Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some time last week a kind of strange comment showed up in my inbox. It was an offer to preview a new knitting novel.


The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club
by Gil McNeil
set to be released March 10th.
Click on the image to see the Amazon listing

Well, as most of you know, I don't usually read fiction, so my initial reaction was to delete the email and move on sorting through the daily influx of communications. However, as my mouse hoovered near the delete key, I thought of all of you.

Just because this book doesn't peak my interest, doesn't mean that there aren't a good number of people out there who are ready to add it to their reading list. So, I emailed the publicist and told her to send me a copy. I got it yesterday.

I figured this could be win-win-win scenario. One of you wins the book (and the opportunity to read it before anyone else you know.) The author still gets her book mentioned on my blog (sans ranting.) And. . . well, what do I get? Ah, that is where the contest comes in.

Here is how it is going to work:

  • To enter the drawing leave a comment with suggestion(s) of NON-fiction books you think I might like.
  • Each book suggestion counts as one entry.
  • You may enter as many times as you want (you may leave one comment with several book titles, or several comments with one book title, what ever floats your boat.)
  • I will hold a random drawing of each entry to choose a winner.
  • If you suggest the same title as another person or persons and I draw that title (with your name attached to it) then I will hold another drawing from all the entries with that title. (This is to inspire you to think of titles that I may have never heard of, as of yet.)
  • Below these rules there will be a widget listing some of my favorite non-fiction books as well as some that I all ready intend to read. None of these titles will be accepted as an entry, so take a quick peek at them. (This is to help you get a bit of an idea as to what I like to read- and, frankly, I don't get much benefit if I just get suggestions of books I've all ready read- yeah, I'm picky that way :)
  • Entries should be left on this post only and I will leave it open to entries until Sunday, the 1st of February at 5:00pm PST.
OK, I think that about covers it. I can't wait to see what interesting new titles I will be adding to my list for this year. I plan on a lot more reading time after June, you know!!!


Friday, January 23, 2009


Keiauni has given me blog fodder that my brain can deal with.

1) Post Rules on your blog
2) Answer the six "8" items
3) Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving them a comment

8 favorite TV shows:
Medium (waiting for it to start up again)
That 70's show (reruns)
Supernatural (the Duke's favorite)
that's it. . . there just aren't eight items in this particular set.

8 things I did yesterday:
Took Maggie to the vet (ear infection)
Called my doctor to ask them to re-fax my physical report to the adoption agency (who lost it)
Went with Little Sir to pre-school
Took a short nap
Went to the gym
Made Won Tahn soup for dinner
Went to a Pampered Chef party and visited with great friends
Knit and surfed the web

8 things I look forward to:
Our trip to Belize in June
Getting "the" adoption call
Meeting our birth parents and new baby
The Resurrection (don't laugh, my body is seriously messed up)
My Mom coming to visit next month
Finishing a sweater I'm working on
Being Skinny again:) (I'm with you on this one Keiauni)

8 favorite restaurants:
Royal Palm (Thai)
5 Spot (Breakfast only)
Saltoro (NW cuisine)
Red Mill (Best Burgers on the planet)
Palisades (NW/ Pacific cuisine)
The Soup Kitchen (in SLC)
Mehak (Indian)

8 things on my wish list:
A happy little brother
A calm little sister
Jobs for Sonya and Miles
A break for Lucy and Rudy
A day off to spend with my girlfriends
A clean house
A full night of sleep
A massage, a pedicure, and a haircut

8 people I tag:
I'm tagging anyone who is described by any of the eight following adjectives

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Is it too late for resolutions? OK, how about goals?

I have decided that I don't like commercial socks. I always want to wear my hand knit socks and I get grumpy when they are all dirty (which is most of the time- laundry is not one of my strengths.)

So, there is only one thing to do.

I gathered up all the sock yarn in my yarn closet.

Yes, ALL of it (some of it needs to be over dyed before it's serviceable. That pink is a lot worse than it looks- think Barbie meets bubble gum.)

Even the "red-headed step-child" projects.

I spent some time on Ravelry. My que is full.

The tally is enough yarn and enough patterns for 20 pair of socks.

What do you think? Twenty pairs of socks in a year? Well, we'll see. At least I'm ready. . .

I think I've got a pretty good start. . . (I've always kind of liked red-heads, you know!)




The pattern is my own. I just started knitting a basic sock and then every inch I switched to a different stitch pattern. It was fun and kept things interesting. (That seems kind of funny to say, considering the first sock sat mate-less for several months.) The yarn is Socks That Rock lightweight in color Rooster Rock.

I also got started on pair #3 for the year (and not even February yet!) Nutkin in the sock yarn we died while I was in Utah last month. I'm loving them all ready!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blazing Neeldes

While I was in Utah my Mom and Sister were excited to introduce me to their new LYS, and after a few minutes in the shop, it was pretty clear why.


Blazing Needles is a delightful, beautifully arranged and decorated shop. It is in a lovely restored old house, complete with fireplaces (yes, two of them.) They have a felting closet, a welcoming space for knitters to enjoy themselves, and although it was covered with snow at the time, a "knitting garden" in their backyard.


Their stock, at first, seem limited to me, but I soon realized that it was well thought out and maintained. Instead of carrying a few colors of many different yarns, they stock most if not all of the colors in each of the lines they showcase in the shop. The yarns they have chosen to carry represent both fine yarns and work horse yarns. They include Cascade, Fleece Artist, ShiBui, O Wool and Koigu among others.


They have beautiful models knit up and on display and a lovely coffee and tea table set out to make you feel at home.

So, you are asking, what did I buy. . . Oh, well, let me tell you.

It has been sometime now that I have been inspired by any of the yarns typically seen in LYSs. So when I happened across Shepherd's Wool at Blazing Needles, I was giddy with that new yarn love euphoria!


People, this is melt your heart away soft, bouncy, dreamy, Merino wool. It's worsted weight, 250 yards, lots of beautiful colors and Blazing Needles is one of the few stores that carries it ($9.75 per skein- for those who are interested.)

And now that I have purchased two sweaters worth of this amazing wool, I thought I would share my new found delight with all of you.
Why yes, I do know their contact info!

1365 S 1100 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
(801) 487-5648
info - at -

But wait, don't go away quite yet. I have another treasure from Blazing Needles to share.

The Duke and I collect Raku pottery. (If you are interested, read about the western technique, which all of our pieces are, although we would love to own a Japanese piece someday.) As we were chatting with the owner, Claudia, and she told us about her son's "yarn bowls" that he sells in the shop. She directed me toward the last one that was left, and upon picking it up I exclaimed with glee, "It's Horsehair Raku!" The Duke and I have long admired Horsehair Raku (yes, it uses real hores hair) but have never had the opportunity to aquire a piece. It is an unheard of experience that the Duke is as excited about a yarn store purchase as I am, but it happened with this lovely purchase.
Roman, the artist (and Claudia's son) is a student at Westminster College and sells these yarn bowls (so called because of the notch he has cut into them to guide the yarn out of the bowl) at Blazing Needles, as if I didn't love them enough all ready!!!


Isn't it stunning?

Thanks Mom and Princess P for taking me to such a delightful yarn store. I expect there will be many more fun excursions to my new favorite Utah yarn shop.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sweet Slip Socks

The Slip Stitch Cable Socks by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott from the Little Box of Sock Patterns.
Socks that Rock- A Rare Gem Colorway
Size US 1 Needle, Magic Loop, Two at a time.
LUV them!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Some Knititng

The return of the Chorea, of course, means even less knitting than usual, as the weakness and soreness it causes aren't friendly for knitting.

Luckily, as of today the progesterone levels in my body seem to have dropped sufficiently and I am tired, but feeling better. Thank you to everyone who has offered support/ advise. I'm a strange case, that is for sure. You see, I would love to use a non-hormonal form of b/c, but that isn't an option, unfortunately, as I have (suspected) endometriosis and need some level of hormones to control that. Before I got pregnant that wasn't a problem, but now my body seems to have become overly sensitive to even low levels of progesterone, so it's tricky. We need to find a way to get me a high enough dose to control my periods, but low enough that it won't trigger the chorea.
So, after a giving my body a few days to recover, the next step is to try a Nuva Ring to see if a localized dose will hopefully NOT result in the stuff also effecting my brain.

Now, isn't that way more than you ever wanted to know about another person's reproductive health (or lack thereof.)

Well, to make up for it, here is a WIP photo of the socks I am working on.


They are the Slip-Stitch Cable Socks from The Little Box of Socks. (ravelry) I took this yarn with me to Utah and then looked through the Queen's voluminous sock pattern library for a pattern that I thought would go well with the colorway. (BTW- it's STR-lightweight, a rare gem- purchased at OFFF.)
This is the first time I have ever knit two socks at the same time on magic loop. I've knit two sleeves this way before, and just thought they dragged when done together, but I have been suffering, as-of-late, from some Second Sock Syndrome problems, so I decided that I would have to force myself to knit them at the same time. It actually isn't too bad. They are smaller than sleeves and have the heel to break it up, so they are going pretty fast (well, taking into consideration that I haven't really been able to knit for a week or so.)
I'm happy with them.


You like to knit with small needles, do you?

Check this out. . .

crazy awesome amazing.

This is one film I will make a point of seeing (not in a theater, but never-the-less, I will see it.)

Be sure to scroll through some of the other short films, they are all very interesting.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

February Lady and December Family

So my stealth knitting is revealed with possibly the worst FO pictures of all time.


The kiddos were just too darn cute and I forgot to get a photo of the Princess in her new sweater.


See, who can think about photographing sweaters when these two have the charm turned up?


Maybe she will get PBTB to take a picture of her in it and post it to her blog (hint hint!) It looks beautiful on her, and as she is hardly showing yet (at 24 weeks- sickening!) it is clear that it will look great on her after little ET is born.

Our trip to Utah for Christmas and New Years was on the higher end of the stress meter than we would have liked. It involved 8 hours in a plane (for a flight that should only take 2 hours,) two trips to the emergency room (none for our little family, W and Grandma are just accident prone,) as well as the usual stress of trying to make sure everyone feels like we are spending enough time with them (which we are never successful at, but not for lack of trying.)

We did enjoy seeing the Duke's oldest brother, his wife and their kids very much. It is the first time their two younger kids have ever been to Utah and it was a lot of fun to get to spend time with them.

And of course, getting to see my cousins and their kids and letting W and Little Sir "bond" was a highlight.

Readjusting to our daily routine has been proving difficult. Little Sir quickly grew accustom to haveing someone entertain him, play with him, hold him, and otherwise dote on him all the time. Now he thinks that I should fulfill this role. We have been having a lot more tantrums than normal. A few more days and we should be good, though.

Back to school for me was depressing. I thoroughly enjoyed my weeks off, but knowing I only have three classes to go gives me hope and keeps me going.

Lastly, we are currently experiencing a brief repeat of the 2007 nightmare. After weaning Little Sir it was time for me to find out what effect birth control pills would have on my now overly sensitive body. I was good through phase one, but upon starting phase two the muscle aches returned and tonight (day 13 or 14) the Chorea has returned. It isn't anything near the horribleness of the end of my pregnancy, but it is enough to keep me from sleeping. Needless to say, I will be visiting my doctor to discuss other options. Ah life. . .