Thursday, February 14, 2008

Winner and hiatus

Honestly, I do have one more contest winner to announce. For all 3 of my readers who have been around a while will remember (or not , it was a while ago) I offered up a prize to the 500th commentor. The 2 year anniversary contest pushed the comment counts sky high, at least for me. The luck lady is Wendy. Send me your address and a small prize will be winging its way to you. kmhanson74 at yahoo dot com

I will be taking a short break from blogging to focus on a few things that I need to acomplish in the next 5 weeks. I have a booth at a craft fair the first weekend in April and I need to prepare for it. Since most of the goodies are sewn, I won't bore you with the details. After the show I will do a large shop update with all of the product left from the shows.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Party Madness

What is it about the weekend that it seems to fly by faster than a five year old hopped up on sugar? Conversely, Monday lasts 10 lifetimes. Ironically, this is the same length of time as spending one's Saturday with 2 different groups of 20 5 year olds.

Caleb was lucky enough to be invited to two different birthday parties on Saturday. Both were about 35 minutes from home and were just far enough apart to make returning home in between a real pain in the ass.

The first party was at a bounce house place, complete with loud music. I managed to escape the chaos long enough to run to Target.

After a snack and cupcakes, we were off to Wal-mart. A quick detour was made to clean up the barf that was the not unexpected result of the first party.

Great fun. Overexcited children and junk food do not mix.

I had brought along our portable DVD player and after picking up a few things at the store, we settled into Starbucks with our cocoa (him) and mocha (me - he needed no caffine!), starwars (him) and the Shetland Triangle with a side of an audiobook (me). He was reasonably quiet and I was profoundly grateful.

The second party was at a gymnastics studio and was a lot of fun for the kids.

For some reason, while the Shetland Triangle is a very easily memorized pattern, I keep forgetting to do the final knit row. This creates a few problems with the stitch count when I start the first row again. I can't count the number of times that I have ripped back because of the enormity of my own stupidity. Not suprisingly, I've made no actual progress even though a great deal of knitting has occurred.

It would also appear that startitis has struck full force and I finally cast on for the Hedgerow Socks using Regia Silk in a bright orangey red color.

Pictures to come shortly.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Somehow recently, I have run into a slew of blog contests. I'm guessing that cabin fever has hit all of us hard. The latest is over at Bark Knits. She wants to know how you met your sweetie. The deadline is Valentine's Day. Tell her I sent you...

So, we finally recovered from the 15+ inches of snow that we got on Wednesday. It was nice to have a snow day, but honestly, I am sick of the snow and all of the general ickiness that goes along with late winter. Cabin fever has hit Chez Wool pretty hard and we are all grumping at each other pretty fiercely. I honestly cannot wait until spring and I can get Caleb outside to burn off some of the energy he has.

It doesn't help that our upstairs neighbor is completely incapable of living in an apartment situation. She is driving us crazy and is whining to the landlord.

We've been in this apartment for 3-1/2 years and never had any issues with the previous tenants upstairs. This summer they bought a house and a new lady moved in. Apparently, she is a complete white trash princess and has never had to fend for herself before. When she was looking at the apartment, she had the audacity to ask the landlord if she could take one of our spots in the garage. (We pay significantly more rent and as a result, we get 2 garage spaces and the finished portion of the basement.) Needless to say he didn't even approach us about that.

When she and her daughters first moved in, they consistently forgot to either lock or close completely the back door to the house, meaning that anyone could walk into the basement and into my apartment. Not cool with me at all. We spoke with her about it a couple of times and eventually ended up taping a note to the door reminding them that it needed to be latched and the knob needed to be locked. (We actually prefer that the deadbolt not be fastened because Caleb doesn't remember how to unlock it - it freaks me out a bit thinking about what would happen if there was an emergency of some kind and he needed to get out.)

She got really pissy about the note on the door.

There have been other encounters, but the biggest issue is that she and the older daughter park oddly and it doesn't allow for the snow to be removed easily. Since shoveling is our responsibility, we've told the landlord that if their cars aren't in the way that we will be more than happy (not really, but it is part of the lease) to clear that portion of the driveway.

But, and it is a big but, if they don't move them, we will NOT be shoveling around them because of the liability if we damage their cars. He agreed that this seemed fair and all was tolerable.

With all of the snow that we got this week, Eric was more than generous and used the snow blower to go around all of their cars because they hadn't moved them out so that we could clear the area. Apparently, yesterday Princess contacted the landlord complaining that we didn't do a sufficient job shoveling her area. Never mind the fact that she backed her car up and brushed it off onto the area that was already cleared. Never mind that when Eric got home last night she was blocking access to the garage.

I hate to get into a pissing match with her, but that is where we are at and Eric is nothing if not self-righteous. It should get interesting.

On the knitting front, I finished the last body repeat of the Shetland Triangle, not to be confused with the Bermuda Triangle, although, the more I think about it, there are striking similarities.
*They are both triangles - this one is rather obvious.
*They are both larger than one might think - lace post-blocking anyone?
*They both appear innocuous, but both warp the time-space continuum. How else to explain how I sit down to knit a row or two at 8 pm and look up and Leno is doing his monologue?

Because of the warping, I was able to finish up the body of the shawl and started the border chart. I probably could have squeezed in another body repeat with the amount of yarn that I have, but I wanted to make sure that I wouldn't run out. No new pictures yet because honestly, it looks just like before, only slightly larger.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

And the Winner Is...

I haven't worked much more on the shawl, so you won't be getting a picture of that. Or really if you want one, just scroll down a bit. Sorry, I'm more than a bit lazy...

Sorry for not posting results yesterday. You know. Life. Got busy. Crummy lighting for picture taking, blahblahblah. However, SE Wisconsin is getting a tremendous snowfall today. So much so that at 4pm yesterday, they closed the factory for today. Whoo Hoo, it isn't often that you get a snow day as a grown up (unlike someone else I could mention).

So, without further delay, Elaine - send me your address (kmhanson74atyahoodotcom) and I will get your prize off to you. It is 2 skeins of Shelridge Farm sock yarn in a colorway that makes me think of spring with the color of new leaves budding on trees and the pretty pink of blossoms. I hope you like it!

I want to know where she works because I got several repeat commentors saying that they forgot to mention that Elaine, from their office, told them to enter the contest. Um - knitting friends at work - sign me up. Heck, we will be moving in a year and a half, and I get to influence that choice (at least a little)... I would so love to work someplace where people don't think I'm weird for knitting.

More prizes to come, so stop back again to see if you won anything.

I finished the first prototype and well there were a few bugs that I needed to work out. I will be trying a second one today. Once I get the final version made, I will put up a few pictures. I am hoping that someone might be interested in it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

95% Perspiration

I've been knitting a fair bit lately (at least for me) but I really need to shift my focus back to bagatelle.

I have some "what was I thinking" fabric in my stash that I'm planning on using to create some really simple totes to sell for under $10.00. Nothing fancy - I really just need to use up the fabric and not lose money at it. My thought is to market them as reusable grocery bags, something sturdy that can be machine washed and reused. Some may get a small zippered pocket depending on what I have that matches, but most probably won't in an effort to keep the price low.

A couple of new ideas are floating around my head and I am looking forward to creating a few prototypes. (Probably with the "what was I thinking" fabric.) At least one of them is knitting related and I would hope that I can sell them at one of the local yarn shops. It would be nice to have some steady income coming in.

I'm hoping to get the kinks worked out the the new design and then post them up on the shop site. I plan on doing an update as soon as I get a few more items finished.

The change to sewing will probably do me some good as the tendonitis in my wrist has been acting up lately. I think the weight of the shawl is the main culprit. Not that I will stop knitting it.

The contest winner will be posted soon!

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Before I forget, if you haven't entered the contest, go for it. I picked up some more goodies over the weekend. Hopefully some of the lovely ladies who stopped over for a chance to win will keep reading.

Although on second thought, that may be a bit more pressure than I am ready for. The limelight is so not my style.

I've tried so hard to work diligently on Ribby Cardi, but the endless 2x2 ribbing of the sleeves is booooooriiiiiiiing. Actually, that is an understatement. It is beginning to suck the will to live (or at least knit) from me.

Don't let the picture deceive you. I still have eleventy billion
rows to go before the decreases start. Many of them are increase rows. Bah.

So I decided to change that.

I was inspired by this post from Brooklyn Tweed to use up some of the Rowan Magpie in the Mexico that I have lingering in my stash. (Yea for stashbusting!) The pattern is "Shetland Triangle" by Evelyn Clark from Interweave Press's Wrap Style.

I have approximately 4 and a bit balls left, and I thought it would make a nice warm wrap. It isn't the softest yarn, but I love the colorway. Each time I look at a blocked version of the shawl the pattern reminds me a of candle flames and the rich warm orange color of this yarn just begged to be made into this pattern.

Is it wrong that I lovelovelove the funky bubble look that this shawl has right now?

The main pattern repeat is very simple and it is almost mindless knitting. I have no real reason to make this other than the itch to make something beautiful and quick.

In one night, I managed to get through 4 repeats of the body chart. Still, with only 207 stitches as the point at which you change to the edging chart, this is a quick knit. The original dimensions of the pattern say that it is only 24" long. Even without adding any additional repeats, this version will be significantly larger.