December 31, 2004

Starting Anew

It's the last day of 2004 and I need to get ready to implement my PLAN.

* Increase my exercise. Since my level is currently at ZERO, increasing it shouldn't be too difficult. I'll be adding walking during the day at work and I've got to get my lazy self out of bed to do my Firm dvds.

* Eat healthy. Back to the WW recipes I enjoy, add more veggies to the diet, drink my water. Take my time eating to allow me to enjoy my food and avoid overeating.

* Read more. I have several new books to read (Thanks Kim!)and want to cruise NPR's site and the ALA's site regularly for new ideas. I'll be supporting my local library more this year by borrowing rather than buying. (And yes, we did support our local library levy this year). Rob & I also going to do the "Read the Bible in 1-year" plan from our church.

* Knit something for me. Don't know what yet, but there will be something for me this year coming off of my needles.

* Blog more. Already trying to sit down at the computer at least 2x a week to do an entry. Even got the Sis to do her own (check out Do Bee Do in the sidebar). Now I've got Rob thinking about doing a family site as well.

Looking forward to the new year! Happy 2005!

December 27, 2004

Starting Over

See below? This was the beginnings of the Berry Freeze for Mom. That's the back. I picked up the needles to get the front done yesterday. I have NO idea what size needles I used, but that is some DENSE knitting. I can't recreate it, so I'm going to frog it. I've restarted on circulars and re-doing it to avoid the seams. It goes at a pace of 1" per hour and my goal is to finish it this week.

Thank goodness I'm not working this week!

More shots when the sun comes up for my new progress.

December 24, 2004

I'm mentioned!

Yay!!! I got a mention on Norma's blog entry for today. She's knitting some Fuzzy Feet and wanted feedback yesterday and I'm mentioned today!

Woo hoooo!

Last of the knitted gifts

These are the last of the knitted gifts: more slippers for Kendra, Khylee and Mom. Once again, Lamb's pride for the Mary Jane style and Quattro for the slippers.

I'm so glad to be done with the knitting for Christmas. Now I can get on to finishing Mom's Berry Freeze. It's only half done & I'd like to have it done in time for her to take to Phoenix for her marathon.

Merry Christmas!

Slippers, part 1

These are the first of 6 pairs of felted ballerina slippers. These are for my sister Chris and her daughters, Samantha and Katherine. I used Cascade Quattro for Chris' and Lamb's Pride for the girls. I like the thickness of the Lamb's Pride, but love the colors in Chris's slippers. They are a blue and purple blend.

Borg scarves: 10 of 12

These are the last of the scarves; the ends were woven in this morning. 2 in Plymouth Encore, 2 in Lion Brand's Wool-Ease, 1 in Baby Alpaca, 2 in Lamb's Pride bulky, 2 in Microspun and one in Horstia's silk & wool blend. We're delivering all but 4 tonight to their recepients. 2 will need to be mailed to Nebraska and my Dad and brother will receive theirs tomorrow.


December 19, 2004

5 days and counting

Well, only 1 more scarf and a pair of slippers to knit and I'm done with the knitting portion of my Christmas program. Still need to weave in the ends on the other scarves and felt the remaining 3 prs of slippers. I'm glad I decided to knit for all of the adults and tiny kids this year, but next year if I decide to do this again, I'm starting in July.

We have our tree up and we have the ornaments under it. Notice the "under," and not "on?" We are definitely lazy around here this year.

December 14, 2004

Playing catch-up

It's been over a month since I last posted?!

Well, have all but 2 scarves done and that includes 2 extra scarves knit for my mom to give as gifts. Also knitted a quick baby sweater for Tammy who left for Japan (she's expecting!) on Nov 20th.

Have 3 pairs of slippers done and have started on the remaining 3 pairs.

Knit a hat for Erin. Knit-Wits kit. Didn't have enough to do the hat to pattern so had to do some quick thinking for the last two rows. She loves it, so it was worth it.

Bought some really, really cool Eco-Wool - it feels luscious. It's in the ecru color and I'm pondering what to make with it.

Since I'm seeing the end in sight for Christmas and the year 2004, I've decided to make some changes:

1. Adding exercise to my routine. My mom's family is partial to diabetes (Hispanic, female, apple shaped bodies) and I need to get my weight down. Exercise is part of the change.
2. Cook from healthier recipes. Better planning, more fruits, more veggies, more water.
3. Read a minimum of 2 books a month. My reading has been slacking off and I want to push myself to read more than my standard authors list. So I'm checking out NPR, my library and other sites to expand my list.
4. Knit something in 2005 for ME. That's right, ME. I've been knitting over 2 years now and nothing has remained with me for my enjoyment. I'm thinking to start small with some felted slippers or a bag.
5. Hold myself accountable to the above. I'm going to ask my sister Kim to monitor me and hold me accountable. She can call, email or better yet check the blog for #6 on the list . . .
6. Post more often. At least 2x a week since I want accountability. Learn to post pics, expand my writing abilities and just let loose in blogland.

That's a lot and I'm going to have to dig out a calendar and update it with my new plan. The above aren't resolutions. Collectively, they're a PLAN.

October 27, 2004

Crappy day

I should be getting into bed, but can't because my thoughts keep going round and round. It was definitely a day from h*ll.

First off, there was a layoff at work. OK, I can handle this, right? After all I've worked there almost 4 years and managed to survive 5 others. I hoped I wouldn't be impacted; the rumours had been running hot and heavy for a few weeks that it was coming, but I didn't figure on this week. One of the supervisors in another department was killed in an auto accident Sunday on her way home, so this was already a bad week for a lot of people.

It was about 11% worldwide. A lot of good people were let go including 2 women who I worked with a great deal. One in my department and another in a parallel department. I cried both times and still feel a lot of grief.

Then we had a discussion with Erin about her jeans and our feelings about them. In a nutshell, we feel they're too tight, too small and we're not thrilled to see crack on a regular basis. She feels that they're fine, others will be too loose and was pretty defensive. Can't blame her since I'd feel the same way in her jeans.

We offered a deal that I thought would work, and we were probably thisclose to sealing the deal (final say on jeans in exchange for a cell phone for as long as she had the phone) when I opened my mouth and said if she didn't take it, then I'd change out her jeans anyway without her say so. Bad move and not really what I want. I just feel frustrated.

So now she's ticked and Rob thinks she'd move back to her mom's over it (something I certainly didn't think of until he mentioned it) and now I'm upset over it. I really do think that she and I could find a middle ground. Something she liked and I was comfortable with. We managed before with the Old Navy capris (and she looks great in them BTW) so I figure a couple hours of frustration for us both would probably yield gold somewhere.

I don't want to think about her moving. I love having her here with us on a daily basis. She's smart, funny, likes things we like and her addition to our home is something we enjoy.

Work is going to be painful enough trying to take over T's duties in addition to my own, my boss just got promoted which means more work for all of us including her, trying to figure out what S did for the engineers and work it into my duties as well and deal with the emotional stuff going on at home too.

If this evening is an indicator of the near future, I can just tell tomorrow is going to be another crappy day.

October 26, 2004

Playing catch-up

It's been a month since I last posted. A MONTH. And the thing is, I love blogs! But apparently reading them more than writing them. However, I want to create something that allows my family far and wide to see what's happening here in WA.

Plus, the holidays are coming and I need to keep track of the gift exchange stuff. This seems like a good spot, don'tcha think?

In knitting news, I've finished 5 of 7 men's scarves, 1 of 4 women's scarves, and no slippers. And a poncho. Just in the last 8 weeks. Not bad.

September 25, 2004

Work & Life Interfere with Knitting

Work is definitely picking up as we get ready to go into live testing with our new system. It's meant driving myself in more than riding the train. While I appreciate the extra sleep, I miss the time sitting, knitting and reading.

I've managed to finish 2.75 scarves so far. I only have 6" to go on the third. I like the pattern, but it's taking way too long to complete. So it's back to the basketweave for the rest of the mens scarves.

We're heading up to the Seattle-SF game on Sunday. Luckily, we're not driving. We're riding on a tour bus up and back so there's 6 hrs of knitting. Yay! I'll need to work on lengthening the sleeves of Miss S's cardigan; they were just an inch too short, so I'll be adding 2" for growth as well.

Chris & I are making plans for our families for Thanksgiving. We were going to do Seaside, but it's full, so we're off to Blaine instead. The nice thing is that we'll be close to Vancouver, a ferry ride from Victoria and close to Bellingham as well. It'll be a nice getaway for us all.

Art finally called me and we had a nice long chat. He & Kendra are expecting again and everything so far is good. They've made it past the critical part and they are excited. They aren't going to find out the sex and that gives me free rein on what to make for the new baby. Probably a blanket since I could kick out a small one quickly. Or a sweater. Hmm, some thought's going to go into that!

I've been doing more reading of the blogs than posting. I'm going to need to come up with a schedule since I like the idea of journaling. I'm trying to get more organization into my life and I've dusted off the Day-Timer and will begin using it.

With Erin in Cross Country, the new bible study, a possible LIFE group for DH & I and various projects going on, organization is going to be key.

September 06, 2004

Progress? What progress?

I've been sooo lazy. I haven't posted. I haven't knit (much). I've got to kick it back into gear. Although I did manage to finish one of the Christmas scarves. One down, 7 to go!

Erin's settling in. That great sucking sound you hear is our bank balance draining away with the cost of outfitting our high school freshman for the upcoming year. Cross-country shoes & togs, fees, school clothes, new backpack and school supplies. And school doesn't officially start until tomorrow.

And let's not mention the 2 skeins of Noro bought to do a kitty bed from Wendy's site ( It blew the little budget I'd wanted to spend when I took her to the Yarn Garden, but hey, what cost can you place on a bonding experience?

I need desperately to finish a project. Mom's Berry Freeze is languishing. 4 inches to go on the front and I still have the back to do! The little sweater for Uyen's boy Kody is still on the needles. The sleeves need a few more inches, and then I can start the finish work. I still need to weave in the ends on the scarf and I have the 7 other scarves to do, 4 pairs of felted slippers, 2 pairs of socks, a sweater for my sister, Rob's sweater, Erin's Rogue, 2 blankets, Dad's Aran sweater, 2 baby sweaters. And no where in there is a project for me. Maybe I'll weave in the ends on the socks I finished earlier this year and call those mine. How lame.

But, knitting will need to work in and around the rest of my schedule. Work is starting to get hectic with only 7 weeks until we go live with our new planning system. I've agreed to be a team leader for our upcoming women's bible study on Monday nights. Craft night will be starting up this Thursday at our house. This weekend I've got to pick up the table and chairs from Chris and Jim this weekend, pick up M&D for the Race for the Cure, go to church and finish cleaning my house.

I'd been feeling bored at work, concerned about my spiritual life and wondering how to make changes in my home. I'd better be more careful of what I wish for.

August 17, 2004

I've made definite progress on the Berry Freeze. I'm now working on removing some of that progress since I finally measured my mom. She's petite and I'm tinking back about an inch. Tinking rather than frogging due to the pattern.

Erin and I have been to Michael's a couple of times to get her some kitchen cotton. She enjoys casting on and knitting away. She's done a couple of washcloths and is working on a second no-larger-than-a-handtowel blanket for her kitten. Of course, Smack is only 2.5 weeks old so the size works well. She's a beauty and has been doing well with the bottle feeding.

I showed Erin the kitty beds over at the inspirational Wendy's. I think it's going to inspire her to try a project beyond garter stitch. I've offered to help with the DPN portion until she's comfortable with it. But I foresee companionable trips to the LYS in the future.

I'm also starting my holiday list. It's so long! I'm going to need to figure out if we're gifting all the siblings or just the ones we draw in the exchange. Hats, scarves, socks, washclothes with handmade soap (not by me!). I'm going to need to put together a shopping list.

I just love the thought of all that lovely yarn.

August 10, 2004

Better living through pharmaceuticals

All I learned is that I've strained the sciata-blah-blah ligaments in my back. The turning and twisting movements I make in every day life (have you ever tried to get in or out of a 3-door Honda Civic without doing so?) isn't helping. But the very nice PA prescribed some lovely 800mg capsules of Motrin and I'm feeling better already. I can actually stand up without fear of falling down from the pain.

And I've brought my knitting to work.

Can it get any better? Probably. But we'll see how the day works out.

August 09, 2004

Pain all around me

So I managed a couple week's ago to strain my back and have been popping Advil like m&m's. But I've definitely done something more since today I'm unable to stand without immediate pain to the right side of my lower back. I have to cling to the nearest tall object in order to remain standing until it subsides. Sitting is uncomfortable, lying down a little better but overall I am just in a world of hurt.

I didn't even bother bringing my knitting with me to work.

It made sense at the time, but now that I have an appt to get this checked out, I don't have anything for the waiting room! I'm just hoping that I can drive myself to the appt and then home without incident. And did I mention we have only manual transmissions?

On an up note, I've started the Vanilla Freeze. Having nightmares about not having enough yarn, but since Mom is petite I don't think I'll need to knit the length in the pattern. And with the yarn I'm using, it's not a vanilla, more of a soft berry smoothie.

The kids had a bit of a rough patch this weekend. They found out their mom & stepdad are moving to Portland. Since they currently live with her, and neither one is keen to move to Portland, they were more than a bit emotional. When the dust finally settled Saturday night, each had made a decision on where they would be living. Sean will remain in Independence with his grandmother for his last two years of high school. He's done so well this last year going from Ds to As and Bs that no one wants to mess with that improvement. Gwen will keep him on the straight and narrow and will be a good influence on him. Not to mention he'll be going to church with her on a regular basis now.

Erin has decided to come live with us in Vancouver. It will be fun adding her to our daily lives. She'll be a freshman in high school in just a few weeks so it will be a doubly important transition for her. New school and new house. Well, maybe not the house since she's here every other weekend and most vacations. But with her presence we've added another bookworm to the house, she'll be watching sports with us AND she's a knitter. Who could ask for anything more?

August 01, 2004

Yarn love

We got back late last night from Ellensburg. My niece thoroughly enjoyed knowing she and her doll had matching sweaters. Granted, it was 90-something degrees so pictures of the two in their sweaters would have been cruel, but I did manage to remember to get the FO photo this time. I just need to figure out how to post it.

I was working out my gauges for my two current WIPs and the 3-year-old wanted to see my yarn. She fell in love with the green Brown Sheep wool I had and has demanded a short sleeve sweater with buttons. Since the yarn was already promised to another project, we went to the only LYS in Ellensburg, Yellow House Knitting & Spinning. My sister wasn't even aware of it, not that she should be since she is a scrapbooker, not a knitter. But Miss Katherine found a bright green Cascade 220 she loved. There were only 2 skeins and she hugged the green to her like it was her baby doll. So one green sweater coming up.

I also bought two skeins in a grey/cream colorway for socks for DH. He's been wanting some and prefers subtlety in his socks. That's OK; I have bright green socks planned as a gift for someone else and they'll make up for the plainness of his.

We also stopped at Half-Price books on the way home. DH found a couple of sci-fi while I got a Nevada Barr and two knitting books (Debbie Bliss All-season cotton and a kids knitwear book). Not a bad weekend at all.

July 30, 2004

Happy Birthday, Miss Samantha!

Yesterday was my niece's 6th birthday. Since the Vancouver portion of her extended family happened to be attending a Portland Beavers game, we called her and wished her a very happy birthday. The party is tomorrow and we're heading out tonight to her house. Haven't missed a birthday party yet and don't intend to either!

I finished her sweater(s) last night at the game. I only had the buttons left to do and I'm now working on swatching for the two new sweaters to go on the needles. I've also got to get measurements for my nieces, sisters, parents and DH so I can begin planning this fall/winter's knitting. Things to order, yarn to buy.

Have a happy Friday everyone!

July 27, 2004

3rd time's the charm, right?

Well, I have settled on the final name for this blog.  Certainly took me long enough.  Started with "Just One More," changed to "Yarn and Books = Happiness" and then while looking at stitch markers on Ebay and reading the blogs today, it hit me.

Yarn Pig.

My yarn stash is on the smallish side IMHO, but constantly threatens to rage out of control.  Books, the other yarns in my home, are everywhere since Rob & I are excellent customers of our local bookstores.  We have six 5-shelf cases and two 3-shelf cases.  Filled.  And that's after we culled our collection and donated 3 boxes to Goodwill.  And I need still more shelves!

As for the pig reference, the accumulation of the yarn and books definitely points to piggy tendencies, but so does the pig-shaped piggy bank collection I endeavor to enlarge each year.

So, Yarn Pig it is.  Long may it live.

July 23, 2004

11 Days to go

11 days and then Kim will be on her merry way to Chi-town.  I'm taking two days off  then; one to see her off and two to clean up after her.  I'll miss her, but probably about as long as she'll be missing us.

In the meantime, our water heater leaked and our dishwasher is still on the fritz.  Rob drained the water heater and we've refilled it since we couldn't find any loose connections.  We're going to keep an eye on it for the next few days and hope that it was just a cry for attention due to our lack of regular maintenance.

My cousin's son, Zach, arrives either tonight or tomorrow for a few weeks.  He'll be good company for Sean since they have similar interests.  But I have no idea what to feed two teenage boys, only that it needs to be in massive quantities.

I've been working on the matching cardi for my niece's doll and I have to say that it goes much faster than I expected.  Of course, her sweater only took 2 1/2 weeks, so this should take only a week.  And I only have a week to finish it and hers, seams and buttons included.

I believe I've settled on the pattern for my mom's Christmas gift.  It's from Knitters Spring 04, the Evening Breeze pattern.  I have a beautiful dusty mauve silk/wool blend to use.  I'm getting pretty excited about it.  Of course, it won't keep her warm in the winter, but I think she'll appreciate it anyway.

July 19, 2004

My aching back

Kim's probably 75% ready to go now.  We spent the majority of the long weekend (I took Thursday & Friday off) getting her things into boxes.  Not too bad. I did, however, manage to strain my back muscles and have found the last couple of days to be frustrating.  I never realized just how much I bend in the course of the day.
I did manage to get all but the last couple of rows on the buttonband completed for Samantha's sherbet cardi this weekend.  The last rows were completed at lunch today.  I can now seam, find buttons and get started on the mini version for her doll.  The one bad thing from all of my knitting progress?  I broke one of my #5 needles for my Denise set.  Luckily, I had a bamboo set of circulars to use, but they just weren't the same.  I'm going to need to order the replacement set soon, along with the 40" and 52" cords I saw on the order form.
I've been catching up on my blog reading and I'm starting to wonder about making a Charlotte, trying Kersti or Calmer, going for the Master Knitter program, my HTML skills and new digital cameras.  The beauty of the 'net is how it inspires you to go further outside of your box.

July 14, 2004

Making progress

Progress on so many fronts.

I managed to get the shoulder seams complete and one of the sleeves started over the weekend. I was knitting today at lunch and realized I didn't have my tool bag with me, so I'm missing the smaller needles I need to finish the cuff. Now I have nothing to do on the train home! I'll have finish it tonight and start the 2nd sleeve tonight.

Kim & I got off to a good start getting her packed up. Her original departure date was set for Aug 3rd. I'm still counting down to that date, so we're looking at 20 days left. I've got Thurs & Fri off and we're going to be packing fiends. She's going to move first and send for her stuff later. Good thing we don't use the garage for anything but storage.

Didn't get much done over the weekend except the packing and a Maroon5/John Mayer concert. Loved the concert. Interesting clothing choices all around us. Now, we're not fashion plates (not at our size), but we are fans of What Not to Wear and we hope we're a little more aware of the impressions we leave. Ahhh, the arrogance of youth.

July 09, 2004

So tired

Tonight is the last (yes, LAST) night of doing our paper route. Two years and roughly 130k papers later, we've had enough. We'll be able to sleep the night through instead of rising at 1:30am for 2 hours of late night (early morning?) deliveries. I've only just realized how it has severely curtailed my knitting. When you're averaging 5-6 hrs of sleep a night, knitting can get interesting.

I've made progress on the sherbet cardi for my soon-to-be-six niece. The back and fronts are complete. Now it's on to the sleeves. Microspun is wonderfully soft, but rather a pain to work with since it splits so easily. But it'll be worth it to see her realize she and her doll now have matching sweaters.

Gave Pam the little sweater & hat for her newest boy, Christopher. Mexicali Baby Ole. She absolutely loved it and had been secretly been hoping I would make him a hat. Now I just need to get the little kimono sweater over to our other niece for her firstborn.

Kim & I have a 10-mile walk tomorrow morning. PortlandFit. I've decided to pass on the Portland Marathon this year since I haven't been doing all of my training and my right foot is not doing great. I'm thinking 10 is the longest I'll go this year. I don't feel up to doing the 15, 18 and 21 mile walks this summer. When you average 3.75 mph, the longer walks really add up to long-a** times to be out on the roads. Besides, when she leaves for Chicago, who am I going to walk with?

July 08, 2004

Trying new look

Well, I'm trying to make modifications to the design and add elements I want (like progress bars on the current knitting projects). But I'm having difficulty seeing it when I save. It previews just fine, but perhaps my beginner status with HTML is coming into play here.


July 07, 2004

New Journey

Well, I've closed my eyes, drawn the requisite breath and taken the leap of faith into the unknown world of blogging.

So far, so good.

I'm hoping to keep family and friends up-to-date on the doings of my household, the projects I'm itching to complete to give as gifts (although I hope they can't figure out which gift to which person) and the general musings of my head and heart.

Let's hope they find it all worthwhile.