Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Scavenger Hunt Upstream Pal

Thanks for the comment on my blogiversary contest. If you win, I'll hold your prize until the BIG REVEAL. You did manage to post your comment anonymously, although you're not the only one (blushing here) who tends to inadvertently reveal herself... And that means that I am not tech savvy enough to be able to backtrack and figure out who you are if you post the contest link on your blog... Just have anyone who you refer say that they are sworn to secrecy about who sent them.
And I've checked all of my various e-mails (since I never remember who has which ones) and no message is to be found from you in any of the various spam, bulk or regular folders! If you're comfortable leaving your anonymous e-mail in a comment, I could always try e-mailing you...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Things That Didn't Get Done, Things That Did Get Done

This weekend I didn't get to:
- take and upload knitting pictures; or,
- blog, although I did manage to check my e-mail.

This weekend I did get:
- the washing part of the laundry pretty well caught up; and,
- survived Older Sons' 12th Birthday Party. His birthday is tomorrow, but since it was a sleepover, it had to be on a weekend. Seven boys. One 13 year old, one 12 year old (what's a few days?), four 11 year olds and Younger Son, 7.5 years old. I did not take up drinking to survive the event. I was tired enough after preparing homemade pizza and cake, that I left Mr. Me in charge and went to bed around 10pm. That pretty well meant that Younger Son, who can sleep like the dead when tired, and I were the only people to get a decent night's sleep. Older Son and two of the other kids stayed up all night. Care to guess who was just a tad cranky yesterday? Why - yes! You're all so smart! Given the choice between a cranky baby and a cranky 12 year, pass me that baby.

Getting back to me checking my e-mail, I am completely and totally overwhelmed by the number of entries into my contest! 49 discreet entries to date, since I won't be able to tally up all of the links and referrals until the end, now will I? Included in the entries is my very first comment from a family member! A great big "Hi" and "Thanks!" goes out to my niece, Rachael.

And speaking of contests, Tami is having a 100th post contest. Pop on over and say "Hi". Tell her I sent you, okay? I get extra credit for it!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's My 1st Bloggiversary Today - and My 1st Contest!

I had thought that I had started blogging on the 25th of January last year, but in checking past posts yesterday evening, I discovered that my first post was on the 24th. Hard to believe that I've been doing this for a full year.
Sometimes I have lots to say, and sometimes I don't... I guess that that very accurately reflects the ups and downs, the peaks and valleys, of most peoples lives. In reflecting on the year, I also reflected on why I started to blog. Last January, I was approximately 2.5 months into a six month stretch of French Language Training. I was spending my days in a classroom with 5 other adults and a teacher having those unnatural discussions that you only have when you're learning a second language. To make matters worse, 4 of the 6 students had already spent a considerable amount of time together doing their "foundation work". So there I was in an unrealistic situation and having to fit into an established dynamic that I didn't really understand... I decided to start blogging because it gave me an opportunity to "talk to myself" without causing people to look at me funny on the streets. I wasn't sure whether anyone would ever read what I wrote or not...
Fast forward 12 months. I'm still "talking to myself", but I love that sometimes other people jump into my monologues. Blogging has given me the chance to virtually meet some wonderful people with whom I share many common interests. Often I'm surprised at how much I enjoy people with whom I would expect to have absolutely nothing in common. It just goes to prove how misleading our "labels" can be!
In celebration of this milestone, yes, I am going to have a contest. I don't know for sure what the prize(s) will be since I don't know who the winners are yet. You'll just have to wait for a surprise (or maybe more) at the end.
Here is what you have to do: Leave me a comment telling me why you blog. If you don't blog, maybe you can tell me why you read me (or if you just stumbled across me...). You'll get an entry for the comment. If you link the contest on your blog and send others, you will get an additional entry for the link, and an additional entry for each person that came to see me via your blog. See? That's not too hard, is it?
You have until the stroke of midnight on January 31st. I won't specify time zone. If you entry is date stamped January 31st or before - you're in!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tomorrow is a Special Day

But if you don't know why tomorrow is special, and I had to check it out myself, you'll have to come back to find out why...
Today wasn't too shabby either. I just received my partner e-mail for the Scavenger Hunt Swap and I'm really excited about this! I like the way that this swap is based around 7 categories. It just kind of fits how my quirky mind works. Time to get researching... Let's hope that I can manage to keep myself anonymous, since a few of you know that that sometimes challenges me.
I haven't posted any knitting photos for ages, but since the computer saw "the Doctor" last week, it appears to be feeling much better and may be up to accepting some photos over the weekend. I have been knitting and do have photos to share. (It was a Spyware infestation, but nothing that a new hard drive couldn't fix... Country living bonus: Local self employed techs are MUCH less expensive than those high talkin' city techs!) There's a scarf that is almost done... A gnome that is coming along nicely... Clue 1 of the Secret of the Stole II is done... And probably a few other things that I've forgotten about. The cold makes my brain work much more slowly...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Scavenger Hunt Swap Questionnaire

The reality is that I have been debating about this swap since I first became aware of it... The more I learned the more intrigued I became. When I got a heads up from our swap hostess about how spots were filling up quickly - I was IN!!! I think that this is going to be so much fun! If you're really quick, at last tally there was still the possibility that you might just get in...

1) Do you knit, crochet or both? How long have you been doing it?
I am a knitter. I haven't truly mastered crochet but all of those cute little Amigurumis keep taunting me... I may have to learn it just a bit. I have been knitting for close to 30 years... Gosh - that makes me feel old!
2) What is on your needles/hook right now?
I've just cast off my swatch for Secret of the Stole II, so that isn't quite on my needles yet... (It will be tomorrow with the first clue.) And I'm still debating about my Sock It To Me Twice socks, so that aren't really on the needle yet either, but I had better get cracking. There is a scarf that is probably 75% done that has seen active time recently... And my older sister is turning 45 in February and I bought the yarn for an Alan Dart Gnome for her today, so that will be "on the needles" soon, too... What was the question? Okay, so I just don't feel like digging through the basket right now. There are "a few" sweaters in there, but I'm not entirely sure what else right now.
3) What is the most frequently used tool in your knitting bag?
My retractable measuring tape, followed closely by my notebook.
4) What are your 3 favorite yarns (fiber type or brand)? What are your 3 least favorite?
I don't really have any favourite brands, but I do have a strong preference for natural fibres so - wool, cotton, silk... (In reality I like all natural fibres.) Least favourites might be easier - anything involving words like "Phentex", "Sayelle" or "durable manmade fibres".
5) What is your favorite color?
I'm a pink, purple and green kind of girl, with some blue thrown in for good measure.
6) If you had a 5 minute shopping spree in your LYS, how would you plan your attack?
Fortunately, my LYS isn't that big and I am confident that I could clear all of the shelves in 5 minutes. However, theoretically I would need garbage bags. My starting point is the Manos del Urugauy, moving across the front of the store to take out the alpaca (various brands), the Noro, the Lana Gatto, skipping over the synthetics and onto the Patons SWS and Classic Wool before rounding the final corner to the sock yarn and finally the cash.
7) What is your favorite FO and why? (post a pic if you have it!)
My favourite non-wearable is my Lizard Ridge afghan. My favourite wearable is a beaded sweater I made from the Rowan 35 magazine... I hope to get a photo take of it soon so that I can get it up on Ravelry.
8) What are your favorite things to knit/crochet?
I'm not really sure that I have "favourites", but I do tend to knit a lot of socks these days!
9) Do you collect anything?
Yarn, beads, buttons, pattern books...
10) What are your five favorite things (not necessarily knitting related)?
My sons, my husband (I moan and complain about him, but I do love him dearly), Salt and Vingear potato chips, my old country farmhouse and quiet time to knit. Please note that the order of these things does vary depending on the day...
11) Are you on Ravelry? What is your ID?
Yes - MissMe1964.
12) Do you drink tea/coffee/cocoa?
Yes to both coffee and tea, but not so much to cocoa.
13) Favorite Sweets?
I love sours! That's kind of contradictory, isn't it?
14) Any allergies?
No fibre allergies. No food allergies. Please don't send penicillin...
15) Do you have pets? kids?
Tiger the Cat and 2 sons - aged almost 12 and 7.5.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Meme for Alison

Okay, I'm a sucker... Alison posted a meme yesterday and effectively "tagged" the first seven people to comment. So here goes:

List seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself.
Tag seven people to do the same.

1. I can touch the tip of my nose with the tip of my tongue. Sounds charming, doesn't it?
2. I can fit my entire fist into my mouth. Not both at once, just one at a time...
3. While Alison doesn't iron, I iron my pillowcases and linen tea towels. Cotton ones too if they are really wrinkled. Despite my moaning about laundry, I enjoy ironing. No - I'm not coming over to do your ironing!
4. I love shiny shoes. Patent leather? Metallic? I am SO THERE!
5. I wear jewellery with one notable exception. I will not ever wear a brooch. I like them on other people, but not on me.
6. I wear business attire. That means skirts and heels for mean. That also means proper hoisery... I despise tan, nude, beige hoisery. When I can find it I opt for blush or a creamy sort of colour. It's much closer to my skin tone and doesn't make me feel like I've had some kind of self tanner accident.
7. I can't eat or drink anything that I either know or suspect has raw eggs in it. Homemade eggnog? Not a chance...

Like Alison, if you choose to comment, consider yourself tagged!


A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, "PULL OVER!"
"NO!" the blonde yelled back, "IT'S A SCARF!"

Even though I am blonde, I love a good blonde joke. I really just think that she was making good use of her time... I mean, really, why waste all that time doing just one menial thing like driving?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Day Without Laundry...

...is like a day without sunshine. NOT!!!

Dear Mr. Weatherman,

Please send rain.

Yours truly,

Miss Me (the Laundress)

Friday, January 4, 2008

Having Tidied Up 2007 - Happy New Year!!!

Okay, so I'm a few days late... Given the weather, I could have hibernated through the first few days of the year. So far, the jury is out on 2008 as far as I'm concerned. The first scheduled work day of the year (January 2nd) was a "snow day". We got clobbered. I haven't uploaded the photos of the snow piles in the yard from the camera, but once I do, I'll post them. They are pretty darned impressive. Our snow plow man had to use his tractor with the bucket to move the snow... The half tonne with the plow blade just wasn't going to cut it anymore... If that wasn't enough, it has become bitterly cold. Fortunately, I had a block heater installed in my car in 2003 because without it, I wouldn't have been going anywhere the past couple of days. It is supposed to be warmer over the weekend, followed by above freezing temperatures next week. Oh - that should be fun - NOT! I imagine all sorts of flooded streets that will later become impromptu rinks... Given my clumsy tendencies, I foresee bruises to both my body and my ego in the near future. Most spectacular falls are pretty well guaranteed to happen while I'm dressed in business attire - read: skirt and dress boots. If you see me, try not to laugh, okay?
So did we do anything special for New Year's Eve? Nope. Why not? It SNOWED! We had planned on attending our local First Night activities, but I doubt that we could have gotten out of the driveway so it was a quiet night in.
On the knitting front, I am working on the Cabled and Rib Scarf from Knitspot. The yarn is 100% Superwash Merino from The Sweet Sheep in a yummilicious colourway called Orchid Petal. The scarf is for ME! Me and my new black coat deserve a new scarf. I'm sure of it! The pattern and yarn were the last installment of the Flavour of the Month Club that I received for my birthday. I don't think that I posted photos, but I will try to get a true colour shot of the WIP to post. No promises - indoor photos with artificial light are, well, sucky!
With an enabling nod of thanks to Cynical Knitting Gal, I joined the Secret of the Stole KAL. This will be my first "mystery" KAL. I'm looking forward to it! I finally made a decision about the yarn and ordered 4 skeins of Knitpicks Shadow in Oregon Coast Heather. Of course I ordered some other things, too, but since they're birthday presents for January birthdays, I'm not going to mention them since the January birthday knitters do sometimes drop by for a visit... Now let's hope that everything arrives promptly so that I can knit my swatch for the stole and get some birthday gifts delivered on time (for a change.)
I still want to tell you about my knitting related Christmas gifts, but that may just have to wait...
A belated happy 2008 to everyone - may it be a good year for everyone.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tidying Up 2007

Edit: Links have been added. In doing so, I note that Union Center Knits is closing temporarily due the expected arrival of a new baby! Yay - babies! On the downside, it means that you can't cruise her Esty shop for fab yarn. This makes the fact that I have some of it even sweeter (for me)!

Before I embark on 2008 blogging, I need to tidy up a 2007 detail. That detail arrived via US Priority Mail on December 27th. What was it? It was my fabulous Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap package from Cheryl!

To start with, everything was wrapped in red tissue... Isn't it pretty? I'm usually pretty careful and patient with these things, but since everything was taped, I opted for the approach that is most popular with my sons - RIP!!!

First up - the group shot...

Then the fibre - a skein of sock yarn and a mini skein both from Union Center Knits. The mini skein comes with a pattern for a knitted cuff. The full skein is a colour way called Jungle Love - and yes, I do LOVE IT!!!

Even more fun than just the fabulous yarn - both skeins came with co-ordinated stitch markers. The pair shown on my needle tip came with the full skein. I did neglect to take a photo of the one with the smaller skein, but it is lovely with a pearl bead. (I love pearls.)

And since Cheryl is clearly a spoiler who does her job in an extraordinarily dedicated manner, she read enough of my blog to know that my favourite board game is Scrabble. The cat thing isn't so hard to find, but once again, aren't these stitch markers just too cute?!

And there were yummies... Sours... Candied walnuts... But this deserves special mention, since Cheryl is from Texas, a bag of Texas Praline Pecans. I will hide these... I will only share if I need something from Mr. Me or one of the kids. Otherwise, they are all mine! And since it is a coffee swap, some gorgeous smelling Sumatrian coffee.

And a very sweet card. But that isn't all - there are a pair of scissors (folding - those things are so clever), a beautiful blue project bags that is just the right size for socks, a fabulous supersized mug that will be heading to the office and a sugar cookie scented candle.
Cheryl will be nominated as a super spoiler! And for those of you that are also playing along with SITMT, I know that Cheryl isn't my spoiler, since mine is from Norway, but she is someone's... Thanks again, Cheryl, I love my package!
I will now move on to 2008, if blogger says it's okay. Right now blogger says I can't add links... I'll come back later and try to add them again.