Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy VD!

As some of you know, my "real" job is in the wholesale floral industry. I've been doing it for 15 years, and have been over it for about the last 6. I just made it through Valentine's Day #15. I wasn't as busy as usual. Typically, when VD falls on a Saturday or Sunday, flower sales are down, and the restaurants seem to do better. I'm sure the present state of the economy didn't help things either. I've been wanting to do something else for several years, but I was making such good money, I really couldn't afford to go somewhere else and make less. Soon I may get my wish, and have to find work somewhere else. I work on commission, and I've had several big clients go out of business in the last few months. Like they say, be careful what you wish for.

And now, on to the knitting!

Socks, socks, socks! I can't get them out of my mind. Once I found a toe up cast on that I like, (Judy Becker's Magic Cast-on), and a heel that I like, (The Fleegle Heel) it's the only thing I want to knit. My Numma Numma Saucy - colorway Famous Chocolate Fondue was originally going to be a scarf. Now it's definitely going to be socks. I keep thinking I need to have more sock yarn in my stash. I mean I only have enough to knit 5 more pairs! My sock yarn sta
sh is totally out of proportion to my regular yarn stash! I just finished my first sock using Blue Moon Fiber's Socks That Rock! LOVE IT! Can't wait to get some more! For those of you that don't know, you can buy it at Knitch. Apparently, we are one of only 11 places worldwide where you can buy it. I hope we're getting more soon. I'm putting my vote in for "Muddy Bottom Breakdown" and "Manly Yes, But I Like It Too". (who names this stuff - hilarious!)

My sweater class starts this week. I've contacted all of my students, and they sound just as excited as I am! We're doing a simple, knit-from-the-top-down raglan, but I'm going to suggest options to make their sweater
uniquely their own. I will finally be knitting a sweater for my son Andrew's. He requested it and picked out a pattern a couple of years ago, and I've had the black yarn in my stash ever since. I thought it would be a good sweater for this class. He is so tall and thin, it should take no time at all.

I need to get the baby blanket started for my niece's third baby. (her 3rd in three years!) She is due in March. We're doing lavender for this one, so I've purchased some lovely acrylic from Hobby Lobby. Can you tell how anxious I am to get it started? I think I'm going to do a round pinwheel blankie this time.

That's all for now folks, but before I go, I just had to share this photo I found on the Internet. Doesn't this just make you want to learn how to crochet?!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

it's a beautiful day

I woke up to blue skies and sunshine today. It was just one of those beautiful north Georgia winter days. There was no annoying alarm clock going off at 4 am. I actually slept 'til 9:00. Got up, had a leisurely shower. Went to Knitch to pick up my paycheck. Had a wonderful lunch with Doug at Everybody's Pizza. I've never been there before, and I'm definitely going back. Doug and I spent about 4 hours at the Peachtree Handspinners Guild meeting. Got to see some folks I haven't seen in a while, and had a great time. I meant to bring my camera, but forgot. (oh well) I came home to find Beth had cooked an extremely tasty chicken curry dish. I got all caught up on my TV shows I missed this past week, while at the same time executed a perfectly turned Fleegle Heel on my Socks that Rock sock. I would be hard pressed to imagine a more perfect day!

I didn't get weighed today. The weight loss is not going so well, and I really just did not want to see any numbers this morning. On a brighter note,
I think I've broken my own record for most blog posts in one month!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

finished socks

Well here they are. My second pair of socks. This pair didn't take nearly as long as the first. They're not very fancy, but I'm not a very fancy guy.

I used Jarbo Garn's Raggi sock yarn, (100g, 150m, 70% superwash wool, and 30% nylon), knitted on US #6 needles, one ball per sock, (size 13 EEE), toe-up, Magic Loop, Judy Becker's Magic cast on, Encroachment Heel, and sewn bind-off.

(wow, that's a mouthfull)

I'm already planning my second pair. I'm using Socks That Rock medium weight, colorway Valkyrie. I'd like to try the "Fleagle Heel" on these, but can't find directions on line anywhere. (Hockeymom........ HELP!!!!!) I think I'll dress these up with some cables too.

Now there seems to be a little problem developing. As you know, I have acquired a wee bit of a yarn stash. Within this stash, there is practically NO sock yarn. As you sock knitters know, you must use sock yarn to knit socks. (don't you?) I could knit other things, but right now, I want to knit socks. I'm really trying to refrain from buying more sock yarn. I do have enough to knit four more pairs, and that should be enough for now, ..............right?

(heaven help me)

And now for the weekly weigh in. I did practically NOTHING as far as diet and exercise go this past week. OK, I did try to get in a little more fiber in my diet, (oatmeal cookies), but that was about it. I now weigh 284.4, so I lost .4 lbs. I'm hoping for bigger numbers next week.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a trip to the hospital

Last night, about halfway through Lost, my wife started having severe chest pains. By 11 pm we were sitting in the hospital emergengy room. After checking her heart, lungs, gall bladder, and heart again, all systems were clear. Fifteen hours in the emergency room, but it's nice to know she's in nearly perfect health. We still don't have any idea what caused the pains. I have to say that EVERY single person at the Gwinnett Med Center in Lawrenceville was wonderful. The ER seemed to be super busy, but they still took the time to explain everything, and Beth felt really well cared for. If you have to go, (and I hope you don't), I hope your experience is as good as the one we had. The patient is now resting comfortably, propped up in front of the TV, with remote control in hand, and I am attempting to finish a sewn bind off on a toe-up sock. (no, I didn't bring my knitting to the ER..... damn!) Tomorrow it's back to work, and hopefully I'll see some of you knitting at Knitch tomorrow night!

.....and now for a little nap.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

there and back again

Well I'm back from my little business trip to Ft. Lauderdale. It was SO nice there! Daytime, 72 degrees, nights in the 50's. It was a a little cloudy and breezy, but no rain. Yesterday we ate breakfast outside under the palm trees in short sleeve shirts. Today I'm eating hot oatmeal, snuggled warmly inside flannel pj's. It was nice while it lasted.

The flight was OK. I'm actually looking forward to flying again in June. Some of you know I have not flown since 9/11, and swore I would never do it again. I think the only reason I was able to fly now is due in part to the anti-depression/anxiety meds I've been taking for the last year and a half. (ain't chemistry wonderful!) The take off was a little scary, and I have to admit, I was turning a short-row heel in my mind for about the first 10 minutes of the flight, but after that I was OK. It was a little crowded to knit, even though I brought a simple scarf to work on. I also think the boss is a little embarassed that I knit, so I tucked it away for two days, and didn't knit a stitch.

The trade show was fun, and I made a lot of connections with some new tropical plant growers, and got to see some of the folks I'm already buying from. Two days of walking really did a number on my leg, and actually started in the other leg, and a couple of other places I haven't felt the pain before. I know this problem is completely weight related, and only I have the power to fix it. In an effort to be held accountable for this, I've decided to post my weight every week on my blog. I'd like to loose about 40 lbs. before I fly to Colorado in June. (I'd like to do a little hiking while I'm there.) Today I weighed in at a whopping 284.8! (OUCH! wish me luck)

Beth and I are off the the Dekalb Farmer's Market for some fresh and healthy fruits and veggies. Come see me at Knitch tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

knitting socks

That's right, my dear readers, I am knitting socks. I know I said I never would, but never is a really long time.

Those of you who know me, know I have completed one complete pair. The first sock was knit in the traditional way, from the cuff down. I did NOT use double pointed needles. (hereafter referred to as "The Devil's Toothpicks") Why would I? I know how to Magic Loop! It was knit with the traditional heel flap and gusset, and the toe meticulously kitchenered. The second sock was knit in the same fashion, with the exception of the heel. I decided to try a garter stitch - short row heel. This left large gaping holes, and about halfway to the toe I crammed the whole mess in a bag and buried it deep beneath my stash and UFOs.

After about a year and a half, I dug it out, ripped back the heel, re knit the damned thing, kitchenered it, and I was done. I used Brown Sheep Superwash Worsted. Did I mention I don't like knitting with really tiny needles? I have big hands, and big feet, and I like to use the bigger needles. Anyway, the yarn has no nylon in it, and I've been told that the heels will wear out more quickly. There really is no chance of that ever happening, as the stuff is so itchy, I can't stand to wear them for more than a few minutes. At this point, I was done with socks.

Over the past year or so, I see everyone knitting socks! Dyeing their own sock yarn. Designing their own patterns! We're extremely lucky to have one of the most incredible yarn dyers right here in Atlanta, and she sells her yarn at Knitch. Her sock yarn is to dye for! (tee hee) She even named one of her colorways after me. I'm sure you all remember Famous Chocolate Fondue. Then Knitch gets Blue Moon Fibers Socks That Rock! (medium and heavy weight) Have you seen this stuff?! BEAUTIFUL! I wanted it ALL, but restrained myself, and bought only two skeins.

I knew I wanted my next pair to be knit from the toe up. My first pair, I barely had enough yarn to kitchener the toe, and really don't want to run out when I've almost finished. Haley showed me two different toe-up cast ons, which I promptly forgot as soon as I got home. (Hey Haley, I'm old, gimme a break!) I decided to check out You Tube, and discovered Cat Bordhi demonstrating Judy Becker's Magic Cast-on. This is a most miraculous thing. How someone comes up with something like this, I'll never know. So now I'm knitting socks, and loving it! (photos to follow) I haven't gotten to the heel yet. Does anyone know if Judy has a Magic Short-row Heel?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

foggy day

WOW! It was really foggy all day long, but sort of nice for a change. I mean I wouldn't want it to be like this every day, but every now and then.....

We got up early and caught a matinee of Bedtime Stories. Beth really likes Adam Sandler, so Andrew and I went with her. It was a cute movie, but not the usual type of movie I go see.

We got back home, and I headed into work for a couple of hours. I've been off for a week, and I didn't want there to be any surprises when I walk in at 5 am on Monday. (no, I didn't win the lottery........ this time) I also know I wouldn't have been able to sleep Sunday night just thinking about it, so I cleaned up and organized a bit. It really wasn't that bad.

There was a package waiting for me there, and I couldn't wait to open it. I discovered, via Ravelry, a couple of knitters here in the Atlanta area (Norcross), that also make the most wonderful scented soy candles! I ordered Tangerine Lemongrass, and just plain Lemongrass. (I lean toward the more citrusy scents) The Tangerine Lemongrass is burning right now, and it is so fresh and bright and clean and tart. LOVE IT! Check their website out here. It was hard to pick out two from the many scents they offer. The candles are $12.50 each (they're a nice size) and you get free shipping!

Next it was off to the airport to pick up Claudia. It's so nice to have her back! We had a nice drive from the airport to her house, so I got to hear all about her trip. Hermine and Noah sure were glad to see her.

Now I'm home, and in my PJ's. Can't decide if I want to knit or spin. I am sort of getting the urge to cable, I just need to find a project.

I'm off to work at Knitch tomorrow. If you're looking for something to do, come knit with us for a while.

See you there!

Friday, January 2, 2009

a little spinning........

Well I did get to do a little spinning yesterday. First I had to ply the last bit of Shetland I had already spun. That freed up an extra bobbin.

I already had a whole bobbin of light blue BFL spun up.

I purchased some dark blue BFL at SAFF to ply with it.

It seems the more I spin, the thinner it gets! I'm wondering now if I can even spin a thicker yarn! Anyway, the blue yarns are so thin I'm thinking I may add another color, (white or tan), and do a three ply yarn. Otherwise it will be so thin that I probably won't knit anything with it. I'm gonna have to get out some more roving and seriously try to spin some thicker yarn.

Got to spend the day with two of my best buds; Nancy and Doug! We hit the sushi buffet at Rusan's, and then tried to decide on a movie. There was nothing really exciting to see, so we went to Ikea to people watch. Nancy bought a lid rack for her pot and pan lids, and Doug bought a nice halogen desk lamp to use while knitting. I know it's nice, 'cause I have one just like it! Oh, and I bought a half dozen warm cinnamon rolls which we proceeded to sit right down and snarf.
($4 for a HALF DOZEN!!!!! That's like what you would pay for ONE at the Cinnabun place at the mall!) We finished off the evening where we finish off almost every Friday evening....... at Knitch. My wife Beth joined us, and we picked out some yarn so she could knit her dad a new scarf. He lost the one she knit for him when she was 17, and he was SO upset. He loved that scarf, but she told him he would love this one even more. We picked out a lovely steel grey-blue shade of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky. (the original scarf was acrylic Wintuk yarn from Sears) This one's gonna keep him nice and warm.

That's it for now. Beth and I are going to see the Adam Sandler movie tomorrow morning, and then I'm going to pick-up Claudia from the airport! It will be so good to see her again. (10 days is WAY too long for you to be gone! We miss you too much!) Only two more days off, and then Monday at 5 am it's back to the daily grind. (yuck!)

Unless, of course, I win the lottery tonight.

I can dream, can't I?

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Well here we are, a brand new year staring us in the face. Resolutions? Nope, I haven't made any. I should probably go on a yarn diet, (and a food diet, as far as that goes), but I'm not in the mood to start today. I've been off work all week, and just enjoying sleeping late, watching movies, and knitting. I'm going to pull the wheel out today and do a little spinning. I received my NEW Knit Picks needles yesterday, and pulled them out and got them all organized. It's nice to have them back. I missed them.

I do have some things to look forward to in the upcoming year. In a couple of weeks I'm going to fly again. I haven't flown since the spring of 2001, (didn't enjoy it then), and said I would never fly again after 9/11. I'm also planning a trip out to Colorado in June to visit a good friend, and possibly hit the Estes Park Wool Market. I guess it's not so much a fear of flying, but more a fear of hitting the ground really hard that has kept me from flying. I've come to the conclusion that we really have no say when it comes to our time to leave this plane of consciousness. While plummeting to the ground in a blazing fireball is not the way I would choose to go, I realized that we don't really get to choose. After all, there are many things that are much more dangerous than flying, like driving home on 85 in rush hour traffic. Life is a journey, and I've decided it's time to kick back and enjoy the ride!

I'm teaching more classes at Knitch this year. I'm really excited about it! I have a Learn to Knit class in January, and I'm teaching my first sweater class in February and March. It's a simple knit-from-the-top-down raglan for folks who already know how to knit, but are just sure they could never knit a sweater. I'm here to tell them they can! Now I just need to come up with some more classes for spring. (ideas?)

I have my 30 year high school reunion coming up this year. Not sure if I'm going or not. I really haven't kept up with anyone I went to high school with. It seems like I knew everybody back then, and now I look through the yearbook and wonder, "who are these people?", and "what's with the hair!?". I may go anyway. It would be a good way to visit with my parents too. They're not getting any younger. (as my mother keeps reminding me)

I have another milestone coming up this year. My 20th wedding anniversary is on September 30th. WOW, 20 years! It hasn't always been easy, but then nothing worthwhile rarely is. I just hope the next 20 are as good as the first. (or possibly better)

So that's it for now. If I were going to make a resolution today, it would be to blog more regularly. For those of you who do not blog, it's really a lot of work. I always feel like there should be lots of pictures, and it should be very entertaining, and sometimes I'm just not in the mood. Then I realized this blog is for ME. So you may see me blogging more in the upcoming year. There may be fewer pictures, and it may not always be entertaining, but I hope you'll come back and read it anyway.

Take care,