Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stash Airing

Hi Cindy!

I love the snowy pictures. They almost make me miss it until I realize just how cold it is there. Then I remember why I live here where it is sunny (most of the time) and warm (too much of the time). This week has been an exception to both of those. Sunday it rained all day, we had probably over an inch at our house and parts of the valley saw over 2 inches.

A lot of that rain is directed into the normally dry Indian Bend Wash in Scottsdaly and heads down stream to the Tempe Town Lake and on down the Salt River. Good for (naturally) recharging the aquifer. Unfortunately for some people roads go through Indian Bend Wash. Inattentive people have a tendancy to drive around barricades blocking it, thinking the water isn't that deep and they can get through. A flooded car is not uncommon and we see them every time it rains.

DH had another zazenkai this last Saturday so I had the whole day to my self. I spent it going through my stash, photographing most of it, and picking out the worst of the acrylic to send off for charity knitting at Tempe Yarn and Fiber. I ended up taking in two paper bags worth. It gave my stash a little breathing room. Over the next few weeks you'll see the pictures of the stash remains making their way onto my Ravelry page. Actually a few already have along with a couple of projects I also knit up over the weekend.

I love big bulky yarn for little projects like baby hats. This one is a version of the umbilical hat although I didn't knit the umbilical long and knot it. The yarn is just a little too bulky for that. Instead I just looped it back and stitched it down. It is pretty cute. The yarn is Big Baby by Muench Yarns. I've used this yarn before, in fact my friend Ash and I used it to knit our first project. For a baby shower gift for another friend we each knit squares (10 each) and then I joined them into a blanket. That was just over 2 years ago.

I also had two balls of the yarn in another color way and decided to knit them up into a small security blanket. I have to work in the ends yet on both pieces but they'll be all finished off in the next week or so. The baby shower is just 10 days off so it's time to make sure everything is done. I've started a pair of booties and finished the first one already. It's another stash project and I'll have pictures of it soon. It feels great to be working through the stash although I could knit just from it for a long time and not have to buy new yarn.

I'll have another post soon about the two interesting fibers I picked up the other day when I dropped off the charity yarn. I had gift checks to spend and they finally burned a hole in my wallet!

Take care, Stay warm and dry! Love, A

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Behind on blogging

Hi! Hope 2008 has been good to you so far. Here's a pic from one of those cold days with crystal blue skies. To be balanced, I should run out and take a picture of this morning: gray sky, 46F, mucky snow with brown grass exposed. More subzero on its way.

Things are going pretty well here. I'm declaring this year the year of clearing out at our house. We've been here since 1999 and some things haven't moved since we moved in. Now I want that space for other stuff, so look out ebay, goodwill, freecycle, etc! This is a good time of year for it.

I got an aquarium off craigslist and plan to set it up over the next few months with live plants, a new thing for me. I'd like to get into gardening more, having some herbs and maybe a lemon tree in the house but I'm not sure where we'd put them where they would be safe from feline "help."

DS lost his 1st tooth on Sunday, a long-awaited event. We went skating on Saturday: 1st time for DD, DH on his boots. I'm loving Ravelry and narrowly escaped signing up for the gardening equivalent (I'd be out of time for actual hobbies then :) Spinning is going well and the knitting too. Even dabbling in a bit of crochet on my freeform vest. Here are a couple of things I picked up in December for the vest.

Two nieces, the oldest and youngest on my side of the family, are getting married this year, one in Feb and one in Sept. My little sister's baby is adorable and will be one on Feb 16!

I feel like I've forgotten several things in my rush to catch up. Pictures of WIPs soon I hope. Love, Cindy

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Hi Cindy!

I've been a big ol' slacker on the blogging side of things lately. Mom sent me an email this morning of a citrus festival along the Italy-France border. I found this picture the most interesting of the bunch--a spinning wheel decorated with citrus! Pretty good sized too, those palm trees in the background are up to the second story of the building behind. Just think what size needles you'd need to knit something spun on this wheel!

Knitting-wise I've mostly been working on small projects that I can finish up in a day or two. I don't have a lot of attention for more. And it's been relatively cold so I only feel like sitting under a blanket with a warm cat on top of me. I did finish a bib over the weekend (no picture) and knit an i-cord necklace that I still want to felt. I'll post a picture of that when it's done.

Last week one of DH's coworkers had a birthday and he wanted to get her something. He found a candy cane air freshner that smelled really yummy and I knit a little gift bag to put it in. The yarn is a mohair(?) boucle that I got a partial ball of in a bag from Goodwill. It is a mix of pink, pale green, tan and a touch of lavendar. The ties are just a couple of lengths of Lion Brand Suede left from the hats I made for the twins during the first Knitting Olympics. It took me all day Sunday to knit it up since I was using size 4 needles and getting distracted by other things. I hope she liked it (he says she did) and that maybe she can find another use for it. It's hard to say with gifty knitting.

I was a bit disappointed with the outcome of Sunday's game. I even watched it which doesn't happen hardly ever. The disappointment came because my parents were going to come out for a visit if the outcome had been better. Not that they'd go to the game here but it would have been fun to have them out here with all the other cheeseheads. Same thing happened last time the Superbowl was here. This time it is on the other side of the valley from us.

In parting I leave you with a picture of a snuggy warm cat. She's decided that she really likes the space heaters we use and will plant herself right next to it if she can. She sits there for a while and then turns around so the other side gets toasty too. Barring that she'll burrow herself into or under a blanket. That's what she's done here. It's a good thing we don't live somewhere it get's really cold. Of course with her short hair she feels it easier than the others. And it's been running in the mid 60's in our house too. Brrrr!
Take care and stay warm! Love, A

Friday, January 18, 2008


Wow, January is zooming by. It's been such a snowy winter that we've been sledding and shovelling a lot but not skating yet. I've been spinning some, working on my gloves a little, working on my freeform vest (that's working up fast--blog post on that soon), playing on Ravelry, and planning my new aquarium. It'll be a used aquarium when I get it, which might be off craigslist this weekend. I've had fun looking there and on the local Freecycle list. Of course there's the usual family, home, and work responsibilities! ;) LOL, Sometimes I feel like I only tank about my hobbies!

The photo is of our backyard yesterday as we got another 3 inches. It's not piled up as much as it was because of the big melt we had at the beginning of the month.

The top from Susan's Spinning Bunny is excellent. I'm having another try at spinning singles. More on that soon too, love, Cindy

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What I've Been Up To

Hi Cindy,

I saw the bad weather that blew through there yesterday. Yikes! Thunderstorms and tornadoes in January, what's up with that? We had a goodly amount of rain yesterday, around half an inch, and today is back to sunny. Did you see the bus accident in Utah? It was headed from Telluride back to Phoenix and most of the people were from around town. Three of the kids that died were from one high school. How sad.

Here is my latest completed item. It took me just over an hour to complete. It is a single mini-mitten. Since we don't have much use for mittens here I thought I'd try a mini one to see how it went. It passes the Margi chew test, fits in her mouth just perfectly. Actually it is the perfect size for my thumb drive to fit in for carrying back and forth between work.

As you probably figured out I got my Ravelry invite on Saturday, just before we were due to leave for Ben's surprise 60th birthday. I ended up spending much of Sunday on it and have started to catalog my stash although I'm sure that will take weeks.

Here is a picture of Ben with his birthday cake. He played college football for Michigan State (hence the green football helmet) and then one year for the Washington Redskins, the year that Lomabardi coached them. Unfortunately for him he was drafted into the Marines that year and ended up in Viet Nam. He was wounded pretty badly there and has full disability because of it. He was one of my good bosses at MI and there were only 2 of them in the 14 years I was there.

I start my yoga class tonight. It is a Yoga Basics class which is good since it's been about 9 years since I took a formal class and did yoga regularly. I'll let you know tomorrow how sore I am from it.

Take care, stay warm and dry! A

Friday, January 4, 2008


Woohoo! I'm only a couple of days away from getting into the knitter's secret society-Ravelry. I've moved up to under 1000 and there are only 673 people in front of me.

While I'm waiting I'll take comfort in the fact that my house doesn't look like this ----------------->
even if my parents' house does.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I love this picture. It was posted the other day on I can has Cheezburger. I loved it so much I had to post it here. The cute face, the fuzzy fur, what's not to love?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hope your family had a happy and safe New Years eve and day. We were home by about 9:30 but there were still drunken crazies on the road at that time. Fortunately we avoided them and made it home in one piece. We heard the 10 pm fireworks from downtown Tempe but went to be about an hour before midnight. Yesterday we celebrated by changing the oil on the car, raking leaves in the back yard and cleaning the pool. Wow, excitement.

Here are a few pictures of my main stash areas although little bits extend into the front closet, the drawer in the buffet and something always rides with me to work even if I don't actually work on it.

The first picture is of the portion of the stash that is currently living in our bedroom. I really hate it there and would like to move it into the back bedroom so it can live with the rest of its friends. As you can see almost everything lives in plastic containers which probably don't give the fibers much breathing space. The good side is that the did keep the critters that infiltrated last year well contained so they didn't infect the entire stash. You probably haven't had much to worry about since you keep your stash in that lovely cedar chest.

Over the next few weeks I plan to go through the stash and cull some of the yarns that can happily go to charitable knitting. I don't really have time for much of that myself but my one LYS takes donations. I am also toying with the idea of knitting little swatches out of the ones that I keep and pinning them to some foam core. I'd like to knit them on the recommended needles so that I could have a starting estimate for gauge. I'll keep you posted on how far that goes.

As far as other New Year's Resolutions go, I generally don't make any that I write down. I more look at this time as a fresh start, time to renew my on-going improvement needs. I also like to have things started, or at least have them planned, before the holidays actually start. This year I am taking a yoga class on Tuesday nights, starting next week. We are also planning on trying to go on some kind of hike once a month. DH and I both need new hiking boots so this month's hike may be a super easy one, we'll see. DH is also going to buy a weight bench to put out on the back porch for us to use.

Take care, more soon, A

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy New Year, Alene! I always like the feeling of a fresh start. Hope you, your DH, and kitties have a good day! Do you make resolutions? I do but don't write them down or anything. Doing that last entry with my crafty ones certainly added weight to them in my mind. :)

Oh, and if I came off sounding holier-than-thou, I sure didn't mean to: in December, I bought a book, dpns, a crochet hook, and 2 skeins of yarn (the latter three items for my new vest project) at my LYS!! And a box of roving (8 oz. of little tornadoes dyed in many different colors). Easy to start 2008 off in control if I got well stocked in '07! Also I got my gorgeous wool from Spinning Bunny already.

Craftily yours, Cindy