying to do, but looks great in the end.

So once that was finished I picked up my jaywalker socks again. I had made a little boo boo the last time I worked on it (while waiting in the doctor's office when I had broncitis) and when I tried to fix it on Thanksgiving I made it SOOO much worse... the yarn frayed when I put it back on the needles and I couldn't get the right stitches on the right needles, so the zigzagging was not lining up. Frustration ensued. I ripped. And ripped and ripped. Now I'm back to a ball of yarn and 30 minutes of knitting on the ribbing. Oh well.

I don't want to post a picture because I don't want to be depressed. ;-)

Have a great rest of the weekend.

Posted by Melanie at 9:42 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I Wanna Play Too

Look what I stumbled across:



Anyone that's wanted to knit these socks should play too!
Remember mine?
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That's where they still are... but come the end of this block of the month block I will begin them again! WEEEEE. I love knit alongs... nothing like a knitterly kick in the butt.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Posted by Melanie at 3:26 PM 0 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005

All Done

You know when a child first starts talking and they're all excited about saying the simple words such as "no" "mama" "juice" "all done?" Well, that's me today. ALL DONE:

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Hopefully it will get shipped to warm the world (along with a hat, lots of fabric, some yarn, and some needles) this week.

So technically since I finished this last night I could move onto the blue (which won't be blue for me) sholder cozy. But instead, I'm focusing on my goals, and I started my November block of the month square. No pictures yet. It's a small project so I'll just post it when it's done.

Happy Thanksgiving week.
What are you thankful for?

Posted by Melanie at 6:45 PM 2 comments

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Hmmm.....

Kathy made a good point in my comments last post. Things are hard. I'm not the only one that is tired when she comes home from work, I'm not the only one that wishes she had more time, and I'm CERTAINLY not the only one that wishes she had more money. So I need to stop throwing myself pity parties and start fixing it! There are some things that are out of my control (Zander's health.) He will have to build up an immunity, and I've heard these bouts of illness can last anywhere from a few months to a year. I'll hope that it's just through the holidays. I can thank my lucky stars that my mom has a flexible job, and is able to help out with retrieving him from school when he's sick, and I'm also lucky that I work for a temp agency and so if I am at a job that is not understanding or family oriented I can easily be switched to another job. Speaking of another job... I really can't stand the one I'm at. I've done it for a week. Is two weeks enough to make an educated decision, should I stick with it through the holidays as to not add even more stress to my life? What would you do? Let me just add that I'm not making enough money to support Zander and myself, and I drove 600+ miles this week commuting. So add the wear and tear... am I being blind returning to this job realizing that I'm putting most of it right back into the gas tank, car, and daycare?

So, on the knitting front, seeing as this is a knitting blog.... I got to the halfway point of my shrug

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and realized I am bored of stockinette. I have WAY too many projects on the needles.

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Each card represents a project. This is where I list all my stats... date started, date completed, yarn, needles, pattern, and then on the back I list my minutes knit and add them up at the end. The yellow blanket seen in the left side of the picture is the big dishcloth blanket for warm the world. I put my shrug aside, and decided to finish the baby blanket.
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Then I think I'll move onto something more exciting. Something for me. And it is NOT allowed to be stockinette. I'm thinking maybe this:
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with these buttons:
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they're shiny and silver, so they're hard to photograph.

Even though (yes, I'm insane) this looks really fun!
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By the way... these are both from Wrap Style. I ended up ordering the book, and although there are some REALLY ugly ponchos in it there are also quite a few things I think i would knit and wear. And there is a totally beautiful shawl in it it. It's smaller in size so I may try and tackle that upon inheriting or purchasing more lace weight.

Yesterday Hancock's had a 50% off sale so I picked up a few things for my knitting chicks holiday swap and spent $5.00 on a magnetic board. I figured I could buy the stand and the magnifying piece as I got the money. That board will be great for holding patterns and keeping my place. I haven't had much luck with the post it note idea... I always lose it catch zander ripping the post it note off. Anyway, enough for now. On a positive note I'm looking forward to the long weekend next week and getting some knitting time in, and hopefully some more blog posting and reading done. I'm am seriously behind in bloglines! ;-)

Posted by Melanie at 9:14 AM 0 comments

Friday, November 18, 2005

Life Without....

Life without a job left me more time to knit... Life without a child would leave me TONS of time (and energy) to knit. Zander is sick again. This is the 3rd "incidence" of unhealthiness since he has started daycare. (That was only a month ago.) I'm beginning to get angry but I'm not sure whom I'm angry at. If Zander doesn't go to school I still have to pay as if he is going every single day. If I don't go to work I don't get paid. If I take him to the doctor I have to pay for it, and if I'm at the doctor it generally means I'm not working and zander's not in school... It is SOOOO expensive for him to be sick. I feel like I'm trying so hard to get ahead and make a better life for Zander and I, but yet I can't even keep my head above water. It is extremely frustrating and has been making me want to throw in the towel.... but then I got this in the mail and all was well:

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Thanks soooo much Christine! They were well worth the wait!

Those are size 8's.. Which were immediately taken from the package after the photographing of that picture and inserted into my shrug. I have no picture of this shrug as I am not settling for the crappy one I took yesterday. I may just wait until it's done to show any pictures at all. Okay, well, maybe here is a little bit of it:

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And finally, here is the yarn I will be using in my block of the month blanket....manos del Uruguay. (I totally butchered the spelling of that.)
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Okay, yeah, my entries suck lately... I promise to make them a little more amusing... I just need to find my groove with this whole working thing... Is there something wrong with the fact that I leave the house when it's dark and don't come home until it's dark? Is there something wrong that I'm looking at the clock at 8:15 pm thinking, "okay it's time for bed?"
I need to get a life!

Posted by Melanie at 8:04 PM 3 comments

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November Goals Part II

Okay, So, here's a recap of Part I:
November Goals- Part I:
1. Complete 1 of Dad's Socks. NOT DONE.
2. Complete 1 of another sock-- either the lorna's laces or jaywalker socks. DONE.
3. Get to 75% done with the Warm the World Blanket. DONE.
4. Complete Left front of Classic Cardigan. DONE.
5. GET DONNA'S ONE SKEIN WONDER DONE. MOST IMPORTANT! DONE.

Okay, so I completely lost interest in dad's socks. I think they have been demoted to christmas gifts... I have worked on them several times this month (I'm about 3" into the cuff) but when he comes home I have to put them away... that makes for hard knitting when they can't see it. :0(

I also finished Roxy's Dog sweater. I followed the directions exactly, but it didn't quite match up right when seaming. It still sorta fits her, so I'll get a picture this weekend and post it next week.

Anyway, Part II?
1. Start and Complete first 13" square for BLOCK OF THE MONTH CLUB.
2. Finish Bell Sleeve Shrug.
3. Work on Dad's Socks. WORK ON THEM. WORK ON THEM.

So weak... but I've learned that at night after I work 9 hours, add in 45 minutes driving time (each way) dinner, and bed time routine, that there isn't much time or energy... I'm taking it easy this month.

I'll post pictures soon.

Posted by Melanie at 8:07 PM 3 comments

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wraps

Has anyone seen the book "Wrap Style?"
Seen here:
http://tinyurl.com/dtv5b

I like the look of wraps and capelets, but not so much a fan of the poncho. One of the reviews said there were too many ponchos. Is the book a waste? I think they would be great to have to throw over your shoulders at the office.

Speaking of office... the first day was a little overwhelming... I'm not sure if it's the job I'm looking for or not... I'll give it a few weeks and make an educated decision. AHHHH, that's the beauty of temp agencies... if you don't like it, you don't have to stay.

I have finished the back of Roxy's sweater... I'm off to knit some more until Zander comes home... hopefully I can get the front done today and seam tomorrow.

Enjoy your weekend!

Posted by Melanie at 3:00 PM 2 comments

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Corney or Not?

Well, while I'm trying to decide about what my next first (sucessful) lace project will be, and while I save up the money for yarn (Roxy is getting spade today... bye bye money) I have cast on for this. I will be knitting 2. One for Roxy and one for mom's dog, zoey. I know there are those that think dog sweaters are corney... I can be one of them... but I think it actually serves a purpose... when you think about a chihuahua they are actually not made for cold climates. This poor dog convulses with shivers everytime it's below 40. I hope that this sweater will serve an actuall purpose. Anyway, we shall see.

Here it is, being knit with left over caron's simply soft from Kari's baby blanket.


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On a personal note.... I GOT THE JOB! I start tomorrow. Weeee.... wish me luck.

Posted by Melanie at 6:24 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Conquering Lace

Okay, I don't know if you could actually consider this "conquering" lace. But it's much better than my past attempts. This is 3 swatches:

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This is the Birch lace. I LOVE IT. Not in this yarn, but I just love the stitch.


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Fan & Feather

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And Diamond Leaf. That one is pretty cool too. The picture is there to show what it is supposed to look like. This yarn is a little hard to tell. And these pictures are pretty bad. The swatches are lying on the bathroom floor. Why? Because for some unknown reason it is where Zander wanted to play with his cars tonight.


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He is rolling his cars into the sink. Great fun. My butt really hurt after sitting on that tile watching him play with his cars for 30 minutes.

Anyway, back to knitting... that is my excuse for the lousy photos.... but I was so excited about my success that I couldn't wait to post them. So, what is my problem with the past attempts of lace? Was it the lace weight yarn? If yes, maybe I should get some sock weight yarn from knitpicks to do my next lace project?
I also read on the yahoo group "lace for all seasons" that someone said a beginner problem is trying to use needles that are too big. They recommend going down to a size 2 or 3 with the lace weight yarn... anyone else have any thoughts on this?

I am getting ready to cast on sweaters for Zoey and Roxy this week so I'm not TOO worried about it. Am also working on Dad's Birthday socks... need to get the first one done before the 15th! And the 2nd one needs to be done before his birthday on the 30th!!

Happy Knitting

Posted by Melanie at 7:07 PM 3 comments

Monday, November 07, 2005

Long Arm Quilting

I know this is a knitting blog. But I also know that many knitters are also other "crafters." So for those knitters that are also quilters check out this baby!


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The Hinterberg Voyager 17. Mom got it on Friday. It took two coats (and two days) of stain, and then hours upon hours of assembly. This picture was taken last night before Desperate Housewives... the "horns" of the machine, the light, stylus, etc, had not been added yet. They were this morning when I got up at 6am. I'll get a picture later. Not bad, eh?

Anyway, among personal news... I think I may have a "REAL (not working with mother and father) job. I'll know for sure in the next day or two. It's at a Realtor's. Doing bankrupcy stuff. Great training for the legal field.
Cross your fingers for me.

That's all. Happy Monday.

Posted by Melanie at 5:44 PM 4 comments

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Donna's One Skein Wonder

Here she is. In all her finished glory. Modeled by the lovely Donna (not the recipient Donna-- my mom Donna.)
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[okay, so we know that's not the shirt for the outfit... it's sunday afternoon- we're lazy.]

Details:
Started: Thursday, October 6th, 2005
Finished: Sunday, November 6th, 2005
Yarn: Cotton Classic II in Black- 4 skeins.
Needles: Bamboo size 5 & 8
Knitting Time: 5.5 hours
Lesson: None.
Destination: My lovely 2nd cousin, Donna. I hope she likes it.

By the way, I signed up for Bloglines but am unsure of how to get the cute little button in my sidebar... so if you are a bloglines subscriber and want to add me, you'll have to do it manually. Happy Kris?

So... now... do I cast on for yet ANOTHER attempted lace project, this time with fingering weight, not lace weight. Or do I start knitting little Zoey & Roxy sweaters for winter? I'm really quite determined to get the hang of knitting lace, but I'm also stressed b/c I just can't seem to get it.... do I need more stress?

Posted by Melanie at 3:28 PM 1 comments

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Wild Hair Removed

The Wild Hair has been removed from my Arse (which is more poliet than the American word I'd like to use.)

We are back to the regularly scheduled blog, and I promise I won't "move" again until I first try another blog out, learn how to use it, and am assured that I really like it. SORRY.

Anyway, so since I don't have a digital camera (the battery is dead and I -- AGAIN-- can't find the charger) I'm going to do a meme I found on Beccary's blog.

Layer One: On the Outside
Name: Melanie
Nicknames: Mel
Birthday: May 26, 1982
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Eye colour: Blue
Hair colour: Dark brown
Height: 5′4″
Righty or lefty: Righty
Religion: None
Sex: Female last time I checked.

Layer Two: In the Inside
Your heritage: German. And, oh yeah, German.
Who do you look like: From my family? Mom. Celebrity? I've heard reese witherspoon and even Sally Fields, but I really don't see that one.
Your weakness: Chocolate
Your fears: small confined spaces
Your perfect pizza: Lots of Pepperoni
Goal you’d like to achieve: Finish College & provide a good home for Z.

Layer Three: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow
Your most over-used phrase: "Enough." I feel like now that Z is two I say it all the time. :0(
Your thoughts first waking up: "Please not yet."
Your best physical feature: Eyes
Your bedtime: 10pm
Your most missed memory: Playing at Grandma "mow-wow's"

Layer Four: Your Pick
Pepsi or Coke: Diet Pepsi
McDonalds or Burger King: McDonalds. Is Wendy's an option?
Single or Group Dates: Single
Adidas or Nike: Adidas Is New Balance an option?
Chocolate or Vanilla: CHOCOLATE!
Cappuccino or Coffee: Coffee

Layer Five: Do You?
Smoke: nope.
Curse: I lived with a sailor for 2.5 years. yes. Too much.
Sing: I try. But I suck. My sister? Yes, she can sing!
Think you’ve been in love: Yeah.
Want to get married: No. I'm so over that whole idea!
Believe in yourself: It's been hard, but I think I am beginning to again.
Motion sickness: nope, not often.
Think you’re attractive: Sometimes
Think you’re a health freak: nope.
Get along with your parents: Considering I live with them at the age of 23 after being away for several years. Yes. I get along with them VERY well. :-) I'm lucky.
Like thunderstorms: I used too, but my dog, Roxy, sits on my lap and SHAKES during storms now... so they're not very enjoyable anymore.
Play an instrument: Piano. Since I was in the 1st grade.

Layer Six: Have You Ever
Smoked: Yes
Done a drug: Yes
Gone to the mall: Ha ha ha, yeah. That was THE THING to do in Jr. High.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: Not in one sitting.
Eaten sushi: Yep
Been on stage: sure. But it's been a LONG time.
Gone skating: I used to figure skate... I also loved to rollerblade.
Gone skinny dipping: No
Stolen anything: Yes
Played a game that required removal of clothing: No, I was never able to get into that whole group "corny" sexual stuff.
Been caught ‘doing something’: ugh, yes, but I'd rather not go there!
Been called a tease: I don't think so?
Gotten beat up: no.
Shoplifted: Yes

Layer Seven: Getting Older
Age you hope to be married: Never Again?
Number and names of children: You all know this!!!
Describe your dream wedding: ENOUGH WITH THE WEDDINGS!
How do you want to die: Peacefully in my sleep at an age where I'm still able to go to the bathroom, feed myself, and know who I am when I look in the mirror.
What do you want to be when you grow up: An accomplished woman and mother.
What country would you most like to visit: Ireland

Layer Eight: In a Partner
Best eye colour: Blue
Best hair color: don't care.
Short or long hair: Short
Height: As long as he's tall enough for me to wear 2" heels.
Best articles of clothing: I don't know... he's a male... he should wear male clothes.

Layer Nine: In the Numbers
Number of drugs taken illegally: One
Number of CDs that you own: gosh, not many... most have been thrown out due to old age since downloading came about.
Number of piercings: 2, one in each ear. I did have the tongue and belly button at one point.
Number of tattoos: None
Number of times your name has appeared in the newspaper: Once. I wrote an editorial shunning the media after a tornado went through my town while I was in high school.

I want to tag some people. This was fun. I'll tag: Kara and of COURSE: Kathy

P.S. I'll get my posts moved back over and get everyone's links back up shortly... how do you like the new template? That should hold me over for a little while.

Posted by Melanie at 7:29 PM 6 comments

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I think we're moving...

This blog has *I think* moved. Please visit us at our shaky new knitting weblog.

Please bear with me in the dust phase. I will be moving my old posts, and setting up my sidebar as quickly as possible.

If you have me linked or bookmarked please update your urls. Thanks!

Posted by Melanie at 1:54 PM 0 comments

November Goals

October Goals:
1. Get my Gallery updated. DONE
2. Start another Warm the World Item. DONE
3. Finish the sleeves on Zander's Cardigan. DONE
4. Start and get decently far into the back of the Classic Cardi [pictured below]. Try to finish the back. DONE. Back Finished.
5. Complete Uncle Dick's Socks. DONE.
6. Complete one of Dad's Socks. NOT DONE. But out of my control at the moment. Will be marked a sucess for the month if I receive the yarn, cast on and get to the heel flap. I think it's time to add to the goals seeing as I'm almost done and the month isn't even half through yet.
7. Finish Donna's One Skein Wonder. NOT DONE
8. Cast on for Lorna's Laces Socks. DONE.
9. Start one of the fronts of the Classic Cardigan. DONE.
10. Make progress (get 25-50% done) on the warm the world blanket. DONE
11. Add buttons to Zander's Cardigan & get the rest of the ends woven in. DONE.

I think, based on October's actions, that I'll do better with 2 week goals instead of 1 month goals... they keep me focused, but I also get bored... so with 2 week goal I think I'll solve that problem. Thus
November Goals- Part I:
1. Complete 1 of Dad's Socks.
2. Complete 1 of another sock-- either the lorna's laces or jaywalker socks.
3. Get to 75% done with the Warm the World Blanket.
4. Complete Left front of Classic Cardigan.
5. GET DONNA'S ONE SKEIN WONDER DONE. MOST IMPORTANT!

Posted by Melanie at 12:24 PM 0 comments