Thursday, March 30, 2006

So much better ...

Nothing like a neat and orderly place to knit, huh?! Isn't this much better?

Like I said, "I'm on a roll" ... Now it's on to the bedroom. I ordered a cedar lined bench to replace both the bookcase and an easy chair that I've had in there and I still have to pull out what's under the bed. Who knows, I might have more there in the way of stash rather than dust bunnies.
Do you think?

Do you see the blue sweater I'm working on? Knitting the cable front bands right now. So it's back to my knitting until the bench arrives ....
Knitting on!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Work is getting in the way ...

Ah whoa is me... I have to go to work every day and that takes me away from home for 10 hours a day. There's just no energy left in me by the time I get home to continue with the clean-up and organizing project. But is that a bad thing? Maybe I need some down-time anyway? I do get the chance to knit on a small project while traveling to & from work on the train. Usually it's a sock that I have in my bag. I find that a simple toe-up on two circular needles is the best project to travel with. Interesting enough to keep me awake, but not too much concentration is needed so as to get me into trouble. I also knit in the morning for at least one hour since I get up around 4:00 or 4:30 am ... giving me some "sitting down" work time while I'm having my morning coffee. I'm still working on my cable cardigan sweater. Got the sleeves blocking while I knit the collar and front bands. Starting to feel the excitement of finishing it in time to wear ... maybe next week ... hope so ... before it gets too warm to wear wool.

This morning, I finally moved some knitting "tools-of-the-trade" to my nice clean work area in the basement. Looks and works great! They've been in the bedroom hanging out and getting in the way, but it was the most convenient place before the major cleanup was done. Now I have room and the swift folds in to keep out the way when not in use. See the nice soft alpaca yarn in grey for the scarf I plan to knit for DH's birthday in September? I should let him know that I knit for his enjoyment also ...

The next thing to do is move my WIP basket downstairs and get the area around my comfy easy chair cleaned up ... so I can at least not be too embarrassed to have company over [even if it might make it harder for me to find my necessary STUFF]. But I'm working on organizing that too. There's a blank wall next to my chair and I want a bookcase to go right there. Perfect for those reference books I like to keep at hand! They always end out on the floor, but I won't have an excuse if I have a bookcase to put them in. Right? Okay we'll see. I guess I could move my bookcase from the bedroom and THEN put a nice CEDAR storage chest in it's place in the bedroom. For all those FINISHED projects. Right?
Now I have my thinking cap on ... and I'm on a roll! Look ... isn't this awful?
To show you this picture is to show you how committed I am to regrouping my workspace! BTW, that ole chair is my $25.00 yard sale purchase from the History Society Group (or some such society). Needs recovering but it oh so comfortable.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Am I finished yet?

As you've seen in the previous post, I haven't followed the advise of this cross stitch on a regular basis. Even tho it's hanging on my wall and I did the cross stitch myself. It's not embedded into my brain yet. Ah well ... I keep trying. But a neat-nic, I'm not!

Okay, I finally did get serious yesterday and started my organizing scheme. Not that this book helped me much {can you IMAGINE? ... this book really is a part of my library?} and I didn't even drink the bottle of wine sitting next to it either. Nooooo, really I didn't! I just put it there for looks. Ah come on, of course I didn't drink it. Okay, I'll prove it. Here are the pictures of my work area all organized cleaned up and ready for my next sewing project. I'm so proud of it.
I bet you think I just covered up that mess I had on those shelve, right? Okay, I'll open the curtain ... and look ... an empty shelf! Fourth shelf from the bottom on the left. Small books can go there and I know just the books.... it'll be filled by tonight, LOL.
No more empty shelf and then there's the area behind the bookcases. That's where I iron & block my work. Notice my "story board"... when I'm working on something that isn't completed but it's blocked or when I have pieces that need to be arranged before I put them together, they go on my story board. I step back & make my decisions after looking at it for awhile. Or just decorate the board and it covers up what's behind it, LOL.

Here's an idea to use when organizing [as well as keeping a record of those swatches]. I knit up the 4 inch swatch, wash & block and then staple the yarn's label to the back with the needle size & gauge I got. It's now a permanent record that I might even print a picture of what I make, laminate the picture and tie it with the swatch. I will then get a binder with plastic sleeves to put the swatch & picture in. Here are pictures of the front & back of the first one I did...

And where do I keep my Stash... either in a plastic bin or a hat box with cedar chips. I need to find my easy chair and some knitting now. That's where my knitting supplies like needles, holders, etc. are kept. M-m-m-m, as a matter of fact, I need to make that my next clean-up and organize project.
When will it end?

Well, no more energy to clean... or talk about it. Time to do some Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Organize? So where do I START?!!

JulieLoves2Knit had a good idea to get organized this weekend and since we both had the same idea at the same time [great minds are known to "think alike"] I'm going to show both before and after pictures. So I better start with some "before" pictures so you & I will know what I have to deal with here. This is NOT a wimpy job. Nor is it a job for the wimpy. This weekend will be the basement to be tackled or at least the bookcase in the sewing area. But before I start posting the "before" pictures, I should post the picture of the ONE bookcase I have already gotten organized. Like Julie, I put all of my magazines & patterns from the Internet into binders with labels to identify what is in which binder. I also tried to store each craft on it's own shelf... but knitting & crochet did get a shelf together for the binders. Okay, so you'll know what I mean, here's the picture... Hey, that REALLY is neat & organized! You should have seen it before I started a MONTH ago. There's a close- up of my binders below ...

Now this doesn't even show you the bookcase where all of my knitting books are kept ... but that's another area I'll get to later. I do list all my books in
That's one of my organizing suggestions, Julie.
A major one ... before I buy any new books, I check my library/inventory on my knitting books in to see if I don't already have it. As you see, I have so many books, it's very easy to forget that I already have it [somewhere]. It's saved me a duplicate purchase a few times already. This bookcase contains most of my magazine binders and books on crochet, embroidery and cross-stitch.

Now for the bookcase I'm organizing TODAY. It contains crafting supplies along with books on quilting & sewing. Maybe even a few other misc. subjects. Here's some pictures ...

So I guess I better get busy, huh?

But before I do, here's one more picture... it's of the postcards my friend, Samantha from Florida makes. She's a quilter and has gotten into designing and making the fabric postcards. Aren't they neat?
Just like "little pieces of art"! ...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My stash is taking over ....

Picture Blogger is working, Yippy! So now I can post my stash for the whole world to see. Yicks!!

While I was working on one of the sweaters I'm presently knitting, I thought maybe I could show a small section of my Stash. The stash that is taking over every nook & cranny of my house that is. Some of it has been kind enough to stay in hiding, but others have jumped out where they can be seen.. And they're not sitting there in an orderly fashion either. This is getting so bad that I'm writing about it now so that it'll encourage me to do something about it this weekend. Sooo.......

This weekend is clean up and get organized weekend!

Yup, I have better places to hide some of this stash than next to my bed mind you. And the bookcases are getting out of control as well. Books are ending out on the floor next to my living room chair and on the kitchen table. I know I need another bookcase ... but that will only happen after I've organized every other bookcase to show that I really do need another bookcase. Who knows, I might find I have more room than I thought ... LOL, I DOUBT it, but I won't know until I do something about this "take over" right? But what I'm afraid of is that my DH will start telling me to get rid of some of my books ... not that he doesn't ALREADY say, "Hey, how about getting rid of some of this STUFF?" and he's looking right at the culprits taking over the living room. Some times I just pretend that I don't hear him. And other times I glare back with a dirty look ... but it's MY stuff and it stays right where it is. But sometimes he's right. [did I just say that?]

Besides, I'm thinking I just might have better luck at convincing my kids to come down for a cookout in May & then helping us put up a new ceiling, floor & walls with storage shelves in our basement office/sewing room. If I have the basement cleaned up, organized & ready for a "new beginning" ... well, my kids are good, wonderful, loving children and would help us anyways ... but I would be less embarrassed if everything was in order. I would just love to have it done by this summer!

I should take some before & after pictures of the basement. If the before pictures don't convince me to do it, nothing will. Ah, my inner soul wants so much to be organized ... until I see my yarn & needles sitting there waiting for me to pick them up and knit something to wear ... for anyone to wear ....

Hey this doesn't include what I have under the bed and in storage bins in the basement. Shhhh, don't tell anyone okay?

Monday, March 20, 2006

More on my Great-Grand Daughter ...

Doesn't she look like her Mom, Amber?

I'm looking forward to holding the new baby also, but it'll have to wait a couple of weeks. Turns out that next weekend she might be with her other Grandmother in Laconia since my daughter's youngest has come down with Chicken Pox. Poor Nana Heidi, has her hands full ... but a new baby can't be around chicken pox for a few weeks. Here are a couple of pictures of the new little wee one taken at the hospital. My daughter, Jayden's Nana is feeding her in the 2nd picture. Heidi & Jeremy are the youngest Grandparents I know now!
What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars worth of pleasure.
~Gene Perret~

Grandparents never have children, only grandchildren.
~Gore Vidal~

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.
~Ogden Nash~

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.
~Marcy DeMaree~

Grandmas' never run out of hugs or cookies!
~Author Unknown~

Grandmas' hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.
~Author Unknown~

If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first.
~Lois Wyse~

My grand kids believe I'm the oldest thing in the world. And after two or three hours with them, I believe it, too.
~Gene Perret~

My Grandmother is over eighty and still doesn't need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.
~Henny Youngman~

Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old.
~Mary H. Waldrip~

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your Grandmother.

An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again. Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly.
~Gene Perret~

The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby's grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida.
~Dave Barry~

Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love.
~Author Unknown~

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.
~Alex Haley~

A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside.
~Author Unknown~

One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a Grandfather.
~Joy Hargrove~

It's amazing how grandparents' seem so young once you become one.
~Author Unknown~

Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a Grandmother.
~G. Norman Collie~

Grandparents' are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren.
~Author Unknown~

A Grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween.
~Author Unknown~

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.
~Welsh Proverb~

Friday, March 17, 2006

Rhonda is Bamboo ... what are you?

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are bamboo.Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You love the craft and beauty of traditional things, and you value the comfort and experience of knitting as much as the results. But while you are reveling in your warm cozies, don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is the whole wide world!
Take this quiz!

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

It's a girl!

At 3:30 am today on 3/16/2006, I became a first-time GREAT-Grandma to a beautiful little girl, Jayden Mayo. She weighed in at 6 lbs 6 oz. Mother and child are doing find.

No pictures yet ... but I hope to go up New Hampshire to visit next weekend. Maybe her Mom will send me a picture before I get there. If she does ... I'll post it here.

Well ... back to my knitting!
Here's the picture ....Isn't she BEAUTIFUL!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I still working and knitting ...

But I'm deep in a few WIP's so I'll just post my last pair of socks ... that I wear whenever I can because they are my favorites. The yarn I bought in the Netherlands when I was there last July. I just love the colors, but it's the way that they fit that I love so much. Well I'm keeping this short, so I can go back to knitting my next pair of socks.

BTW, have you ever noticed how hard it is to take pictures of your own feet wearing socks? [Especially when you're trying not to show how you haven't shaved your legs in awhile. LOL]

Later gators!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

My computer had a Hiccup!

Since I wrote my Sunday entry 4 times and each time getting an "Error", I split my blog entry in two parts.

I got up real early this morning and was greeted by this beautiful flower in my dining room and I sat there to do a little cross stitch piece for my friend Sammie's birthday gift package. I started & finished it before 7:00 am and now it goes into her birthday box for April.

It's a beautiful weekend so I'm going to sit outside with my knitting and watch the crocus pop up!

See the next entry for the finishing of my bamboo scarf/shawl ...

What's a Scarf/Shawl?

I finished it! It just fits around my neck and a little over my shoulders if I wanted. I hung it on the plates next to my cross stitched picture to give you an idea of the size. It still looks bigger in the picture than what it really is. But I still like it. I tried the I-cords and I not only decided I wouldn't have enough of the bamboo yarn, but the weight & size of even a 2 stitch I-cord just wasn't right for this little shawl ... so I did the fringe.

As you'll see in the next two pictures, this yarn has a tendency of come unravelled. So I tied the ends with a little knot. Tying each strand also gave it a little weight on the ends, I think. I'll save the I-cords for another scarf ... a soft fuffy DK or sport weight yarn would work best I think. Meg Swensan shows how it's done in her & Elizabeth Zimmerman's Glossary DVD. I've added I-cord around the bottom of a hat once and it was just what was needed. Thanks to that DVD.

In the end, I'm happy with my summer scarf!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Already thinking Summer ...

Almost done with my little scarf/shawl for the Summer [to keep air-conditioned cold air off my neck]. I've put the Royal 100% Bamboo yarn into it. It's small, although it seems a lot bigger in this picture. I fit all the stitches that I could hold on the big needles that I had, and then bound off. But I don't think I'm finished yet! This is one of those projects that you JUST KNOW that it needs something more. Maybe fringe (??) ... but I'm thinking "Mini- Icords." Wouldn't my friend, Paula just die if I included Icords? Might be just what it needs ... any other ideas?

The Irish Hiking Scarf is finished.

BTW, in case you've notice in previous posts that I've referred to it as an Irish Walking Scarf on occasion; note that my "hiking" days are over and you might see we walking with this scarf, LOL, but not hiking.

Oh ... and all that other blue & yellow yarn? The blue will go into a cardigan [with cables running up the sides & around the collar] from the book Classics Knit for Real Women. The yellow is KnitPicks Merino Style Honey and will go into a sleeveless top from the same book to go under the cardigan.

Oh the plans keep coming ....

For the friends who asked what the other side of the knitted rug looked like. I lined it with pre-washed flannel and then tied the top to the flannel with yarn ... just like a tied quilt. Makes the rug more absorbent and soft to step on.

Hmmmm, felt nice when I used it this morning....

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Knitting never ends ...

I hung the knitted rug up now that it's blocked and dried. Gives a nice bright touch to the bath area don't you think? This will be our winter rug. A friend made a quilted bath bath mat for us to use during the summer. I like that also .... thanks Sammie!

Here's the Irish Walking Scarf in progress only 2 days ago. Just finally downloaded the picture because now it's on the blocking board as you see below. The color looks different only because of the lighting. It's really more like the 'in-progress' picture. I like the blue and plan to make a cardigan to go with it. I'll show you the pattern later. Paula suggested I also make a headband to go with it ... thanks a lot Paula, good idea.

So I'll be working on two sweaters at one time. Have I become obsessed or what?

Happy knitting!

Monday, March 06, 2006

A hiking we shall go, a hiking we shall go ...

Almost done with the Irish Hiking Scarf from
I think I might try their Besotted Scarf next. In grey for DH might be nice. Only alpaca for him, since he doesn't like wool. I know, I know ... can't imagine being married to someone that doesn't like wool, but I've been there in the past when wool really was scratchy and I didn't like it much either. I need to cure him of that. In fact, he doesn't know it but a few years back I had knit him a double-knit scarf out of a wool blend. He's never complained about it and even says it's his very warmest while he wears it when shoveling snow.

Okay, maybe I can sneak some wool to him again. A soft Merino perhaps. Or a really nice blend like Andean Silk from KnitPicks. I'll plan it for his birthday which is in September and he'll be all ready for next winter.

I'm also working on two more projects for a total of three. I guess it's safe to say, "I've recovered from the 2006 Knitting Olympics."

A summer cotton blend sweater for me made from KnitPick's Shine and a scarf/shawl knit from Royal's 100% Bamboo for me also. I'm planning to spoil myself for a change.

This year, it's ... I'm serious ...
"knit for Rhonda" year!

Sweaters, socks, scarves, hats ....

Sunday, March 05, 2006

On the mend ... or call it Zen

Now that the knitting Olympics is over, I'm ready to do something that is totally Zen. Peaceful. No mindful complications - just quite knitting. Okay, what to do, what to do?

I decided on a scarf with cables. I've never done cables before but I was reassured that it was easy.... and for once, they're right. It's easy. Thanks to Shelley for leading me in the direction for a nice pattern. Should be done in a few days.

I also decided to finish up on an on-going project I've been working on since before Christmas. I'm using up left over acrylic Red Heart yarns for a knitted bath rug. So today I got it done! DH tried to snatch it up for his side of the bed. Guess I should make another one for him, huh ...

Okay, what do I use the left over yarn from the Andean Treasure Vest for? If I wait too long, I'll put it away and forget about it. The yarn is too nice to forget about, so I knitted up two little utility bags. Not one but two! One's a birthday gift [along with the little doll sitting next to it] for my friend Sammie. The other bag is for me. Just the right size to fit a cell phone, ID & a little money and tie to a belt when you go walking or something. But I'm not necessarily sure what I'll use it for yet. Just know I like it!

So it's back to working on the scarf... just wanted you to know that I haven't been sitting around doing nothing ... hardly anyway, lol.
Happy knitting!