Friday, August 29, 2008

I know I should be cleaning but...

I've been pretty quiet for the past week, but I haven't felt like saying much. Things aren't ok today, but it will get better.

Some good news is that I've lost a total of 4.5 pounds after being on Weight Watchers for 2 weeks. Ok, I probably shouldn't count last weekend when I was sick and didn't/couldn't eat ANYTHING for 2 days, but if that's what it takes, so be it. I searched online for something that weighs 4.5 pounds and found lots of puppies and kittens. Not really the image I'm going for with my comparisons. So a bit more digging in the cupboards and it appears that I've lost a little more than two boxes of Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Pancake Mix (the 32 oz size.) Woo hoo!!

Have you noticed the countdown clock?? I talked to The Parents about 45 min ago and they were almost to Lexington. Time to scrub toilets. Any volunteers??

Sunday, August 24, 2008


"Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going."
--Tennessee Williams

Friday, August 22, 2008

We Lost a Friend Today

This afternoon I got a phone call and several e-mails telling me that Susan passed away this morning. She had been battling cancer since the day I met her. Even though Susan wasn't part of my life for very long, she was a friend.

Susan was the co-founder and foundation of our prayer shawl ministry at church. There are a lot of things I'd like to say about my brief friendship with Susan but there's one conversation we had that I will always remember. We were at church devouring a new yarn catalog. She was trying to decide on patterns and yarn for afghans for her daughters. She was looking for a pattern that would knit up quickly because "I don't have a lot of time." She wanted her girls to have beautiful, comforting afghans made by their mom. Afghans that they could hug when they are away at college and in the hospital having babies.

It wasn't long after that conversation that the cancer began attacking with greater force. I don't know if the afghans ever got done.

Wednesday night dinner and knitting at church won't be the same.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Coming Clean

I really have too much yarn and fiber. Seriously.

I went looking for the guest room this evening and ran into a wall of fiber. I don't normally heat and cool the guest room unless I'm going to use it for an extended period. Therefore, the door is typically closed. This is a problem. When the door is closed, I can't see all the fiber in the room. Put more fiber in, close the door, and *poof* it's all okay....until your parents call and say they're coming to visit. I'm not going to shut the door any more. I need to keep my eye on things. There must be some weird reproducing going on when I'm not around. Surely I didn't purchase all that, did I?

I have issues.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

4 Sticks of Butter

It seems that I have misplaced 4 sticks of butter this week. Yes, folks, I lost one pound in my first 5 days on Weight Watchers!

I think it's more "real" if I equate the weight lost with an actual item that I can see and hold. Four sticks of butter is pretty real and when I think that that amount of weight is now out of my body, I'm ready to lose more. I'm not going to call this a diet, this is a change in behavior...for life! Next weigh-in: Thursday. Wish me luck! I promise not to turn this blog into a weight loss obsession...I'll get back to the fiber obsession in my next post.

Oh, and Mom and Dad are coming to visit over Labor Day weekend. They'll be here in 15 days. Am I freaking out? Yep. It's time to stash the stash.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Three Gallons of Milk to Spare

I made the move on Saturday and joined Weight Watchers. This past winter/spring was not kind to me and I added some weight that I just can't seem to shake off. I don't think I changed anything, but for some reason my metabolism. just. stopped. I put on a pair of slacks and had to take a bit of a breath to get them zipped and decided enough was enough.

Maybe some day I'll post my starting weight, but I'm not ready to take it that far yet. However, I will update you weekly on my progress. Thursday is my weigh-in day so I plan to post the results each day. This week I'm not expecting much because I joined on Saturday and didn't get my profile created and base weight entered until Sunday night. Plus it's taking me some time to get comfortable with the points tracking. But, hey, if I can shed even a half a pound (that's 2 sticks of butter, how gross sounding is that?) I'll be happy.

My goal is 25 pounds (that's 3 gallons of milk). Why would anyone want to carry around an extra three gallons of milk? I picked up a gallon tonight at the grocery store and was completely mortified at how much it weighed...and I'm carrying three of them all the time. Well, folks, that's over. It's time for a change. Wish me luck and, if you're so inclined, join me!

Can I add resistance to the treadles of my spinning wheel so I'll burn more calories?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday Rambler

Have you ever lost a camera? I love this site: Found Cameras and Orphan Photos. What a great idea! New photos are posted each Thursday. It's a bit voyeuristic and somewhat creepy, yet fun.
I forgot to mention another favorite website yesterday, Paradise Fibers. Click on the link that's over on the right (your other right, Mary). Good stuff. I purchased some raw sari silk from them several months ago and am spinning it up with some wool that I darn near felted hand dyed last spring.

Last Saturday I joined about a dozen other Nashville spinners for a couple hours of spinning, show and tell, impromptu workshops and just plain fun. It was my first time to be able to join them. A super talented group! I wish they met more often than once a month. Only 12 times a year just isn't very much. But schlepping a wheel around every weekend could be problematic, as in not getting anything else done. I suck at names but here are a few of the Ravelry folks I can remember: qltann, fibergroupie, agileknitter (showed off her latest sock pattern....KILLER). If you're one of my 7 subscribers and you were spinning on Saturday, drop me a line and I'll add you to my list.

Then on Monday, I went to the Nashville Public Library to knit during lunch. The knitting group meets the second Monday of the month from 12 to 2. (Revisit the only 12 times a year woe.) Again, a great showing from Ravelry: sampoulter, tngardengirl, tnknitter, putasockonit. There were quite a few more, but alas...names escape me. What didn't escape me was the preview of a new cardigan that's from the Mason-Dixon knitting book "Outside the Lines" (to be released in mid-Sept...pre-order a copy NOW). The cardigan is absolutely gorgeous. I got to try it on but I had to give it back. We all tried it on. What a treat! It's going on the book tour this fall/winter.

I am so humbled to be knitting/spinning in such amazing company. Where have you guys been all this time? Ain't Ravelry great??

Monday, August 11, 2008

Links and Stuff

It's late so I'm going to keep this short. I'm going to try to not get sucked into the Olympics tonight. I didn't sign up for the knitting olympics this time around...once every four years is enough, thank you very much. But I do tend to over dose a wee bit and it's especially gruelling when the Games are on the other side of the world and the events are live right now. Did you see the 4x100 men's swimming relay last night?? Wait wait wait...I'm not going to get sucked in. Seriously.

I promised some friends that I'd post a run down of some of my favorite online shops for yarn and spinning fiber.

High Prairie Fibers -- Unfortunately, at the time of posting, they are sold out of Ugly Batts. Check the site often, they only have so many on hand. These are a blast to spin, you never know what you're going to get. I ordered 3 pounds a couple weeks ago. There is a bit of VM to pick/shake out, but it's worth it.

Webs or -- It's almost too simple, isn't it? I order from them quite a bit. Great selection of yarn and most is discountable. I ordered most of yarn for Zack's afghan from Webs and probably saved 40-50%.

Another good yarn site is Elann. They carry a lot of close-out yarns so if you see something that you have to have, order it. Don't wait. It might not last. Also, check out their "Sneak Peak" link to see what's coming up. You can ask them to send you a reminder when a certain yarn is about to go I've done for the yummy thick/thin wool that goes on sale tomorrow.

I also order quite a bit from KnitPicks. Their undyed yarns are what I use most often as a base for the yarns I sell on Etsy.

And finally, don't be shy about checking out the local Goodwill stores for good yarn that has been knit up into a bad sweater. I have rescued lots of good yarn this way...cashmere, angora, wool. I shy away from mohair because it's a bitch to frog. With a little patience and a seam ripper, you can come up with a good amount of very useable yarn. Ravelry has a group that has all sorts of info on how to frog a sweater, what to look for, etc.

I apologize for the lack of photos. No excuse, just lazy.

Phelps is getting ready to swim again...I really need to turn off the TV, but this guy is unbelievable. He won a gold medal less than an hour ago and he's competing again. Has anyone checked him for webbed feet and gills?

Friday, August 1, 2008

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

I didn't knit as much as I would have liked for a couple reasons. First, it was pretty humid in Florida (bad combo with yarn). Second, our condo neighbor was a smoker.

I knew we were in trouble the minute we got out of the car and started unloading the car. We didn't even have the trunk open when the guy next door started asking where we were from and how long we were staying. We didn't even have the key in door to the condo and we already knew he was from Dothan and that his uncle owned the condo they were in. We were in for a long week.

The guy was about 85 years old, weighed about 120 pounds and smoked like a chimney. He sat on the front porch all day long and smoked. But who could blame him? He and his wife were accompanied by their three grandsons...ages 4 to 8. Good grief.

I knew my morning ritual had to be altered so instead of taking a cup of coffee and my knitting out on the porch each morning, I took a cup of coffee and a book, and I read. I hated to seem unneighborly, but by the first evening, I already knew that he'd had 8 operations, what prescriptions he was taking and what he could and couldn't do while at the beach. I'd walk out onto the porch, say a polite good morning and dive into the pages of "World Without End." It was my only way of escaping.

The mornings were spent rather peacefully. There was a nest of mourning doves and they provided a nice melodic cooing that was only interrupted each 4 minutes by the flick of a bic cigarette lighter. Dude could suck back some butts!

Like I said, I didn't knit much, but I devoured "World Without End" by Ken Follett. I highly recommend the book. It's set in the 1300s in England. (It's been years since I've written a book report.) The main characters are a builder and a nun who battle serfdom, the plague and the priory. It takes place about 200 years after Follett's "Pillars of the Earth", which is about cathedral building. (That's another great book that I highly recommend.)