Monday, April 27, 2009

Cestari Yarn

Ok, so you know I went to that Wool Festival over the weekend. Yeah, it sucked. I should have known something was up when I found little if any information locally about the event and my favorite local yarn shops were not participating.
So we get there and there's no petting zoo! There's like 5 vendors and there's a sheep go round with two sheep tied up who would rather be elsewhere - and did I mention that it's 88 degrees and muggy as hell?!
We headed for the shop on site to see what yarn deals they had - ugh, it was bad. The shop was too dark to really see the colors. The worsted weight wool felt like my husband's cheeks are a few days of not shaving. The merino wool was better but was dirty and smelly. Prices were decent but no big sales unless I bought like 20 skeins.
I did buy some cotton and some discounted remnents but overall --- I'd say skip this yarn and this festival.

Late FYI - After doing a search on Ravelry I discovered that I'm not the only one with stinky yarn from Cestari. They put on some de-mothing guck that makes it smell like moth balls. It was advised on Ravelry to put all the stinky skeins of yarn outside for a day or two to air out. I will check mine today and see if still stinks.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Now I've Seen Everything

As a knitter with too much yarn I am always looking for projects to get rid of my stash and be helpful around the house. On Ravelry there is no end to the items you can knit. On my list are the following:

Swiffer Pads

Dish Soap Bottle Dress

And now here's one I'll never try but am amazed that someone has....

Crocheted Tampons

The tampon instructions are on online here... if you're curious.

Finding My Groove

I'm finally getting a little better at blogging again. Man, I was a lazy bum this past winter. Parenting really does change everything. Still, I am slowly working towards a balance in my life with all my daily activities, responsibilities, and rest. Starting next week I will have Hunter in daycare all day, twice a week. This was a mixed deal for me. On one hand it's really needed so I can take some time each week to really focus on my bloodsugars and health as well as indulge in some of my hobbies to fend off stress. I love my little man, he's a funny guy to be around but he is a lot of work and often his needs get put before my own. I also take the stay at home mom thing pretty seriously. There are too many well documented benefits to moms who stay home with their kids until 5 or 6. While I totally agree with that I think that kids also need time to socialize with others when they are ready. Hunter is definately ready. He's never one to shy away from new people and seems to get really bored hanging around the house lately. While I am always going to be here for him I think it's time for him to take an independent step forward and have a couple days out of the house and with other kids to learn some new social skills. He's definately got some interesting social skills from the dog but I think human interaction would be more of a benefit for him right now.

Once I get the little man out of the house I want to start really attacking my scrapbooks. Ugh, how the years get away from you! I have pictures everywhere and no final resting home! I remember growing up how my mother never finished my baby book and had a coffin box full of 30 years of family photos that would hide in the closet. I dread that outcome. Although my box is not coffin sized it is dog sized and really must stop now, so my goal for the summer, before we move is to get totally caught up with my scrapbooking. Afterwards I am really thinking about going to digital scrapbooking. I have a friend on base who does it and have found other bogs where the bloggers are raving about it. I did sign up for Inkubook and like the service. I'm hoping to have all photos from 2009 on forward done digitally so I don't have to deal with the box guilt.

I'm also becoming more and more active with my knitting. This is great because I own a semi-truck full of yarn. I've been blasting through my Peaches & Cream cotton yarn these past few weeks. I joined a weekly knit along group on Ravelry that does just dish cloths. God bless them! They have an archive of free patterns that go back several years. I've been able to try a few and really master some. Right now I'm building up my supply of cloths for baby births, welcome baskets and emergency whatever gifts. I've gotten up to doing two a day! It's tough with Hunter around and the dog laying on my lap but I'm getting faster and I think everyone is more tolerant now of my knitting -- at first Hunter would throw fits if I sat and didn't pay attention to him but now he can play alone with little direct attention from me for an hour or so.

For the rest of this month the family will keep it chilled. We were going to try to go to an air show at Langley AFB this weekend but the 4 hour drive up there and another 4 hours back was a little too much for us at this time. Luckily I just found out about a wool fair this weekend at Cestari Farms -- they make several forms of yarn are fairly popular around the US. They are also just over the mountain from us near Staunton -- about an hour drive one way. The fair will have a petting zoo, pony rides, and tractor rides just to name a few. We're thinking this would be right up Hunter's alley... and mine because they have a mill shop on site.... MORE YARN!

That's it for now, it's almost time to feed the man and then put him down for an afternoon nap.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Disease and Knitting

If you read my other blog, Motherz 'n Da Hood then you know that we are under an assault from Fifth Disease. It's not as scary as it sounds, think cold with a rash. Hunter broke out in the rash last week and was diagnosed on Friday. Other than the rash he's been a little cranky.

I have been getting back to my knitting, finally. The carpal tunnel is all gone and the pain from the surgery is minimal if at all. I started work on the Big Bad Baby Blanket in March and got it all done a couple weeks back. I used an especially yummy yarn from Alpaca with a Twist. It was heavenly. Since then I've been working on just small projects to burn up some of my insane yarn stash and build some knitting confidence. All the details are on Ravelry and photos are also up on Flickr.

I think I have finally come over to the Addi side. I've knit with dozens of different types of knitting needles and I have to say - Addi metal turbos are my favorite. I've been working with Peaches & Creme cotton on some wood Art Viva needles and my fingers just blister! I know part of it is from the yarn - Peaches & Creme is cheap and comes in great colors but is hell on the hands... but because I knit tighter than most the yarn gets stuck and caught on wood needles. As for circular verses straight needles I like both for different reasons.

With this new revelation I now have a list of mother's day wants:
Addi Turbo Circular Needles
US 0, 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 - 24"
Yeah, that's going to be an expensive order but really, I'd use them like crazy.

Other than the knitting not much is happening around our house. We're enjoying nicer weather and just being together. We're looking forward to a nice summer and news on where we are going next.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April Showers

It's been miserable here in West Virginia. Rain, and nothing but rain. Today we were fogged in in the morning and now the sun is finally out. Hunter, The Cheat and I are all outside enjoying the weather.
I finally got my hair done. It's been a year. The dog has been to the groomer three times already this year! I finally told The Husband that dog grooming is on hold until mom gets a grooming. I kept the length in my hair and had my blonde heavy highlights redone. The only drastic change I made was that I went back to my whispy bangs. I haven't had bangs since college. I grew them out for my wedding thinking that I'd look better. I never did. Infact I think it make me look older and more tired. Since my hairdo on Tuesday I've been happier with the person I see in the mirror. She looks 5 years younger and happier. Crazy how a hairdo can really make you feel and look better.
My trip home was a bittersweet one. So much to do and so little time. Everyone wanted to see us, which was so nice. It's been a struggle to be away from my family and friends and in an environment where making new friends is challenging.
Most of you know by now that while I was home I got to see my black lab Hillary one last time. She was 16 and really not able to walk well anymore. She still had that wicked twinkle in her eyes. The moment I saw her I knew we'd be putting her down while I was home. We always wish that our animals will pass in their sleep but they never do. While I was in Oregon mom and dad put Hillary down. I am sad that I couldn't be there with her to make her comfortable but I am happy to know that she had an amazing life for a dog. She got to watch movies in a movie theater I used to manage, she spent the night several times in the residence halls at the University of Idaho, she traveled throughout the Northwest, she had a great career as a Rick's assistant at the engineering firm every weekend, she was a regular on my mother's latte runs every morning... a human would me so lucky to have such a life.
I sure do miss her. She was my partner in crime when I was in high school and she never judged me when I went through trouble. All she asked for was some petting and food, any food. With Hillary gone there are now no animals left alive from my childhood. I really do feel like an adult now.
Speaking of kids - I think Hunter is starting to melt down. It is time for lunch and then a nap.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

No Really, I am Alive

It's been a busy spring here. Things really get away from you once you have kids. Hunter is now 13 months old! He's walking (40% of the time) and talking (it's still jibberish). We're looking to move again in the early fall. To where we are not sure yet... stay tuned.
My current news is that we are trying to get Hunter into part-time child care during the week. I need a couple days off to focus on my health. It's difficult to balance everything with a crazy kid running around. I also think it's time for Hunter to mix it up with other kids. He's very social and independent. I am hoping once this child care is in place I can get back to blogging, knitting, and other creative past times.