Saturday, May 19, 2007

Moving Day!

Hello everyone - well, I have made the BIG move over to wordpress.com - head on over and see! I still have some housekeeping things to do, but I will be waiting for your arrival! Here is the link http://askatknits.wordpress.com/

See you there!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bloomin' Mother's Day!

Hello everyone! Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! It is a beautiful day here - and it was such a blessing to have 2 of my kids with me to worship today. An even bigger blessing, to take communion with them. This was a great way to start the day. We had a nice dinner - and they were off to their dad's house.

Hope you are all having a wonderful day - filled with blessings of children and all that goes with them.

My Heidi made the Chamber Orchestra - this is an audition only orchestra at her school. After much hard work and practice - she made it on Friday! Here is a "hurrah" to Heidi for making this one pround mom! You are amazing, Heidi.

Did you all have a nice weekend? I did some house cleaning on Saturday morning - and Saturday afternoon I sat in the sun and knit! At LONG last my BF socks are complete. How do they look?

They will be blocking shortly and winging their way to their deserving recipient. I have truly loved knitting these socks for my pal. Each stitch was lovingly done - she is truly an amazing person. I am eager to see if she likes them!! The color and the pattern will suit her to a "T".

Here is to all of us moms having an awesome afternoon - blessings to all of you!


Saturday, May 12, 2007

mothers-day-button-180-pixe.jpg

5 Minutes for Mom is having a Mother's Day Giveaway - stop on over and check it out!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Welcoming Friday - it has been a long week!

Hello everyone! I am certainly glad that it is finally Friday! It has been an infinitely long week! Last night I went to Knit Night - I had missed the past couple of weeks due to other commitments - and it was soooo good to be back! I love seeing what everyone is working on - Ann was working on her Tulip Socks, AnnMarie was knitting a beautiful bag to be felted, Ruby was knitting a baby sweater for the shop, Barb was finishing up her second bucket bag - a gift for her daughter for Christmas, Karen was seaming up her first Wallaby!

Okay - when I grow up, I want to be as organized as Barb!! Christmas gifts in May!!! Plus, Barb will be retiring in June - how exciting for her!

For myself - I was working furiously on my BF socks. I managed to get quite a bit done - I have 3 repeats before I start my toe decreases. I hope to knit at lunch today - and then the weekend comes and I have nothing on the agenda!! So, this mother requests for Mother's Day - uninterrupted knitting time!!

Tulip Time has been moving along - outside of a few traffic hassles - it has been a fairly uneventful week. The weather certainly has cooperated - this is good for all those visitors to our fair and blooming city. This year we had a bumper crop of tulips!! All that cold weather in March and April certainly helped that out! For all of you out there who have never been to Holland in May - our city plants over a million tulips - springtime here is truly a thing of beauty.

What are all of your plans for your Mother's this weekend? Come out of hiding and share with me what your plans are - I might have a prize for a randomly selected commenter!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tulip Time!

Hello Everyone. Well, it is Tulip Time here in Holland - and we are gearing up for a big week. My plan is to work out of town on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! Avoid the traffic on the big days! There will be parades, street scrubbing, bands, and miles and miles and miles of tulips.

It has been a productive weekend here.... my dinner companion has been "fixing" things for me around the house! Curiouser and curiouser, he seems quite handy and even tempered. He was even patient with me to watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday afternoon - hats and all!!

I had drawn this line in the sand about what would be acceptable and unacceptable in my next relationship - if there ever was one. You all know - those qualities of the "perfect imaginary man". My list was quite long and included things like must listen to NPR, loves to dance, listen to jazz, like teenagers and dogs. Well, this line I had has been moving - there are times when I cannot even find my line!! I have been laughing much, feeling special, and had some quite intense conversations. He has introduced me to his family and it all feels so "alright". I enjoy his teasing sense of humor and his smile. He was not what I was looking for - but I think he is what I need.

Well - I had better get off here and enjoy what remains of this truly lovely Sunday. Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ciao dall'Italia (Hello from Italy)

I am a lucky participant in Lynne's Special Swap and travel genius Lu sent me off to Italy!

Ciao dall'Italia! La LU bella lo ha trasmesso fuori su un viaggio bello in Italia. Ci erano tesori dappertutto e non potrei chiedere un agente migliore di corsa. La LU proviene dall'Italia in modo da lo ha trasmesso a tutti i suoi posti favoriti!

Translation: Hello from Italy! The lovely Lu sent me off on a beautiful journey to Italy. There were treasures everywhere and I could not have asked for a better travel agent. Lu is from Italy so she sent me to all of her favorite places!


As you can see - Lu sent me some amazing goodies! Zara Plus and Karabella yarns in awesome colors! Sensibilità così morbida e squisita! An incredible idee & filati magazine with some amazing patterns inside, molto chic. Some lovely, much needed, note cards - semplicemente perfetto! And, last but not least, some incredible Italian chocolates. Wow, erano squisiti oltre le parole! My kids loved them!

LU, grazie, li ringraziano, li ringraziano per essere così socio stupefacente di scambio! Adored il pacchetto ed il viaggio!

I wonder what Lynne has planned for the next 2 months!

On the life front - work has been insanely busy. I have worked until 8 or 9 PM most nights this week. Plus, I have had kid comittments to squeeze in. On top of all of that - I came down with a "Spring Cold"... that has left me feeling, as Garrison Keilor would say, "mighty puny". Plus - last weekend, I watched my girlfriends 2 year old son - Alex. This mom of teenagers had "amnesia" for how quickly a toddler can get into something. Before I knew it, young Alex had "frogged" my second Bloomin' Feet sock! Now, mind you - I was almost the the toe decreases!! AARRGGHH!!!!!! I am sure you all probably heard my mournful wail! Alex certainly thought it was fun - this might be the way to frog all items - the pain is not slow, but quick! Of course, the number of tangles in the yarn was exponentially increased with the number of times he moved as he frogged. Can you say tangled mess? I'd have gotten a picture - but I could not find the camera. Suffice it to say - I have cast on again and I am about an inch from the heel flap. What is on my agenda for the weekend? Can you say knitting!?! For all you bloomin' feet participants who are reading - be patient my sock pal - it shall arrive next week! And, I have an "Alex Ban" in effect until the sock is cast off!

On top of all of this - there is some good news on the personal front. I have been having some dinners with what seems to be a very nice gentleman (that sounds old doesn't it?). I am intrigued with him - and looking for flaws. I have not seen any that are scaring me to date. He has a good sense of humor - makes intelligent conversation - works - and he has a big goofy dog. He seems more than a bit interested in me - which amazes me. LOL. I am a middle aged, slightly overweight (okay, this may be an under exageragtion, but it is my blog! LOL) and I have 3 teenaged children. I find this frightening myself! He is 3 years younger than me - and I am very surprised our paths have not crossed before. We have many mutual friends. In fact, it was through a mutual friend that we were introduced. For now - it is nice to have dinner with someone occasionally. We have also been going for long walks on Sunday afternoons - which has been a much needed activity in my life. For now, I am enjoying myself. One day at a time.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

PS - if you are wondering about my Italian - go check out www.altavista.com, Babel Fish is a wonderful tool!

Monday, April 23, 2007

I am a travelin' girl...

Hello everyone! I had a great weekend here in sunny, warm Western Michigan! Yes - you read that right - sunny and warm! The leaves are popping out on the trees, the birds are singing, flowers are blooming! It appears that spring has decided to stay!!

I got a wonderful package from my Special Swap pal - I will post pictures from my journey tonight. It is an awesome package of goodies - incredible yarny goodness!! More later on this.

My package will go out today - if my day goes as planned! I got a few calls over the weekend with some things to take care of this morning - but I have planned the day as a "paper catch up day".

More later on my weekend adventures!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cafe' Pops and one proud Mom!

Hello Everyone!! Last night was my daughter Heidi's big spring orchestra to-do! It was Cafe' Pops - some great desserts to delight your palatte and some even better music to delight your ears. Heidi is a sophomore and is in Concert and Symphony Orchestra - she plays the cello. I tried to snap some photo's last night - but it was a bit dark and the "no flash" request had gone out to all of us in the audience. This is the first year for Symphony Orchestra at Holland Public Schools - this is true dedication for both students and teacher - this class starts at 6:30AM every morning - this is an hour and 20 minutes before the regular school day starts! All I can say is WOW! They were awesome - it was an evening designed for a mother's pride. I have been attending concerts for Heidi since she was in 5th grade orchestra - let me tell you, all those hours of practice have certainly paid off. The high end cheese cakes paled in comparison to the musics the students played. I had goosebumps! If any of you would like a "replay" there is one more big event - the All-City Concert is May 20th at the Dome. Not only will you hear the Orchestra's and Jazz Band that played last night - you will be treated by the Middle School Orchestra's and the 5th grade orchestra. Come on out and have your senses delighted by our amazing musicians!!

Not much to share on the knitting front - and work is still at an insane pace. I am happy it is the weekend!

Have a good one - one and all!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday's are fun days!

Hey everyone! Well, I had a great weekend - a really great weekend! The weather seemed to have given us all a break and the sun came out! It is amazing what a little sunshine can do!


On Friday I got together with some friends for dinner - we laughed and had a great time. On Saturday, I did a bit of work on the phone in the morning - this is okay - I am thankful for the business. I went to play Euchre on Saturday afternoon - more laughter and more friends! On Saturday night I went to see a hockey game (okay - hockey????) But - it was fun or at least the company was fun!


Sunday dawned and it was so nice that this afternoon I went for a walk along Lake Michigan - my poor body could certainly use some exercise - it was so lovely!! Fresh air, sunshine - and my walking companion was a nice surprise. Ladies - I can tell you that chivalry appears to still be in existance. It was a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.... my poor pups are snoring in my bed right now - they are tired!!


I have a hectic week looming before me - and I am heading off to a nice hot bath with a glass of wine and the Yarn Harlot's new book!


I will leave you with a photo of my finished Bloomin' Feet Sock - the other is about half way done.

I need to get my Special Swap out in the mail, but I am not sure it will happen this week - but I will have it winging it's way to it's recipient the following week for sure!


Have a great evening everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Operation Haremail

I love to arrive home and find a package on my doorstep! I arrived home Tuesday to find a nice little box waiting for me! I got my package from my partner for Operation Haremail - Debra (I think she is blogless because she did not send me her email or her blog address! Hint, Hint, Debra if you are out there reading this!!) sent me a nice package that contained a book, an adorable bunny pen, and a great chocolate bunny! Thank you so much Debra for the treats! I would post a picture, but I cannot find the camera cord!!

On the weather front - we had melting of snow this week - only to have Mother Nature drop another 5 inches on us yesterday!! Aaacckk! It made for just lovely driving conditions! We have more of a mix today - some rain, some freezing rain, some flurries - I think that covers all the precipitation one could get, doesn't it??? LOL

I have been extremely busy at work but this is a good thing. I am off to finish getting ready to head out the door. Have a great day all!

Monday, April 09, 2007

It's Monday already?!

Good Morning everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. We certainly did here - inspite of the SNOW!! It was snowing so hard on Friday night - I could not see the vehicle in front of me! All this cold has made the neighbors Magnolia tree blooms shrivel up - it had been starting to blossom last week and was looking so gorgeous. The Forsythia bush seems frozen in time - a yellow sentinel covered in a frosty white blanket. The weight of the show has pushed over the daffodils - they are all laying in disarray - casualties of the snowy blast. As I took Daughter #2 to school this morning it was still snowing. I am avoiding the weather forcast - I don't really need to hear that this will continue all week, thank you very much!

I watched the Masters yesterday afternoon and knit on my SKB - I have the body done - I bound off yesterday! Now all I have to finish are the sleeves and the neck band!! I also worked on my BF socks. I am almost done with sock #1 and will be casting on sock #2 this week!

I broke my New Years Resolution though last week. My LYS had a "sale" and I picked up some yarn for some scarves for Christmas gifts. I also got some E. Lavold Silky Wool to knit Wendy Bernard's "Something Red" . My plan is to cast this on for my next project - I am in a "top down" knitting mode!

Well, off to the shower for me - I hope all of you have an easy "re-entry" to the week! Have a great Monday!!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Ragman

On this very Good Friday I leave you all with something written by The Rev. Walter Wangerin Jr.

Have a most blessed day.

Ragman
Walter Wangerin

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me for.

Hush, child. Hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: "Rags!" Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.

"Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!"

"Now, this is a wonder," I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city?

I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers.

"Give me your rag," he said so gently, "and I’ll give you another."

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then HE began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

"This IS a wonder," I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.

"Rags! Rags! New rags for old!"

In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.

"Give me your rag," he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, "and I’ll give you mine."

The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood -- his own!

"Rags! Rags! I take old rags!" cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry.

"Are you going to work?" he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head.

The Ragman pressed him: "Do you have a job?"

"Are you crazy?" sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket -- flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.

"So," said the Ragman. "Give me your jacket, and I’ll give you mine."

Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman -- and I trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman’s arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one.

"Go to work," he said.

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, and old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider’s legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.

The little old Ragman -- he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope -- because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know -- how could I know? -- that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too.

But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence.

Light -- pure, hard, demanding light -- slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: "Dress me."

He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Harlot's Tale

Hello Everyone! Well, hope you all had a marvelous weekend - mine sure ended on an up note. I traveled across this great state from Holland to Ann Arbor to see The Yarn Harlot - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak at the library there.



I headed out right after church, it would certainly be busy and I wanted a seat, so I arrived in Ann Arbor shortly before 1PM. This is great, I thought - AND - I found a parking spot less than a block from the library, even better!! On my way in, I met a wonderful woman from Kalamazoo (I am so sorry I do not remember her name!!), she was sitting outside in the glorious sunshine knitting a sock, of course!



Inside the library, down stairs in the conference room were dozens of knitters! It was truly a great experience! Shortly after my arrival (I had already purchased 3 books for The Harlot to sign - one for me, and one for Rose, and one for Ruby) we all learned that Stephanie was delayed - there was fog at the Detroit Airport - she could not land - they shipped her back to Chicago.



Now, imagine this picture - dozens and dozens of knitters all anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Yarn Harlot - and there is no uproar at all - we all simply pulled out our knitting and began to knit. It was the BEST SnB I have ever attended! The library was kind enough to offer us some substitute entertainment as we patiently knitted away on our socks, sweaters, lace work, etc. It was also April Fool's Day and the library had the children all making the most amazing of hats - they paraded past us knitters' in a lovely parade!



Finally, the word came that Stephanie had arrived (her cell phone had long since died - charger in Detroit, cell phone in Chicago). It was so worth the wait!! Please excuse my pitiful pictures - I was overcome with excitement to be seeing Stephanie (can you imagine this???!!!)


I was in the back row - but here she is! In a sea of knitting heads - our fearless leader appeared! She was breathless and thankful to some kind gentleman who drove her from the airport to Ann Arbor - his wife must be a knitter!!
She took our picture, we took hers, and we listened to her worries and concerns. And, while I was listening a thought popped into my head. We knitters do make a difference! And, in a very big way - to quote Stephanie "one small stitch at a time". I read today that Caps for the Capital collected over 280,000 caps. Does that make a statement to all of you? I have a proposal for all of you - if we all took a stand and made our stand known - peace could happen! We could knit for peace! If there were more people knitting for peace - wars just might cease! After all, how many violent knitters do you know? I don't know exactly how to go about it, but I believe that we can make a difference. What do you all think?
Okay - I apologize profusely Stephanie and I owe you a drink or two for posting this photo - this is operator error, not object error! But, here is The Harlot holding my "Bloomin' Feet" sock! Woo Hoo! Pretty amazing, huh? And, don't you just love Stephanie's sweater - it glowed - seriously! I am sure that Stephanie will have a marvelous tale to tell about her travels to Michigan. Check out her blog and see!

Have a great day everyone - watch out - we have SNOW in the forcast Lynne!! :-)

Monday, April 02, 2007

April Showers...

Good Morning everyone! First off, we have a winner - Beth had the correct guess of 30! Congratulations!!

Did you all have a good Palm Sunday? I know I did - up early and off to church, then I headed out for Ann Arbor to hear The Yarn Harlot.

I have pictures that I will post later - it was an awesome day. I met some amazing knitters, and Stephanie was truly worth the wait!

More details and photo's later - I cannot be late for work!!

Have a great day all!

Friday, March 30, 2007

One year and counting!

Good morning everyone! TGIF! It has been an eventful week here at the Christensen Huis - my kids were bouncing off the walls because Spring Break starts today (and when they are teenagers, it makes for some pretty heavy duty bouncing!!) - they are headed off with their Dad to the Bahamas for a week of fun in the sun. It has been insane at work - major changes in lending criteria have made the learning curve steep! My boss was a casualty of "being downsized" - his position was eliminated yesterday. When he called to tell me I cried - he is the provider for his family. I liked him and feel awful that this happened to him. It also means that my "new" boss is in the Detroit area - miles away from our team - and the markets are vastly different. My team-mates and I are nervous about what will shake down next. We lost our "go to" person who fought our battles for us. Change is not always good.


On a brighter note - it is Friday, I am thankfully busy at work and low enough on the totem pole that our jobs are safe. We are the peons after all!


Spring is unfurling slowly and beautifully here - my tree in the front yard has leaf buds on it, the birds are singing their beautiful chorus', and it smells so good outside! I took this photo of my "Sunday sky", an amazing sunset that we had on Sunday night. Beautiful, isn't it?

So, yesterday I mentioned a small contest to celebrate 1 year of blogging. That's right, it was a year ago that "As Kat Knits" was born. I have enjoyed the process of this tremendously and even more - have enjoyed finding other knitting bloggers. I enjoy reading your blogs as much as I enjoy blogging. I have made some good friends that I would have never met if it were not for this media! To celebrate I have a fun little contest... taking a page from my friend Lynne - I have filled my antique Irish Bread bowl with yarn. Guess how many skeins I have filled it with. Here you go ...
Or maybe this view is better...
Or perhaps this one?

Get your guesses in - you will have until Sunday night, April Fool's Day to vote.

What will you win? I have 3 skeins of Cotton Chenile ready to ship off to the winner in lovely "spring" colors. So, gentle readers - get out there and vote! Have a fantastic Friday.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's Blogiversary Eve!

Wow, tomorrow As Kat Knits will be 1 year young! Where did the time go? It is hard to imagine how much change has happened in the last year of my life - job changes, life changes, knitting challenges, and new friends! I feel a contest coming on - I shall ponder it over the evening and post the details in the morning.

The weather here has been just lovely! Hope it is equally lovely in your corner of the world.

Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Traveling Tuesday!

Hello everyone. I have been working on travel plans - knitting travel plans. Where am I going, you ask? Well, it is not me going - I am in Lynne's Special Swap and the theme for March and April is to send our pal on a "knitting journey". I have been working on all the fun stops for my pal to travel on. I think I have her "itinerary" about complete, but am looking for 1 or 2 last "must" stops. This has been so much fun, and I am excited to see where she is going to "send" me!!

Has everyone been bitten by the "Spring Fever Bug"? I know I certainly have - I am itching to get outside and play! I saw signs of life in my garden this morning - my yarrow is coming up!! The birds are all singing amazing chorus', it is so grand to have the windows open to listen to them. It is also grand to have the HEAT OFF!

I have Knitter's Guild tonight - it is WWIT night. I know we all have had those moments of weakness - the "What Was I Thinking" knitting blunders. I am bring 3 WWIT items tonight - I will post photo's of my lovelies later. I think you will all agree - What was I thinking! Trust me ladies - if you are over 12 and weigh more than 100 pounds, a "furry poncho" just does not work! Heck, a "non-furry poncho" does not work! If you recall "Virtual Kat" from a month ago - you can easily see why a poncho and the "wide angle backside" do not go well together! So, I am hauling off my early knitting adventures off for "new ideas" at the Guild meeting tonight. There should be laughs for all - at least with what I am bringing. The knitting blunder I am not bringing is the sweater I knit for my "dear, departed husband" (and before all of you start commenting and asking if he died - no he is alive and well, or at least that is what I last heard! He just has "moved on" - to another state!). Some ideas that some of the gals from SnB were rather funny... the one I thought was funniest was take the sweater out with me to "find a new owner". Can you see me walking down the streets of Holland holding my sweater up to male passers-by, sizing them up? My fear is that it is (excuse my language here...) asshole sized and I am certainly not looking for another one of those! Another thought was to "felt" it a bit so it can fit my son - but, the same connotation is ringing in my head, and my son is very dear to me! It is gorgeous yarn - Noro Cochoran - a real waste of good yarn, if you ask me. It was the first sweater I finished and sending it to the Frog Pond would be painful! I think I will keep it as a reminder of what not to seek in a male companion!

Okay, enough of this line of thought - watch for photo's of my WWIT - hmmm, I think I can add a picture of my husband to that line up as well!

Have a fabulous Tuesday all!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weekends are for knitting...

Hello everyone! It was such a lovely weekend here, right now it is 70 degrees outside - it was an amazing day. I did quite a bit of knitting this weekend watching March Maddness - see how far I am on my Simple Knitted Bodice!!
What are those 2 cakes of yarn you ask? Well, as I went through my stash - I discovered that I did not have enough yarn to complete this sweater! I had to go buy 2 additional balls of Ultra Alpaca - different dye lots, thus I am working them in with my other yarn. I am working on the waist portion, almost ready to start the lace work. I am having so much fun knitting this! Top down sweaters are definately my cup of tea! I love how I can try it on as I go!! This sweater will be sure to fit!

I have plans for this summer that I am dying to share with you all! I have arrived in knitting - I truly believe that! Rose from my LYS asked me if I wanted to go to Sievers School this summer for a week long class with her! Now, Rose is an amazing knitter. She has taught me so many new and fun things - she was the one who encouraged me to take the class with Beth Brown Reinsel! So, what is on the class list this summer? Knitting from South Sweden with Carol Huebscher Rhoades as our instructor!! Think on this gentle readers - a week of knitting!!! In my prior life this would not have been possible, but it surely is now! And, you cannot imagine how honored I am that Rose has asked me!!! Can life get any better???

I am working on my Bloomin' Feet socks as well, but I have to tell you - it has been hard to put down SKB this week. I promise to do better next week Amanda and post a photo of my sock progression for you! Hopefully I will be done with sock #1 and have sock #2 started. That is my plan and I am sticking to it!!

Have a good Monday everyone!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chain letters

What are your thoughts on Chain Letters? I have never been one to participate in them, I frankly find them a nuisance to the nth degree. Well, I got one at work the other day - have you all heard of the "Financial Blessings Letter"? Someone, this chain letter is unsigned, so the victim (me) has no idea who is my tormentor! If you are in my office and you put this letter in my mailbox, you might want to stop reading by blog about now... it is going to get ugly from here forward.

So, I go up and ask the receptionist if she knows who put this in my mailbox - she laments to me, no - but I got 6 of them!

Basically, the gist of this "letter" is that if you do not send this letter out - great peril awaits the poor sap who does not send it on to dozens of other poor saps. Yet - if you do send this out to the unsuspecting public - a treasure trove of blessings are just waiting to be showered upon you.

Here is my question - beyond my asking above what your thoughts are on chain letters - is there anyone out there who believes this?? I guess I can see why people answer those emails on the "Ethiopia Scams" etc.

So, as I am not going to send this letter out to any of my friends, so-called friends, acquaintances, or even those people who are not friends - stay tuned to see what horror befalls me in the next few days! I am sure to keep you all posted!

Hey - the sun is out after the rain of yesterday - it is about 50 degrees outside and tonight is Knit Night, it is a good day in my neighborhood! Have a good one in yours!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring has Sprung!

Welcome Spring - come on in! Sit down and stay for awhile!! Are you all as excited as I am that we ushered in spring last night? Boy oh boy - I can tell you that this household certainly is! And, it seems that as March came roaring in like a ravaging lion, the forecast for the next 8 days are more lamb-like! We are supposed to reach 50 degrees today - and it is supposed to rain! Unlike the song - rainy days and "Wednesdays" don't always get me down! The rain will be welcome - something to wash all the dirt away. Something to help perk up the grass and encourage the tulips and daffodils to bloom! With a week of 50 degree temperatures, by the weekend there will be color everywhere!

I have been looking through the new Knitty.com and there are several patterns that have caught my eye! Tahoe is certainly a lovely sweater!

I love the drape of the yarn and the sleeves! Debbie Bliss and Koigu - can you get a better combination than this?

What about Bauble? I have not done any bead knitting, but the colors drew me in!
Nice? I love this! This would match much of what is in my "spring" closet! Michaels here I come!

Then I saw these... Quill Lace socks!

Okay, I can see my daughter in these - I don't have any Lisa Souza yarn, but I do have a goodly amount of sock yarn in my stash - I will have to finish my Bloomin' Feet Socks and cast these beauties on!


But, the thing that really caught my eye was More stripes!
I have some Noro Silk Garden in my stash - all I need are 4 skeins of a contrasting color. I think that will not break my New Year's Resolution too badly - so I am heading for my LYS to get the yarn! This sweater will also help me with my resolution - it is "steeked" - so I will be learning a new technique as well! I need to knit furiously on my Simple Knitted Bodice so I can cast this beauty on!
Have a wonderful day as you usher in spring to your neighborhood!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday Blues

It is a chilly day here in West Michigan - a mere 29 degrees out. Here is a picture of our morning sky though - there is blue sky and do you see the buds on the trees?


It amazes me that just a couple of warm days and buds appear on the trees and tulips and daffodils are coming up.

Last night I had dinner with some friends to celebrate St. Patrick's Day - I really wonder how much green beer is served in Ireland! We went to our local pizza parlour - I know, there is some real Irish fare! They had a band that was not very Irish either, so I was home early. Plus, I had work calls - I need to counsel those people on getting a life!

I worked on SKB yesterday and I have plans to knit much more on it today - while I watch March Madness this afternoon. Knitting and college hoops, what a great afternoon. Sunday nights used to be a much better television night when Grey's was on - how many of you are watching the Apprentice this season? It has not impressed me at all. I am ready for the "Reality Show" phenomenon to fade away. It seems to be an insult to one's intelligence - or have we all become voyuers - wanting to peer in to other's lives - lives that are orchestrated by directors. Seems a bit odd to me - but, maybe I am odd! After all, I blog about my life so you all can read about it!! And, as you can see - I read about your lives too! Okay, I definately need to get a life! That is most certainly true! (There is my Lutheran comment for the day!)

Have a relaxing Sunday everyone!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Frenzied Friday!

It is March and Madness has arrived! For those of you who don't know, I absolutely love March Madness. I have my brackets filled in, there is smack talk around the coffee pot at work, and I have my $5 in the office pool! What can be more fun than hours of college basketball and March?!

March is also a birthday month for some friends of mine! Not only is March 17th Saint Patrick's Day - it is also the birthday of Lynne and Ruby! Stop by and wish them a Happy Birthday!!

Several of you asked me what SKB was - sorry about that. I thought I was the only knitter who had yet to cast on Stitch Diva's Simple Knitted Bodice - now you all know, SKB = Simple Knitted Bodice. A decidedly feminine sweater that is knitting up quickly! What more can a girl ask for as spring is looming on the horizon!

I heard from the weather man that a warming trend is going to usher in the end of the month - this is good since March roared in like a lion!! I am not holding my breath for no more snow this month, but even it more white stuff falls I know it won't last!!

Hopefully you all will have an awesome Friday and an even better weekend. Oh, and Lynne and Ruby - you have the most happiest and blessed birthdays!!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spring? Or winter?

Well, only in Michigan can the weather go from 68 degrees one day to 34 degrees the next. Spring is challenging Winter and the Old Man is not quite ready to give up yet. Keep on trying Spring - he can't hang on that much longer!

Judy is having a little contest that you might want to stop by and see. Put on your creative cap and write up a post for her sock adventures! There will be 3 lucky winners and you have until the 17th to enter. Get on over there!!

On the knitting front - I am working on my Bloomin' Feet socks for my pal - they are coming along. I am about an inch from my toe decreases on sock #1. I have been knitting on my lunch hour - it is a nice break for me during the day! As I knit, I think good thoughts about my sock recipient - I think these socks are gonna look awesome on her feet!

I also pulled some yarn out of my stash and cast on SKB - yes, I know - everyone has already knit this! But, I had some lovely Berroco Ultra Alpaca in an awesome hot pink shade and I thought - this is just the "pick me up" I need. I am working through the neck and shoulder increases. I am liking the yarn alot as well.

Several weeks ago I went to a doctor who had been an OB-GYN, but she is now doing Women's Mid-life health. It was an eye opening visit. First of all, to have a physician talk to me for over an hour was shocking, to say the least. When the longest time you ever get to spend with your physician is what, 4 nano-seconds at best? I was impressed to say the least. She listened, asked questions... and she put me on some medication - which is doing amazing things, I might add! She also scheduled me for a bone density scan and a follow up with her in a few weeks. The one thing I kept thinking was something she said to me, women take care of themselves last. This is very true! So, my fellow readers - please take heed. If you are over 40 you need to have a mamogram. When was your last pap test? Have you had your blood pressure taken recently? Do you know what your cholesterol levels are? Do these things for you!! YOU are worth it! If your doctor is one on the nano-second chart - tell him or her that you'd like a bit more time. Write your questions down if you need to!! Okay, I will get off my soap box now!! But, remember - I care about you, take care of yourself! :-)

Have an awesome Thursday everyone. Keep on cheering Spring on!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays...

Gentle Readers, it seems that spring is creeping into West Michigan! Yesterday the temperature soared to 50 degrees - and when I woke this morning, it had not dipped below 40 degrees out. They are predicting a warm day today - with a sprinkling of rain. Rain on! It will help wash away that dirty snow! Tomorrow - be still my soul - a whopping 60 degrees are predicted!

Don't you just love the progression of seasons? I certainly do - it is so comforting. Without any work from us, each season arrives with it's unique gifts. As the days lengthen and the weather warms, I am so happy to be alive and experiencing every moment of it.

I knit quite a bit yesterday on my Bloomin' Feet socks. I am almost to the toe on sock one, and will hopefully have it completed this week! I love the pattern I selected - it is a fun sock to knit!

Have an awesome Monday everyone... enjoy your day!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Beth Brown Reinsel

Wow! A day with Beth was truly amazing. It started out bright and early with Beth teaching us Swedish Cast-ons. Who knew there were so many different ways to cast-on? I learned 4 new cast-on's and made swatches of each. Then we cast-on to work our twined knitting swatch. Now, twined knitting is the english translation of Tvaandsstickning - or knitting with 2 ends of the yarn. I learned about yarn dominance and "S" and "Z" plied yarns. It was an awesome day. I knit a "Twined Wrister" to practice the twined knitting stitches.

As you can see, the stitch pattern is interesting. I loved this knitting technique.. I cast off a bit to tightly, so next time I will go up a needle size or two when I bind off. I purchased some patterns from Beth - from Twined Mittens and Socks (these are truly amazing...) to Swedish Lovikka Mittens - which are knitted and "fulled" (Beth corrected us on our felting terms) to Norwegian Mittens to Scottish Sanquhar gloves, and of course I could not resist a top down Aran sweater pattern. The best treat of all was that Beth came to SnB at Friends of Wool that evening. She was working on her Latvian mittens - she humbled me to no end, she was knitting away without looking at the pattern! We laughed and I felt so honored to be in the company of this amazing group of women, knitting, talking, sharing - it was a great evening of fellowship. I was re-energized in my resolution to learn something new. My brain was spinning with all the new things I learned and how I could use those things to expand my knitting skills.


Taking a day off made for an insane Friday - I was sad not to be able to take Beth's cardigan class on Friday - but with all I had going on, I could not be out of work one more day. I spent the day digging out and all this while the phone was ringing off the hook. I am glad the weekend is here!


On Friday I arrived home to find a package from Sunshine Yarn - my next installment of her Sock Club yarn had arrived. It is so gorgeous - she calls it "Fresh" -

It is so soft and the colors are truly amazing - and yes, it so reminds me of the glorious colors found at the Farmer's Market! Dani, this yarn is so beautiful!!

I hinted at some news I needed to share - as most of you are aware, I have been having marital strife for the past few months. My husband moved out unexpectedly last July, he moved back home for a few weeks in November and abruptly left again in December. Well, last week he moved away - as in to another state - to Kentucky. Honestly, it was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I had heard from him numerous times each week since his departure in early December that he could not "focus on our relationship" and how "overwhelmed" he was. It was draining for me and I was struggling with guilt that I could not "fix" what was wrong. At one time, I loved my husband so deeply - I believed in him unfailingly. It became harder and harder to love him through all this. On the evening that I was having dinner with some friends and his parents came up to me to tell me what a failure I was - it ended for me. I called him and asked that his parents respect my privacy. My husband runs away from problems, he does not solve them. So, it is the end of a chapter - and I am looking at a new page. I can look back on the errors I made in our relationship - hindsight gives one 20-20 vision. I am going to try and avoid those errors... as best as I can.

So, now that I have put a downer on your Sunday - don't be sad for me, please. I feel so unburdened these past days - it is a very good thing. Spring is knocking on the door, the sun has been shining. The dirty snow is all melting, soon the spring flowers will be growing again. I feel like my life is moving like spring, the things I have been struggling with are melting away, like the snow and new life is emerging in it's place.

Have a very blessed Sunday. Thanks for letting me share.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Baby it's cold outside!

Well, we woke up this morning to zero outside... all I could think was I hope it is going up from here! BRRRRRR! Evidently we have some more snow coming as well, 3-6 more inches! It seems that winter does just not want to give up! With a December and January that had virtually no snow, February certainly made up for it with a vengeance!

Not much knitting content, I am sorry to say. I have been so busy at work - so busy I worked on Saturday morning for a few hours and Sunday afternoon for a few more!

I had dinner with a friend last night - it was a nice break. She is one of my knitting buddies from SnB at my LYS. I am taking a day off this week - Beth Brown Reinsel is coming to Friends of Wool to teach a couple of classes. I am taking the Swedish Cast On and Twined Knitting classes on Thursday. A whole day and night of knitting - this sure sounds heavenly to me!

I have some news on the homefront, but I am not ready to share yet. Have a great Tuesday everyone - stay warm!!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

It's a very Special Day!

Hello everyone - I came home from work yesterday to find a box on my doorstep. It was my Special Swap package from Kim and did she send me some goodies!


The box was filled with some amazing things! A bottle of her favorite wine, Clos Du Bois - which is right now chilling in my fridge for later! A box of chocolates - mmmmm! Some adorable heart shaped stitch markers - how awesome since the theme was "Hearts and Roses"! Also a great row counter - in pastel pink! A book on Aromatherapy recipes - just what this girl needs in her stress filled life! A beautiful note Rose note pad and pen, which are already in my purse! And, last but not least - 3 skeins of Khroma yarn - a 50/50 blend of Alpaca and Merino - can you say soft and yummy!! It is in 2 coordinating shades, Winesap and Pomegranate. Kim, I love everything you sent! What an awesome package!!

I have so enjoyed reading Kim's blog - she and I have several things in common, but what struck me first off was that we both have Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Kim is off this weekend showing her puppy - I have been thinking good thoughts for a HUGE win for her!!

And, a huge thanks goes out to our lovely hostess, Lynne for inviting me to be part of this very special group and for giving me such a great partner! I am really looking forward to the next 2 months in which we receive a NEW partner - mine is Lucia - and I am thinking about where I can "send" her on a fabulous knitting vacation.

Hope you are all staying warm and dry - the March Lion just keeps on roaring here. We have had snow and blowing all weekend. I am ready for spring.

I am heading out tonight to an AMBUCS benefit. It is a "Casino Night" - wish me luck! LOL

Have a great weekend all!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's a white frosted world....

...and my 100th post! Yesterday morning we woke up to a clean white blanketed world. Roads were not too bad - we got about 4 inches of snow over night. It appears that we have some more on the way this week. Here are some pictures of our snowy white world...




















Frosted and white - all the dirty snow has been covered up. A beautiful start to the week.

I have been judiciously using my shoulder - there are just some things that you need to use both arms for, and work is one of them. While I can knit - I have been coming home and resting my shoulder so the healing process continues to take place. The doctor told me to do some very gentle range of motion exercises - so I am trying to do them diligently. Teyani sent me the names of some of the holistic things that her husband took and did to work towards recovery of his injured shoulder. I have been out to my local health food stores to pick up some of them. I also have been using a heating pad intermittently during the night - this is helping tremendously. I think it keeps my shoulder from "tightening" up at night.

It is exam week - so it is study central here. This is one thing I do not miss from my school days. Exams really stressed me out - I am glad that my kids, for the most part, are not stressing too much over the exams.

I sent out my packages for my Special Swap partner, Kim, yesterday. Thanks to Lynne for organizing this great swap!! I am looking forward to our travel theme for the next two months. I have been toying with some ideas. I think I have narrowed it down, but I need to do a little research to finalize my decision!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Friday, February 23, 2007

You can't keep a good knitter down!

Or a so - so knitter either! I went out to SnB last night - it was the last Thursday of the month and that is the night that we are all working on our "block a month" squares - this is the afgan I am knitting for DD#1 to take with her when she heads off to the University of Michigan in the fall. So, rather than sit home and feel sorry for my disgustingly pitiful self, I determined that I would at least go to Friends for the evening. Before long, I had my knitting needles out and found that I could knit a bit. Nothing dramatic now - just simple stockinette on some bed socks I am working up. Who could use bed socks more than the most pitiful person in West Michigan - me! Are you about ready to smack me yet? I know I sure am!! So, as long as it is not complicated - and I don't move my arm too much. I CAN KNIT!!

This is a very good thing because I am feeling much less sorry for myself.

I want to take a moment to thank all you amazing blogging friends out there for all your words of encouragement and support. It means more than you can ever know to have read all the comments you have all left for me. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart... it feels good to have so many friends - in so many places!

On top of everything that happened this week, of course work suddenly got busy. Go figure, right? I have enlisted my darling daughter #2 to go in tomorrow to help me put the VOLUME of paper work in order and get things in over night packages to go down to processing.... thank goodness for children! It will only cost me a new pair of jeans!! A good trade off!

Tomorrow night, some friends of mine are having a "Tapa's" party. I am not quite sure what I am bringing - but it will be a nice evening. Good friends, great conversation, music, food, and yes, a glass of wine or two. I am really looking forward to this! The last get together they had was one I attended with my husband - I had a great time, he did not. I am going to relish the fact that no one will be nagging me to leave.... ahhh, the simple things in life.

We have another storm rolling in - what is it with this? This week in the 40's - sunshine and meltingness - now another 6 - 12 inches of snow are on their way. I am sending "Grace" away for the winter!! LOL

Have a great weekend all - you are all the best!! Oh - and I will have my package out for my Special Swap tomorrow - my wrapping helper is home!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Graceful, thy name is not Kat

Hey everyone. Lent has begun and who'd of thunk I'd be giving up knitting! Yesterday, on a morning that the sunrise was gorgeous after a beautiful starry night - think no clouds - I headed out to work, on a mission to purchase some "paczki's" for the Tuesday morning sales meeting - Fat Tuesday - eat sweets in preparation for giving them up for lent, right?

Well, close your eyes and imagine this - I get out of my car and begin the walk behind my office building to the "Wesco Gas Station" where the office staff SWEARS to me that the best paczki's on earth are. So, as I am walking - briskly - imagine me hitting a patch of ice - very thin - very, very slippery ice. Are you putting 2 and 2 together? If I did not hurt so much I'd be laughing right now - so I hope you all are! While my feet seemed to be sliding in slow motion - my fall to the earth was not slow by any means. Can you see me? Face down on the parking lot? I mean flat on the ground! I jumped up so quickly - I amazed myself, praying that no one had seen me do the "swan dive" onto the black top. My knee was killing me, my hands were skinned up, my wrist was not feeling too pleasant either. But, I continued on to purchase the damned paczki's (and I am not even Polish - sorry to all of you lovely Polish readers out there!) and bring them back to the office. I headed to the bathroom to wash the parking lot grime off my hands, clothes, shoes, coat - what I really needed to do was head back home and start over!! My knee was a bit skinned, my hands looked like they were going to have some nice bruises too! But, nothing looked broken and nothing was bleeding - maybe not so bad after all. AND - no one saw me fall - this must be a good omen.

I continued on through the day - sitting at my desk and working away. The worst was over right?

By noon I could not lift my right arm - at all. It was most comfortable next to my body - not moving. I started to think something was very wrong. As the afternoon progressed, the pain increased - I am no wimp and have a fairly high tolerance for pain. By 2PM I classified the pain as "30" on a scale of 1-10 when I called my family doctor. The phone nurse told me, "go directly to the ER, do not pass go, do not collect $200.00" So, I managed to put my coat on and headed out to the hospital.

Thank goodness I did not break anything. But, they fear I have torn my "rotator cuff" and I have a goodly amount of fluid on my knee. I sit here before you with my right arm in a sling, pumped full of Motrin - avoiding the Vicodin they also prescribed because it
a. gave me nightmares

and

b. made me dizzy and nauseous!

I go back to see my doctor next week - how am I going to make it without knitting for the next few days!!! AARRGGHHH..... stay tuned to see how this progresses!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Virtual Me?

Okay, while reading Lynne's blog today - I about died laughing - until I went to My Virtual Model myself. Hmmm, can you say diet?



Here I am in all my virtual glory!





I put clothes on her to hide the hips and thighs!! Please notice there is no rotating allowed here like there is in Virtual Model World. They also did not have an option for "big round boo-tay" either - so she is not very realistic!! LOL Now, for the "more mature" button - it needs to be more mature! Nose wider? What are there any other choices? Stop by and see what Virtual Lynne is doing - maybe Virtual Lynne and Virtual Kat should start a Virtual Knitting Group. They can discuss the pros and cons of virtual existance! Imagine it - in the virtual world there is no laundry to do. Just point and click to get a new outfit!! Also, loosing weight would be just a click away - vanish those hips for an evening!! Also, having a bad hair day? Non-existant in Virtual World - just click on another do and away you go!!

There might be some merits to this Virtual World - hmmmm, bring me another Virtual Cinnamon Roll....

LOL. Have a great evening everyone!! Oh, and if you go make a Virtual You, drop me a line so Virtual Me can come visit you!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Sunset

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a great weekend - it was snowy yesterday, but we had some sunshine today. At least enough to have a sunset this evening.


It was a pleasant ending to a lovely Sunday. I went this afternoon to knit squares for "Warm Up America" - this had been postponed from Super Bowl Sunday due to the weather. As you can see, we have a good amount of snow out there. The great news is that we are supposed to get RAIN next weekend. Can you say flood? I am not so thrilled about that prospect!











It was nice knitting with the SnB group today, but I really wanted to work on my Bloomin' Feet Socks! Here is a photo of my progress... they are coming along beautifully. And, I have a conference call this week that should afford me at least an hour of uninterupted knitting time!



I think that they are turning out nicely... don't you?

Have a great week all! Stay warm and dry!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Snowy Saturday

Hello everyone! What, you say... snow again??? I am just shocked at how much snow has fallen over the vast majority of the midwest and beyond in the relatively short month of February. The weatherman tells me that we are supposed to warm up next week though - warm up into the upper 30's that is. So, melt all this snow and we should have floods by next weekend. I am not sure if I should start on the ark, but stay tuned for updates here!

Not much knitting this week - but, I am happy to say that I am at long last caught up at work!! Yipee!!!!! This week also closed the chapter of filing my tax return with my "husband". Funny how money can motivate a person to suddenly be nice, isn't it? The return from the federal government came in on Friday - so, of course, Kyle called me NUMEROUS times during the day - frantic to get these funds. He was less that happy that I was working in Muskegon and Spring Lake all day. I am amazed at what I ever saw in this person - he certainly is not what he was when we met. Or maybe he was, but he somehow managed to "hide" his true self. I met some friends last night after work for a drink and some unwind from the week time - unfortunately Kyle showed up as well - sometimes I would like to just drop off the face of the earth. Did you ever feel like that? For as large as Holland has gotten, it still is a small town - darn it all! I don't want any "sympathy" for the end of this relationship, nor do I want to discuss it with anyone. Does this make me weird?

I am going to treat myself today - I am going shopping for a camera! I am excited to take this "leap" into modern technology! Watch out for new photo heavy blog postings!

So, I am heading out to find a camera - then I am stopping by my LYS to finish up my "Special Swap" partner's package so I can get it in the mail this week. Then, I am getting together with some friends to play Euchre this afternoon. A day just for me...and I am worth it!

Have an awesome weekend all!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Playing catch up...or the faster I go, the behinder I get

Hello All from white and wintry Western Michigan! I know, what on earth am I complaining about - I don't have 110 inches of snow on the ground like those poor folks in New York State do - it is just that I am hungering for a view of the sun - you know, a small reminder that it still exists! There has been grey clouds with snow flakes falling from them for what seems like an eternity - or at least the past 30 days, or so my weather man tells me. It makes for dreary days - not so great, as I am sure you can all imagine!

So, I believe I am over my ailment - this is a very good thing. I truly appreciate all the kind comments from all of you - 2 days off from work was certainly unexpected and it has made me so behind, here on Tuesday a week later I am still struggling to catch up! I find myself thinking about the story from the Bible - you know the one when the earth stood still for 3 days - this would work wonderfully for me right now - 3 days = 1 and I might be all caught up! So, while I know this won't be happening - I press on to get as many things as I can finished in the hours alloted in each day. If you have sent me an email recently - be patient - I will get an answer back to you sometime this week, certainly by the weekend.

I have been doing a bit of knitting - I am proud to report. I am working on my Bloomin' Feet pal's socks - and I am LOVING the pattern. I am doing "Spindle Socks" and the yarn I have selected is working beautifully with the pattern. I selected Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in the most amazing pale pink - the yarn and the pattern were made for each other! I have turned the heel on sock #1 and am about half way to the toes! I shall try and post a photo of my progress - I am throughly enjoying the pattern - it is fun and an easy knit. I hope my pal will love these - I think they will look awesome on her feet! I am also keeping my eyes open for some fun items to include in her package!! I hope to have sock #1 finished this weekend and begin its mate as well!

Okay - I have finished my tea and I need to get back at it - have an awesome Tuesday everyone!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

SUPER.....sick

Hey everyone. Are you all surviving the wintry blast most of north america is getting? We have had a goodly amount of snow and the promise of more on the way; frigidy temperatures that dove well below the zero mark - an unusual feat for those of us sheltered along the shores of Lake Michigan; a couple of snow days that made my children sing; and Super Sunday... As you can see it has been an eventful few days here at the Christensen Huis!

Sunday EVERYTHING was cancelled - and I mean everything, from church services to Super Bowl parties - even knitting super bowl parties. With visibilities of less than zero, all of West Michigan hunkered down in their homes to stay warm and cozy. And then it hit....

By Sunday night I was not feeling well - I could not put my finger on it, but I just did not feel great. This was not the harbinger of something wonderful - rather the foreboding of what was to come. I came down with the flu - I will refrain from the gruesome details - suffice it to say that on Wednesday morning when I pulled my feeble body from bed to get to the office, there were 10 less pounds of me. I was so miserable I could not even knit! I am telling you - it was not a pretty sight - no knitting, it has to be really bad!!

Wednesday the schools determined that the kids could again venture out to classes again - and wonder of all wonders, the SUN came out! By the time I left work yesterday afternoon - it was a balmy 20 degrees outside! We are having a virtual heat wave here!!

More snow is on the horizon for the weekend, and still cold temperatures - but the weather man says no more frigidy coldness like we had.

Watch for pictures of my socks for Amanda's Bloomin' Feet Swap - they are still coming along beautifully! I promise to get some pics posted this weekend.

Gotta fly now - have an awesome day all!

Friday, February 02, 2007

In the bleak mid winter...

Blogger (silent) Poetry Reading is happening. Go see Grace's Poppies and get your poems posted. If you post - please leave a comment for her (and me - I'd like to read your poetry as well!).

Here are my contributions... these were my Grandfather's favorite poems. I had them memorized at a very young age.

Fog: Carl Sandburg 1878-1967

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.


Trees: Joyce Kilmer 1886-1918

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

I leave you in the quiet silence of a snowy Friday afternoon...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Revealing!

Hello all - it is reveal time for SP9. My spoiler was Jessie - she was a great pal for this round. Heatherly was my hostess with the mostess and my final package, filled with goodies went off to my spoiler on Monday. I hope she gets her package today!!

Work has been extremely busy, thankfully! I have to get to work now - have a good day all!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

On the Fair Isle!

Hello Everyone! It has been a very hectic week here at the Christensen Huis - I worked a lot and went to knit night on Thursday - there were not enough hours in the day. Last year my daughter saw the Fair Isle bag in VK and she really wanted me to knit it for her - so I had gotten the yarn to knit it up for her - but with all the Christmas knitting - I did not even think about starting this project - that topped with the fact that I had NEVER done Fair Isle - it got put on the back burner. Well, she asked about the bag again this week - so I went and dug the yarn and the pattern out from my stash closet and headed down to my LYS for some Fair Isle pointers. I can knit continental - but the bottom of the bag called for stockinette and was not knit in the round. I cannot purl continental - I have tried - it is an excercise in frustration - and not something I want to do for 1 row much less the 15 rows I'd need to do to get the bottom completed. So, Rose taught me Norwegian - no, not the language - Norwegian Purl to be exact! I can Norwegian Purl!! Woooo Hoooo! So, Fair Isle is sailing right along!

I shall post photo's later on.

I am sending out my final package for my SP9 pal tomorrow - I got her some lovely stuff! Touch Me lace weight yarn, some soy silk roving, and some treats for her and her family. She was such an awesome pal - I hope she likes her last package.

I am also sending out the package for the Luxury Fiber swap I am in - that package will be heading to Washington State tomorrow as well. I will post what was sent later in case the recipient reads this blog.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Here is hoping this week is not as insane as last week was!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Heifer Project

Hello everyone - hopefully your week is moving along smoothly!

I broke a resolution this week - I confess I bought some yarn to knit this after being inspired by Chris to take on the challenge of knitting a Moebius! Well, cast on I did - and around and around I go!

With all the chatter in the blog world about the Colts and Da Bears - I thought I would share with you a Super Sunday Twist! I am joining in with my LYS gals in a "knit in" on Sunday afternoon. I am taking pledges for my knitting time! I will be there from 1 - 5 PM knitting squares for "Warm Up America" - and your pledges will go towards the purchase of a Knitting Basket from Heifer International. If you are interested in sponsoring me - please leave me a comment and I can accept paypal pledges! You would be helping 2 great causes - how awesome is that! Or should I say SUPER! I like the idea because there is no looser in this contest - only winners all around!

Well, I am off to work for the day - please leave me a comment and a pledge! If you'd like to knit a square or two - that would be welcomed too!

Have an awesome Wednesday!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh Canada!

Hello everyone - Canada arrived here in Michigan yesterday - both with the weather and with a wonderful surprise from Erin (blogless - I think). She was my partner for the Luxury yarn swap from Swap Bot. She sent me some amazing sock yarn - dyed locally in British Columbia! It is gorgeous - shades of blues, purples, greens - just beautiful and sooo soft! I think that I might use this yarn for Bloomin' Feet which starts this weekend - I believe that Mr. C is working on the matches for Amanda - this yarn reminds me of crocus' and iris' - those beautiful spring blooms. She also included some yummy dark chocolate - made locally as well. So you see Cananda arrived on my doorstep yesterday!

We are also getting some "Canadian cold air" via the jet stream - along with some lovely "lake effect" snow. Right now out my window it looks like a lovely snow globe - flakes falling steadily down. A beautiful day to knit!!

Thank you so much, again, Erin for the amazing package! I love it!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fourteen year old boys and birth control...

Hello everyone! How do you like the title? Well, it has been an interesting week here at the Christensen Huis - get yourselves something to drink, pull up a chair, and get ready!

About 2 weeks ago, my son - Sam - came home with some paperwork from his life skills class. He either had to write a 5 page essay on adoption OR he could have "Program Baby" for 2 days and 2 nights. Sam and I had a long discussion about all the people we know who have either been adopted or wanted to to adopt... it is a good list, varied - some in state and some out of country adoptions. Sam though felt that 5 pages were, well... F - I - V - E pages...you know LONG and lots of work. And, even though I cast my vote for the essay - last night he came home from school with his new baby "Max". Max who fusses, cries, needs to be changed, attended to - and quite franky - slept as much as most new babies do. Sam got very little sleep last night - how he managed to not wake me up is something I am still wondering about! Well, anyway - if any of you have the priviledge of having teenagers in your homes - you know that they need a LARGE amount of sleep - kind of like babies themselves, now that I think of it!! Sam had a bit of a reprieve - he could drop the baby off to the life skills class so that he could attend his other classes today - but he had to go get "Max" at the end of school today and once again - the new baby is in the house again tonight. Although I helped Sam a bit after school so he could get his homework done. This baby has some kind of monitor inside it - if it cries for any length of time - it is registered and how quickly you respond to the cries is registered as well. So, we have "fed", "burped", "changed diapers" (although this is an odorless - messless process - this would be nice in REAL LIFE!! LOL) etc. This all needs to be logged by Sam to turn in to the teacher. Sam was not his usual self at the breakfast table this morning - he informed me that he WAS NEVER having kids! I am not sure what brilliant teacher thought this up - but Holy Cow - they deserve an award! Sam and I had an indepth conversation this morning about the consequences of sex - something we had talked about before, but it had new meaning this morning - my son is growing up - he is not my baby anymore. I am proud of him (as I have always been) - but I am seeing him through "new eyes" and hearing him with "new opened ears" as well! I know that a 5 page paper would have never have taught him what he learned these past 2 days - I am glad that he did NOT listen to my suggestion!

Hopefully, this baby will "sleep" better here tonight than he did last night - but I am so glad he is here in our home!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Urgent Reqeust!!

Hello Everyone. I have a very special request for all of you out there. I have participated again in SP9 and the end of January is when we are to reveal ourselves to our spoilee.

If it is not too much trouble - I was wondering if you all could stop by Kimberly's Blog and tell her that someone sent you there to say "hello". Please do not reveal who sent you - she has been such an awesome pal for SP9 - I want to make the waning days of the swap special for her. If you all could stop by and increase the mystery as to how you all found her - I'd be so grateful.

I intend to reveal myself to her in the last week of the month - so help me out in bringing her some good cheer!

Thanks to all of you - you all are the best!!

PS - I got a package from my pal - Thank you so much!! I will try and have my daughter take a picture and post it here later this week. It was filled with some great goodies! She did not let me know who she was though - hmmmmm - am I supposed to figure out??? Help me out here pal!! :-)

Thanks again to my pal and to all you pals out there!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It is going to be a very Special Year!


Hello everyone! This is a special post - I would put this as a link on my sidebar, but hey - I have no clue how to do that! Hmmm, this could be something to add to my "learn list" for 2007! Anyways - I am a very, very honored member of Lynne's Special Swap. This should be a great deal of fun and I am looking forward to getting to know my other swap partners better over the course of the swap!

The weekend was pretty good here at Christensen Huis - I did some paperwork for a class I am teaching on Monday at work. It is a class for new Realtors at Greenridge - and I am spending some time tomorrow morning talking about the mortgage process. From First Time Homebuyers to Credit, from FHA and 100% financing to the application process - I will share with them the knowledge I have (it is really not a vast amount people - honestly - I just have been doing this job for awhile!). Now, if I have not bored you all to tears - how about some exciting knitting news!!

I am working on a hat for my eldest daughter - Rachel - for her birthday. And, I found a great idea for some yarn from my stash that I intend to whip up a small shawl for her birthday as well. Photo's will be arriving this week - I promise.

I will leave you with some pictures from the Holidays -

The "top half" of our Christmas Tree - I know - it was HUGE! We have a vaulted ceiling in the living room area. And, yes - it is almost touching the ceiling! Okay - so I am not the best judge of heights out at the tree farm! :-)















Here I am with Heidi and Sam - sans Rachel. She was with us on Christmas, but just for a couple of hours. I have some pictures of her, but none with all of us together. Don't you love Sam's hair though? So, like the bottom half of the tree? Hee, hee, hee! You should have see us taking this baby down!!







Miss Noel - the Christmas Kitty! Yes, this was after she dragged the tree skirt out from under the tree and had pulled down a strand or two of the lights from the lower branches - and here she is curled up taking a "cat" nap under the tree! Isn't she sweet?








Now, here is Copper - he is a bit smarter - picking the sofa for his resting spot!! You can see that he brought is stuffed animal with him - see the blue dog in the corner of the sofa? He has to hide it from Penny! Copper does not like to share his toys!!









Sleepy Penny - she could care less what toys Copper has. LOL! Penny is the only dog I know who can sleep sitting up!


Have a great Monday everyone - more later!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knitting Backwards 101


This is now normal purling looks like - see needle in front - normal purling. But, when doing Entrelac, constantly turning your work back and front to knit and purl makes for wasted energy. You can work your entrelac from one side with very little turning except for when you need to pick up your stitches to go on to your next square. What follows is a "knitting backwards lesson". If you have questions - you can email me at kachrist37@gmail.com for more help!

When working backwards you do not turn your work - see the yarn coming from the left side of my work? This is a purl row and I am working it from the right side (or knitting side) of my work.


I insert my LEFT needle into the BACK of the stitch on my RIGHT needle. See - the yarn is coming from the LEFT side of my work.


Wrap the yarn counter clockwise around my LEFT needle as above.


Pull LEFT needle forward through the stitch on the RIGHT needle. This is your new stitch, sliding the stitch from the RIGHT needle off that needle.



Now work your next stitch. I found this technique incredibly easy when working with a small number of stitches. I don't know why you could not use it on a longer row, but when you are knitting 20 or more stitches it does not make as much sense.

Here is your lesson for the day! Now I have helped you learn a new technique! Have a great weekend everyone

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday fun!

Hello everyone! Did you all have a great week? How are you all doing on your resolutions??? Still hanging in there? I am proud to say that I have 2 bags of clothing going to Goodwill - 1 bag in the "garage sale" section - and - drum roll please - I have 4 bags of things that went in the TRASH!! My closets are cleaner, more streamlined, organized AND - I love it! I also worked on my "stash" closet - I now have my yarn on the shelves - organized - I know, be still my heart!! I also have my sewing machine and sewing related items in there as well. AND - I have some paper craft things in a clear plastic box - all ready for me when I need to make a card quickly!! How about that ladies!! It felt so good - this weekend I am going to tackle my kitchen cupboards and the pantry!

I also brought some magazines I wanted to save for various reason downstairs and put them in a book shelf I was not using - decluttering is happening at the Christensen Huis!

I even worked on my half pi shawl this week a bit. I am almost done with section 2! And!! I went to SNB last night and had fun laughing with the ladies at Friends of Wool. It was Sue's birthday and she brought goodies to eat!! A fun evening was had by all. The Afgan Class of 2006 was there with all their squares to work on assembly - I have to tell you, I was amazed with how beautiful their squares were. This caused me much excitement, because the Afgan Class of 2007 will meet in 2 weeks to start on their afgan journey - and I have a ticket for that trip!! There are several techniques that I do not know how to do that I will be learning this year! So, this class will continue to help me with my resolution of learning!

I did have a small breakdown on the yarn front. My daughter wants me to make a "shawl" for her birthday - I truly tried and swatched some yarn from my stash, but I did not have anything that I could get the perfect gauge with. I had to buy 2 skeins of yarn - but - I found it on sale at Friends of Wool - so I only paid $8 for it!! This did not break my budget at all!! I will be so excited to see my daughter's face when she opens her gift! I shall try and post a photo of said shawl and daughter #1 after the 6th of February - which is her birthdate. Hold the phone - she will be 18 years old!!! I cannot believe this, because I swear she was just learning to walk yesterday!!! Where does the time go??

We are getting close to "reveal" time in SP9 - I have been having so much fun with my spoilee - I have been dropping hints the past couple of weeks - and we have been laughing and having so much fun together. She is an awesome pal! I am working on the finishing touches for her last package - she is a SAHM and she home schools her children! AND, her husband is in the Army. As the end of the month gets closer, I will post the link to her blog and ask you all to pop over and say hello to her!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Friday, January 05, 2007

First Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome to the First Friday of 2007! This is surely something to celebrate, right? How did Week 1 go for all of you? So far - so good here.

I have printed out my resolutions and put them in several places - in my planner for work, on the mirror in my bathroom, on the fridge in the kitchen. I think that this will help me stay focused on what is important to me this year - what I need to accomplish - where I want to go!

How are you all doing? Did you all fall the the Resolution Wagon? That is okay - get back on and try again! Be your own best supporter - not your worst enemy!

I am excited to have made it through a week of this New Year! I actually got out some yarn from my stash and cast on something for ME! I had gotten a gorgeous skein of Lorna's Laces - Helen's Lace last summer to make the Half Pi Shawl and I cast on this week! I have the first set of the pi completed and have started on set 2! I am in love with this yarn - it is amazing. I selected the Vera colourway - and I am so happy with my selection!



This picture does not do the yarn justice - it is knitting up beautifully - burgundy's, rich browns, some amazing greens, and a dusky khaki - dyed perfectly! I will try and have my daughter get a picture of it next week and post my progress. If you have not knit this pattern - it is definately on my must knit list! I am flowing through the sections easily and can even knit while watching TV! So, I was so happy to pull this out of my stash and treat myself to this little gem. I did not realize that I had such a nice "stash store"!!

Speaking of "Stash Store" - on my plate for the weekend is to clean out and organize my stash closet - and my bedroom closets. There may be some destashing going on here next week, so be on the lookout for that!

So, there is my week one synopsis - drop me a note letting me know how you are all doing.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!