Monday, January 29, 2007

Look What I Made!

Yesterday we had, literally, a TON of people here for my DD's birthday. It went very well and I was very surprised that I remained calm and collected the entire day. It might have been the milligram of Ativan that I took before everyone got here, LOL. I made a 3 tiered chocolate and vanilla cake that was almost gone by the time everyone had their share. My Mom made a HUGE rib roast, pork roast, manicotti and broccoli and everyone ate AND we still have leftovers for dinner tonight! My sister was a no show (big surprise) and no call about why she didnt show. My Mom had it out with her but she wont talk about it. I am not going to either.

Today my DH had to go speak to my DD's principal about some changes that were made with how they dismiss the kids. I was very impressed how he handled the situation and very happy that he is doing such a wonderful job as my DD's new principal. He has a mess to clean up from the one that was before him. I thought at the time that she was pretty good but now realize she wasnt. When my DH approached him in the drop off circle he immediately knew who he was and my DD's name! He even knew my son's name and he doesnt even go there yet. He is in the special ed program and the principals get a file on the child a year before they begin school. That makes me feel so much better about him transitioning into the system. Anyway, what I thought was going to be an issue isnt and I am thrilled.

Afterwards my husband and I visited the new HOBBYLOBBY they opened in town. WOW! What an awesome store! Model airplanes, boats, ships, games, remote control helicopters, trains, you name it, it was there. The owner of the store took our picture because we were his second customers! It turns out they JUST opened that morning at 10 am so we were really the second customers. Maybe we will be in the papers, you never know. We bought my son a THOMAS the TANK ENGINE puzzle, an army parachute man (I am sure everyone reading had one when they were kids that you throw up in the air and it parachutes to the ground. I love it!) a MELISSA & DOUG magnetic resonsibility chart for the kids. It has chores and responsibilities that you put a reward magnet next to it for every day of the week. I have to do something because my kids are rebelling against our authority as children do. They have been sick for the past 3 weeks with a nasty cough/cold that wont let go and finally yesterday my DH and both kids started Augmentin because they had developed low grade temps. Thats probably one of the reasons they havent been behaving as they should. My DD has her 7 year check up appointment next month and the pediatrician wants PFT's (Pulmonary Function Tests). She might need to be on a daily asthma medication because she is always getting sick and it settles in her lungs. I am a little nervous about that. My Grandmother was annoying me yesterday saying that the reason she has asthma is due to all the animals I have. She also told me that I have a fat ass yesterday in front of all my guests. She said, "Look at the size of that ass and how wide it is!" She should look in the mirror more often before she makes nasty comments about other people. I already know that I need to lose weight and I am working on that and I dont need to hear it from her. My DH had the perfect come back. He said, "If you had gone through the treatments, chemo and surgeries that my wife has gone through this past year, you would be dead! I think my wife is doing pretty well considering and her ass looks fine to me." I love it!

We hit the bookstore after HOBBYLOBBY and I headed for the knitting section where some lady was leaning on the bookshelf with all the knitting books screaming into her cell phone. Hey lady, do you realize this is a BOOK STORE and not your living room? Oh, and get yourself off the bookshelf so OTHERS besides YOU can look at the BOOKS!! They didnt have anything new so I just picked up a magazine with some cute patterns.

I am trying to get rid of a migraine that I started the day with but it wont leave me!
Finally, I will address the title of my post. I had some supplies to make stitch markers so I whipped these babies up, sorry for the bad picture but its really hard to get a decent one with my old digital:
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I plan on giving them to some knitting friends and I also want to give a set to Sally, my sock/dog sweater knitting teacher. I would love to sell these on Etsy or eBay but need to make a large quantity before I advertise them. They dont take much time or money to make so there is nothing stopping me! I should run them by owners of the LYS in town and maybe they can sell them. I would donate a percentage of the profits I make to breast cancer research and the AVON WALK that my Mom and I will be doing in October. Each person who participates has to raise a mimimium of $1800 to walk and I think this is one way we can do it. 5% of the profits would go directly to BC Research. If anyone is interested in purchasing these stitch markers from me please feel free to leave a comment here.

One of the LYS that I frequent is closing down for good. I received an e-mail last night and I am sad about it but they are going to have some HUGE sales soon. Maybe there is some 50% off cashmere in my future?? Hmmm...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Quakers & Calorimetry

This is a normal sight at the birdfeeder in my back yard.
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They are Quaker Parrots and there are literally hundreds all over Fairfield County. There is huge flock located by the beach in my town. There is also a huge debate going on with the electric company about these parrots building there nests in the elecrtical transformers, destroying them and the electrical company has been gathering up these beautiful birds and euthanizing them. Some think they are a nuisance causing all this trouble but I dont think its right that they kill them over it. There has to be another way that we can co-exist with these birds even though they are not native to this area. If you Google: Quaker Parrots in CT, you'll see the whole story.
Here are two Calorimetry that took me a few hours each to make. I love this pattern! The first one is made with Artyarns Supermerino which I used a size 7 needle and followed the 120 CO stitches that the pattern suggests and it fits perfectly.
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The second one in this picture is made with Patons SWS yarn in Earth Tones. I CO 108 stitches instead of the 120 with the size 7's because the yarn is thicker than the Supermerino. You can see that there is really no difference in the size with them next to one another.
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Yesterday I received my Patons pattern in the mail and I cant wait to start it. It looks a bit intimidating but I am going to do it. I would have started it yesterday but I have my Cabled Dog sweater class this weekend and I have to work on that and also the Finishing Class homework is due soon. My Aunt's birthday is Feb 22 and I changed my mind about the gift I am making her. I was making the Voodoo Fingerless mits but now I am crocheting her half-mittens that I designed instead. My Dad's birthday is Mar. 8th and I am making him socks with Artyarns Supermerino using the Thuja pattern from .

Yesterday I had a plastic surgeon appointment. He couldnt thank me enough for the scarf I made him for Christmas and we got chatting on the subject of knitting for a few minutes. I showed him the socks I was wearing (Cascade Fixation-pink socks) and he was amazed at all the different stitches in the sock. He was pointing to the stitches of the heel, leg and foot saying that he didnt know how I did all those different stitches. I tried to explain to him by showing the socks that I had in my bag (the ones I have been working on since Thanksgiving) pointing out the different parts of the sock. I told him that he should take up knitting because lots of men did it and its relaxing. He did say he needed to relax but he expressed fear of being made fun of from other men if he did knit. I told him to Google: Men who Knit and see what he came up with. I am still planning on making him socks in the near future and the Briar Rose Fibers might be a good choice for a nice thick hiking sock. Thats the wool I bought in Rhinebeck and I have more than enough to make him and my DH socks. Its a 500 yd hank that I rolled yesterday and it took me a while because it was so big. In medical news, my next procedure with the PS is going to be in March.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Nothing Going on but the Knit

Not much happening around here, except knitting. My hair is growing and its getting into the weird stage. Its about to that point where the curl is coming back and it goes in every direction known to man. I am trying to do other things like wear hats, scarves, whatever to get through this awkward stage. I do not want to get it cut right now, I want it to grow. Thats one reason I started CALORIMETRY. It the head wrap design thats on Knitty . There are lots of people doing it right now, probably for the same reasons I am. Its cold and I am sick of wearing baseball caps. I want something thats stylish and shows off my hair (as if thats possible at the moment! LOL) I am using ARTYARNS Supermerino 6 (or 8, I cant remember. Its 104 yds a hank and the pattern calls for 93-98 yds). Its variegated and has lots of cool colors in it like maroon, green, & light green in it. I'll post a pic on my blog when I am done with it. The cabled dog sweater is coming along nicely and I am so proud of my aran cabling! Its going to look splendid on my black and tan doxie. I just hope he likes it as much as I do! Tomorrow there is a STITCH n' BITCH meet up at YALE and I really want to go. I havent been to one since November and there are a lot of knitters going tomorrow. Its at a bookstore no less so thats another great reason to go. I have a HUGE migraine right now so I am going to play it by ear and see how I feel tomorrow.

Yesterday we got our living room furniture delivered!!! We now have a living room for the first time since we moved in July of 2005. All we need now is a rug, pillowa, some pics on the wall (I have lots of those in the closet I just have to figure out where to put them) and a chair with an ottoman or a chaise/recliner type of chair. I absolutely LOVE the whole set. Its the first time I have had a sectional and my favorite spot to sit is right in the corner of the couch where it bends. The dogs have a new "perch" on the top of the couch due to them being vertically challenged. Now they cant look out the windows in the front and they are so excited about it. At least in this house they CAN look outside. In the back of the house we have all glass doors that go all the way down to the ground so they are small dog friendly. In the old house the only way the dogs could look outside was when the front door was open and they looked out the screen door or if they hopped on the back of one of the couches and looked out the windows to the back (where there was nothing to see). I put a couple of afghan throws on the couch so the dogs dont ruin it before we get a chance to sit on them ourselves! The cats have already discovered a new place to sleep. All I can say is thank God for roller brushes. BJ's sells them by the bushel in these HUGE packs and guess who buys them? Hmmm...

This morning I received a very nice phone call from the co-worker of my DH whom I made the 1st baby kimono (yellow). I was so worried that it was going to be too small but she reassured me that he is a small baby at a little over 6 lbs at a month old. He was 4 lbs and change at birth and not a premie, just small. She couldnt thank me enough for it, said it fit perfectly and couldnt believe I made it. Well, she said that she didnt know how talented I was. I thought that was so nice of her to say and my head swelled a little bit. Its so nice when people appreciate homemade things like that. Maybe I'll make booties to match the kimono, after I finish what I am working on that is. (NOT!)

I am anxiously awaiting my PATONS Street Smart Hoodie pattern from JoAnn's. Maybe it will get here today. Remember a few months ago I mentioned that my LYS was offering a class on Baby Argyle socks and that the class was totally full when I called to take it? Well, it turns out they had such huge resonse to that class that they put all the people that wanted to take it but where closed out the 1st time on a wait list. I received a call from Sally (the sock guru) the other day that they were going to offer it again in April!!! I checked my DH's schedule and called yesterday to sign up for it. Could you believe that the class was almost full, AGAIN!!! I am so happy I made it into the class. I am hoping that I can adapt the pattern for an adults size foot. What an awesome gift that would make.

My DD's birthday was this past week and my sister called me. She didnt ask me how I felt or address how she treated me and my kids on Christmas but she did tell me she would be home (at my Moms) for my DD's family party which she thought was tomorrow. I told her that it was changed to next week and it was going to be at MY house not my Moms. She said that it was her boyfriends birthday and she wasnt sure she could make it. Was I expecting some other response? I didnt know that a 28 year old couldnt celebrate their birthday on another day, like my DD was doing. I think everyone does that. Cant take an hour out of her day to come over for some cake with her God daughter, of course not. If it were one of her friends she would find a way. I am so sick of her immaturity and I am sick of wasting words on a good for nothing sister.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Project Spectrum

I officially joined Project Spectrum . This explains what it is to people who have no clue what I am rambling about. It doesnt have to be a knitting project but any craft thats hand made. It starts Feb 1st and the colors are Blue, White and Grey for February/March. I dont know what I am doing as of yet but I am brainstorming about it. Oh! I just remembered!! In the Finishing Class I am taking I am assembling a mini-blue sweater that we have to seam up for the class! I think I have my 1st project spectrum project!!! Wow, that was easier than I thought. Its actually a sweater that will fit a doll, thats how small it is but it still counts. I will be posting pictures of all my Project Spectrum Projects when they are complete.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mr Rogers and The Beagle

Just some random pics today for your entertainment. The first is a UFO that I recently finished 2 days ago. It was supposed to be a throw that was to lay accross the back of a pink chair thats in my bedroom but it was the project that dragged on FOREVER and I wanted it done so it turned into a wrap instead. I started it in June of last year when I started to crochet again after many years of not doing so. Its a griddle stitch with eyelash yarn edging:
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My son was asking me to make his Beagle whose name happens to be "Beagle", a sweater-coat because he was getting cold. Yesterday I whipped this baby up in 20 minutes with some leftover Lion Brand Thick & Quick:
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In 2004 my Grandfather died and my Mom gave me his beautiful cashmere sweater that she had purchased for him and he never had a chance to wear. It still had the tags on it! It was an XL or XXL, I cant remember but I gave it to my DH and he put it away in the back of his closet. I reminded him that he had this beautiful cashmere sweater to wear a few weeks ago (what do men know of this fiber they call cashmere!) and he started to wear it. Somehow he brings back memories of when I was a little girl and used to watch MR ROGERS NEIGHBORHOOD on PBS. Now you tell me, doesnt this remind you of MR ROGERS? Well, MR ROGERS with less hair that is! LOL:
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My DD took the last 2 pictures with her Fisher-Price Kids Digital Camera that my cousin bought her for Christmas. Just to explain the bad photo quality. I think you can upgrade the quality somehow with a new photocard but who cares? She's taking a million pics of everything. I am not going to print all of them so it doesnt matter.
Hope you enjoyed my pics!
I am currently working on the cabled dog sweater, some wrist warmers for my Aunt whose birthday is 2/22 so I have time (I think), the homework for the finishing class in Feb., and the same freakin' socks that I have been working on since Thanksgiving, I promise not to mention them again until I am done.
I almost forgot to mention that today is my DD's birthday. I cant believe she is 7 years old today! Happy birthday to you!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Future Sweater Endeavor and other WIP's

Yes, I have plans. Plans to make a beautiful cabled hoodie for myself. I first saw the gorgeous sweater on Lolly's Blog I ventured out to find the Paton's Street Smart Booklet that contained the pattern but it didnt want to be found. I e-mailed Lolly and she was kind enough to point out that JoAnn's had it. I cant believe that I didnt think of looking there! The book not only has the pattern for the hoodie but a couple of other great patterns. I am hoping that this is not going to be to difficult for me to pull off but since I am so positive and determined to do it, I think I can. Just like the Little Engine that Could. I chose a pale pink color in the Paton's Merino (of course you knew it had to be pink). Choosing a lighter color is best (in my opinion) for a cabled sweater so you can see the detail especially when you are working on it. If its too dark the cables get lost in the darkness but to each his own. Who am I to say what color it should be? Anyway JoAnn's had a coupon to get one item 50% off so I picked out an instructional DVD on how to do 2 socks on 2 circulars. It was $12 with the discount!! AWESOME! I always wanted to learn to do that and I was going to take a private lesson at my LYS but its $12 people! Much cheaper than a private lesson and it got good reviews. I learn best by watching something visually so its going to work out great. I hope there is instructions on short row heels in there too! LOL

I am proud that its only Jan 15th and I am keeping to my #1 resolution for the new year (I rather call it a goal) of constantly honing my craft. Last night I finished the pink baby girl Kimono that I have been working on for the past 5 days. Pretty quick but not as fast as I want to be. It could have been done in a couple of days but since I havent been feeling well I havent been working as efficiently as I want. I wrapped the Kimono up and put it in a lovely Disney Princess bag with some tissue paper and gave it to my DH to present to the Dr he works with. I hope he and his wife like it. Instead of sewing the ribbons on it I threaded them through the knitting and made a loop so they can be removed or tied for washing (whichever is preferred by the person who is doing the washing). I regret that I didnt take a picture and this morning after my DH left for work I cursed myself out. My mind is mush lately. Well, it looks just like the other Kimono I did except its pink with pink satiny ribbon.

My LYS is offering a class on making a baby Aran sweater and I am pondering the thought of taking it. I am not sure at the moment but I really want to. I think that I can probaby do it on my own since I made other things on my own through trial and error. So OTN's right now are the Cabled Dog Sweater which WILL be worked on tonight (I swear), the homework for my Finishing Class which is making the back, 2 front sides and 2 sleeves for a mini-sweater that will be assembled in class. It will probably be owned by my DD's Cabbage Patch doll after the class is over and the socks that I have been working on since before Thanksgiving. My great Aunt's birthday is coming up the end of February and the plan is to make her some fingerless gloves so they will be started soon also.

I have been thinking about the Afghan that has been lingering in my project bag since June. Its the pink and lavender one that I am crocheting to match the chair in my bedroom. I have NO desire to finish it. I have 3 skeins of yarn to go and I cant imagine making it any bigger without me going into convulsions of boredome from doing the same stitches millions of times over. So my idea's for this so called "Afghan" are: Give it to my cousins baby as a baby blanket or embelish it on the ends with some fancy tassles and add a loop with a bug button on it and make it a wrap for over the shoulders to use around the house on a chilly day. Two great ideas but I will probably pick the later because its much longer than it is wide and I would have to make it a bit wider if it was to be used as a baby blanket. Something to think about. I have some cute furry eyelash yarn in pink and lavender that would look great as a border around the edges! I just remembered that I had them!

I know I use lots of abbreviations in my blog but for those who have no clue what they mean here are some explainations:

LYS-local yarn store or shoppe
OTN-on the needles
WIP-work in progress
DH-dear husband or darling OR if you are in a bad mood you can substitute with another "D" word. LOL!!
DD-dear daughter
DS-dear son

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cabled Dog Sweater Class

In Knitting News I re-paid for my sock club so I can stop having heartburn about not being able to get into the club due to the banks screw up. I frogged a few projects that I either messed up on or that were not really interesting me anymore. One of them being the Voodoo wrist warmers. I found a mistake that I tried to fix to no avail and it was better to just start over. I plan to do them using the magic loop method the next time. I also said good-bye to my Patons Soy Wool Stripes Scarf that was boring me to DEATH! I had finished one of the Jingle Bell Rock colorway socks from BMFA and since they are a Christmas colorway and Christmas is over I decided to put them away and finish the second sock next Christmas when I would be in the mood. I wouldnt wear them if I finished them anyway so away they went. I feel great now starting with a clean slate to concentrate on the other projects like the Cabled Dog sweater (I had the 1st class yesterday) and the pre-homework I have to complete for the Finishing Class in February. I am a few stitches away from finishing another baby kimono that I started a few days ago for a Dr that works with my DH. He and his wife had a baby girl and I was dying to make something in pink. There is so much pink in my stash that I have to use it sometime for someone other than me! I am using Red Heart Soft Yarn for the Kimono. I know its acrylic but its VERY soft and washable which is the best thing for a newborn.

In medical news I have a couple appointments with the PS and breast surgeon next week and I will find out when the nipple reconstruction will take place. I have also been suffering with flank pain that has not abated since my period ended and its starting to annoy me. I thought at first that it was just due to my period OR might be because of the back surgery and just a strain to the muscles but its still bothering me after a couple of weeks. I have to make an a appointment with the oncologist this month. He wanted to see me in January anyway and then I have to see the GYN because its been a year so between the two of them it should be figured out. I'm praying that its nothing to worry about.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stupid Banks

I received this e-mail from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Socks Club 2007 referring to how DUMB banks can be. Here, I'll let you decide:

Please read this for IMPORTANT credit card information.
The sign-up for the Rockin' Sock Club 2007 has been a resounding success. So much so that our bank thinks we are running some type of elaborate yarn scam and is refusing to accept our members' money! So, you know what they are doing? You are not going to believe this. They are sending all of that money back! Unbelievable and astounding!

Here are the details. Within the next ten days, all of you who signed up for the Sock Club by paying either $210.00 (domestic) or $240.00 (international) between December 31 and January 5, will be getting a credit back onto your Mastercard or Visa. It is the Sock Club only, all other yarn orders placed will go through and you will be receiving your yarn soon.

Do not panic!

Everyone affected by this incredible situation is guaranteed their spot through the end of January, including those on the wait list. After you receive your credit, just go to our website and use your same registration number to pay for your Sock Club (yet again). The website is temporarily under construction in order to install the new bank’s (who has guaranteed us they will have no difficulty accepting your money!) system. The site should be back in full swing in the next couple of days. In the meantime, you can view products and place phone orders.

If you have any problems, call or email us and we will gladly help. Keep in mind that there are a lot of you involved! It is going take us some time to sort through the mess the bank has so graciously created for us. Remember, those of you that ordered other products from the Blue Moon website during this period are fine. It does not affect your orders! It is the thought of a Club for knitting socks they cannot get their heads around.

This certainly is NOT how we envisioned starting the New Year, the launch of our website upgrade and the 2007 Rockin' Sock Club! We cannot apologize enough for any inconvenience this causes you. To honor all of your dedication and patience, we are including a coupon in your first shipment to help compensate for this.

How DUMB can a bank be? Lets see, a yarn company getting orders for YARN people! Whats so scandelous about that??

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Organizational Skills & A No Sew Fleece Blanket

A couple of days ago I went to Target and bought this cubicle thingy to organize my knitting books, patterns and yarns. Here are just a few pictures of my 'mad' skills.
This is what next to my bed looks like now:
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I wish I took a before so you could say WOW but unfortunately I didnt.
My closet looks like this now:
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Bottom of the closet with all my sock yarns:
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These are the other containers located 'around' my room:
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This is the No Sew Fleece Blanket I made yesterday with my cat Dom smack dab in the middle:
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Some other views with and without a flash so you can see the color. If you look really close you can see the pink breast cancer awareness ribbons with a flower in the middle of each all over the blanket:
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I am becoming quite crafty and was even looking at sewing machines at JoAnnes yesterday. I told my DH that I wanted one for my birthday. Not one of those expensive ones but a cheaper one for a beginner. The cheaper but decent ones are around $150-199. I am going to see if I can find one for less. I also picked up some Thomas the Tank Engine fabric to make my son some pillowcases.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

2006 Knitting Review

I didnt take pictures of all the projects that I completed this year and I apologize for that. In 2007 I will take pictures of all FO's.
The tally for 2006 was 71 Projects, 5 Frogged and 4-5 WIP's that were carried over to 2007. Pretty good, at least thats what I think. I started to knit the end of June, beginning of July so I only had 1/2 the year to do all these plus I was teaching myself to knit from books and online videos. Out of the projects I completed a pair of Artyarns socks for me (the green ones) and a pair for my DD with the left over yarn. A pair of KOIGU that I learned to do the Magic Loop way and a pair of Cascade Fixation (pink), a total of 4 pairs in 2006. I am going to try to complete as many projects as possible in 2007 and try to complete a pair of socks a month. I am not sure if I can do that with all the other things going on but its a goal.

First Finished Project of 2007

Well, its done. I started this baby Kimono on the 27th of December and finished it on the 4th of January. Its for my husbands co-worker who just had a baby on the 18th of December. Its newborn size because thats what the pattern called for so I stuck with those numbers to see what it would look like. Now I can adjust the pattern to fit a 6-12 month old. I'm going to make a couple for my cousins who both had babies in July.
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I am not sure if I mentioned it here before but I signed up for the Cabled Dog Sweater Class at my local yarn store and I am so excited about it. I picked out my yarn for the project and its a gorgeous bright pumpkin color. My black and tan mini-doxie will look really good in it. He's getting a sweater 1st due to his lack of hair (he's a short hair and my other 2 doxies are long haired).

While I was at the yarn shop yesterday I was talking to the owner about finishing (seaming) the kimono I made and how I would LOVE to learn the proper way to do that. It so happens that there is a class being offered in February on Finishing for the non-finisher or beginning finishing it should be called. When I got home I checked my DH's schedule and it so happens that he is working a half day on the 1st day of the class and off on the second day of the class. Its only January and I am well on the way to sticking to the goals I made for the new year! I always want to be learning and improving my knitting skills and not stay stagnant like many older knittters out there. Not that thats a bad thing because many people are happy for 50 years making the same old things over and over. Personally, I would not be happy doing that.

Today is Jan. 6th and the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. My Christmas Tree remains up as it does every year on this day. I am planning on taking it down this week sometime but believe me I am not looking forward to it. Its a big job and seems to get bigger every year due to the aquisition of Chistmas ornaments as gifts.

I had some blood work done this past week because I wasnt feeling quite right. I thought it might have been my thyroid but the Dr called me yesterday and said that everything looked well and in normal range including my TSH and Free T4 levels. My hematocrit was a tad low but not enough to panic so that can be why I get exhausted at times. I will not take iron because its not really been proven to work with pills. You are better off eating more lean meats or veggies that have iron like spinach. I'll stick to the veggies thank you.

My current knitting projects that I soon will be finished with:
One BMFA sock in Jingle Bell Rock Colorway, then I have to start the second one!
Voodoo Wrist warmer, 25% done with the 1st one, then of course (you've heard this before) I have to start the second one.
Soon I have to add learning the 2 socks on 2 circulars or Magic Loop to my goals for the year. One of the girls who works/teaches at the yarn store said that she could teach me. Its going to have to wait until I am done with the 2 classes I signed up for!