What Kind of Knitter Am I?

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.http://marniemaclean.com
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This week's SBQ

This week's SBQ is:

Did you receive any stitching-related gifts for the holidays?

I did! I did! I received a plethora of DMC, some needles, and a tape measure from Vicky during the annual stitch group holiday gathering. Speaking of - here is a quick pic:

And I received a needle felting snowman(!) kit. And The Embroidery Stitch Bible.

I must get busy!

Christmas Wrap Up

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. My already tight schedule was thrown a looey in the form of a sinus infection - which surfaced on Sat night. As a result, I didn't get any Christmas cards out and I ended up wrapping gifts at the last possible (well almost) minute on Christmas Eve.

I did manage to get to Enchanted with Vicki, Riley and Melia. That was a wonderful movie and we all enjoyed it. Patrick Dempsey is so yummy!

On Christmas Eve Mom, Dad and I went to Vicki's to join them for the Children's Service. That was interesting, restless, noisy and typical. We all agreed that the choir director must've had to use the restroom at the end - we flew through Joy To The World in about 30 seconds to end the service. We enjoyed her family's company and exchanged gifts that night. Vicki sewed a beautiful table runner and pillow to match and then instructed me to get shopping for a new dining room table. It's beautiful, and I hope that I have a beautiful table to display it on sometime soon! BTW - for those following along, Vicki loved her scarf but I did not get a picture of her with it (bad Dobby!).

Christmas Day was spent at my brother's. Nicholas is 16 months, so he doesn't understand that Santa was coming but he did enjoy the many trucks that he received. "Truck" is his favorite word and apparently his favorite thing. So there was a lot of truck playing before he conked out - with unopened gifts waiting. We had pork tenderloin for dinner and our friends Erik, Rachel and Dominic (their 6 month old) joined our family. It was a great day, even though I wanted to lay down and sleep for most of it.

I'm finally feeling better and hoping to enjoy this weekend. Along with the 0 Christmas Cards that were sent, I stitched and knitted on 0 items. I hope to rectify that stat this weekend also!

Christmas Finishes

A grand, festive, Christmas-style happy dance for my beautiful finishes! I have to credit DF Jean with the motivation that I needed to get these out and finally finish them. The stitching on these has been done at least 6 months, but for some reason I couldn't get myself to do the finishing work. Now here they are and just in time for me to enjoy during the holidays.

The first three are from Trail Creek Farm. This one was part of our annual JCS Ornament exchange - I believe this is from 2004.

I fell in love with this one so much that I had to do the others as they came out.

Luckily, I think that the distance of the photo does not permit too close of an inspection of my finishing work. I am definitely not a seamstress, and yes - even buttons are a challenge.

This Jeannette Douglas Needleroll Ornament was part of our 2006 JCS Ornament Exchange in July. I chose it because of the purple, naturally. I have one more finish that I hope to have soon - I gave it to Vicky to finish since it required a circle and is more of a challenge than these. Perhaps I'll have time to stitch something else in the Christmas theme before the actual day arrives.

Extreme Gingerbread Houses

I spent a great day with friends, food (there was a little food that didn't contain sugar) and gingerbread houses! This is a tradition with My StitchGroup and I have been lucky enough to participate the last three years. At the end of every year (this year being no exception), we all decide that we're going to prepare better for next year with lots of ideas and lists and pictures and gingerbread house consultants...and then we show up and fly by the seat of our pants.

I did come with the idea of decorating my house with as much purple as possible. I know, it's a shock. I love the way that my house came out and am enjoying not only the beauty but the wonderful aroma that greets me when I open my door.

The white blob on the left is my cotton candy snowman...which has gone the way of most southern snowmen. It's true that they don't like the heat. Note to self: research proper snowman material and construction for 2008.

It does take a village, and here are some shots of ours:

The Red and White in the front is Debbie G's and on the right is Ramona's Fruit Loop Fantasy.

On the right here is Andy's Country Cottage (with nay a speck of gingerbread showing), next door to Sweet Steepleless Chapel by Debbie B. The chapel sustained some early earthquake damage, but repairs were quickly executed.

Front right is Vicky's Creation and back center is Angela's Sugar Dreamhouse. A good time (and good sugar high) was had by all!

After we were sugared up, we all went out to celebrate Angela and Andy's December birthdays. We had some delicious food at Copeland's.

And....you guessed it! More chocolate and sugar!

December Stress Is On

The Yarn Harlot is both cracking me up and stressing me out. She is zooming ahead of schedule - although I agree that posting about it does call attention to the knitting gods - and I am sitting here wondering when I will ever find time to knit!!

I have already given up hope for Nicholas to have a sweater by Christmas. Fortunately, he does not read the calendar yet so I have that going for me.

If I would just knit 8 rows/night on Vicki's scarf it would be done in no time. Why don't I do it?!!! Last night I got home at 8:00 and had to shove some food in my mouth and do dishes (from Sunday) before 9:00 so that I could watch Heroes. Knitting is not allowed during Heroes - too much attention is required to both and both would just end unhappily.

My tree is up, but it is not decorated. Decorations are at my place, but not up. I have written 0 Christmas cards - haven't even bought stamps!!! I have 3 pillows with stitching complete just waiting to be finished-finished. Now would be the time to do that.

*whine* I want to be enjoying myself!

A Day Of Chocolate

I can tell that the holiday stress is already affecting me. I was unable to resist the chocolate offered today. It started this morning - my company received our shipment of M&Ms. We regularly send M&Ms to clients as a thank you for their business. These are not just the off the shelf M&Ms but they have the Cypress Care logo and are in Cypress Care colors (mainly green). Over 25 21 lb boxes came today. Soon we will be annoyed by enjoying the sounds of M&M bags being sorted. The only reason that these are safe near me is that they are plain and milk chocolate. I really am grateful to not be tempted by many pounds of peanut M&Ms.

Shortly after this delivery, a co-worker received a box of chocolate (think Forrest Gump) from a vendor. This box made the M&Ms pale in comparison. I mean, check it out:

Beautiful chocolates and very unusual flavors. I had 3 - yes, I'm greedy...it was chocolate! I was able to hold myself back from ripping the box from my coworker's hands and running away. The three flavors that I tried:

Madagascar - A ganache made form 65% cacao from Madagascar.
Lavender Caramel - Caramel infused with French Lavender (c'mon it's purple!!!)
Cabernet Caramel - Caramel made with a rich Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley

They were all very interesting. I think that the Cabernet Caramel was my favorite of the 3. The Lavendar Caramel was the most unusual..and the prettiest IMO. :-)

For all the flavors, check out the website.

It could be my imagination, but it just seems like the evening will go down from here.

Diana's Dresses For A Cause

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family in Ocala, FL. Thursday brought the usual - parade watching, turkey fixin', stuffing too much into my own stomach (which was well worth it) and football watching.

Today brought something new. My mom suggested that we visit the local museum and the exhibit Diana, Princess of Wales : Dresses For A Cause. 30 of Diana's dresses (auctioned at Christie's NY just before her fatal accident) are on display - on loan from the current owners to raise money for breast cancer research. The dresses were beautiful (such an understatement) and most had an accompanying picture of Diana wearing it with a description of the location/function. I have a love of details and a love of beading, stitching, embroidery. These dresses did not disappoint. I don't think that I could possibly pick one favorite, but there was a burgundy velvet that I loved very much. One of the things that I am thankful for this year is the people who raise money for these causes. If you are in the Ocala area prior to the end of December, I highly recommend it.

Mini Shop-Hop and The Police

Saturday started very productive. My first weekend in town and healthy in many!! I cleaned up a good amount of the chaos that my condo had become in these last weeks. Not all, of course...I have to have something to do later! After the organizing, I started on my own Mini Shop-Hop of my LYS(s). I did not kid myself into thinking that I could get to all, but decided to get to the ones that I could.

First stop was Why Knot Knit in Buckhead. I, like Heather, could not find the store. I had to call Jean to get a hint of where the shop was located! Finally, after traveling a two block area in multiple circles, there it was! I had already been warned about the beautiful pattern that they were handing out. It did not disappoint. I had some control, though, and only purchased one skein of the Misti Alpaca for my scarf. Heather and I may be twins this winter - I think that we both chose the lovely teal.

Next stop was The Whole Nine Yarns. Interestingly, this shop is the furthest from me (in Woodstock) but I know how to get there much better! TWNY has been busy with rearranging their store. I enjoyed looking around, but held fast to my decision to spend as close to the $10 requirement as possible so that I could enjoy more shopping at other stores. As a result, I purchased one Size 5 Addi Turbo circular (this will come back to bite me). The shop is wonderful and friendly and they graciously let me wind yarn that I had purchased in Tallahassee during a football weekend. I believe that I still have a key punch left on my key chain, so I can see a return trip in my near future.

After leaving Woodstock, I went to Kennesaw and picked up BFF Vicki and luggage. Vicki wanted to take all (or at least a good bit) of her scrapbooking supplies to Connecticut for the week. This wasn't possible with the amount of clothes (hers and the girls) already packed. After a lot of reconfiguration, weighing, repeat, we were finally ready to go! Got back to Buckhead in time to change, freshen up, and catch Marta downtown. Vicki couldn't have been more excited than a 5 year old on Christmas morning. A muy rapido dinner at CNN Center and a few cervezas later and we were ready for The Police. I believe that Vicki only swooned twice. This is probably because Sting did not remove his shirt. He did wear a wife beater-ish tight fitting shirt that showed off his very cut arms, though. The music was great, they sounded like it was 1984. The show was very enjoyable but it was over too soon.

Sunday morning we were up fairly early considering the late hour from the concert and train ride back. I dropped Vicki at the airport to catch the flight to Connecticut - won't Scott be surprised that she did manage to fit some scrapbooking supplies into the luggage! As soon as possible, I headed to Knitch for another stamp in the passport. I couldn't resist a beautiful Merino Ribbon yarn. I tried to find a sock yarn for the Candy Cane socks, but nothing was exactly what I wanted...so I "settled" for the purchase of the Merino Ribbon. :-) There was only one other shop open on Sunday - Nease's Needlework. All I had to do was go in and buy my 2nd Size 5 Addi Turbo circular, stamp the passport and be on my way. Well, they didn't have any Size 5 Addi Turbos in stock. Ugh. And I couldn't find a sock yarn for the Candy Cane socks either. Murphy strikes again! So, I picked up two sock patterns (yes, I don't have any others here) and turned in my passport. Problem: I still needed the Size 5 circular, so back to Knitch. Murphy, old friend, strikes again. Knith didn't have them in stock either. There must have been a recent demand for Size 5 circulars. I guess that I'll be looking for another Size 5 circular sometime this week to take with me for Thanksgiving!

My Hero!

Let me start off by stating that this was not rigged. Many of you know that Milo Ventimiglia is one of my favorite actors. Favorite in the sense that he looks great without a shirt. :-)

Heather took this quiz a few weeks ago and I marked it to come back to later. So, now it is later and "The Hero that I am" is....

Peter Petrelli
You scored 50 Idealism, 58 Nonconformity, 29 Nerdiness

Do you ever... get the feeling that you were meant to do something extraordinary?

Congratulations, you're Peter Petrelli! You are a compassionate, idealistic person, which is great. You're searching for your identity and purpose in life, and you have a strong desire to be special, and do something great for the world. You're a bit on the emo side, but you have the best of intentions. Your best quality: Empathy Your worst quality: EMO

EMO? Really? If you say so...

Click here if you want to take the test and find out which Hero you are!

Two Minute Drill

So here it is...the two minute drill to get up to date...

First, the follow up to A Stitcher's Gathering. The first class was with Eileen Bennett (of Sampler House) and called Little Green Acorns. The project is a lot of blackwork/back stitching, but it is beautiful and I can't wait to be able to work on it! The color palette is fabulous. I always enjoy seeing the colors that different designers put together. No pictures at this time...but maybe someday soon.

Saturday morning we started with Rae (of Moss Creek Designs) and her Ye Shall Prosper stitching accessories. Rae is not used to having us Saturday morning - she is usually our last class (Saturday afternoon) and we were quite shaken by this change. It was probably the quietest that we have been in Rae's class - because most of us (namely roommate Heather and I) were still asleep. Rae's project was also fabulous and, interestingly, involved squirrels and acorns. This was a banner year for Heather - you can read about it on her blog. I did manage to capture a few pics of the pieces.

Saturday afternoon classes finished with Barbara Rakosnik (of Periwinkle Promises). Her project "Stitching is the Berries Sewing Tin" was also lovely, although not acorn or squirrel themed. :-) It was, however, covered with strawberries and queen stitches. We should all be pros at the queen stitch when these projects are finished.

Saturday evening was the costume contest...but we chose to dress like each other instead.

I loved, loved, loved all of the teachers and all of the projects and managed to "acquire" a few more additions to my stash. Wouldn't it be lovely if I had a picture of them? Well, I don't - so here is a plain old list of them - Queens Plums (drool), Viola Celebration, Just Peachy Celebration, Seasons of Flowers Sampler.

T-minus 1:30 - on to Patricia Sprinkle.
We had a lovely private dinner and book review with Patricia "Patty" Sprinkle. I have read several of her books throughout the years and enjoyed them. This was a wonderful treat by DF Andy who prepared a fabulous meal for us to enjoy while visiting with Patty. My favorite series is the MacLaren Yarbrough (A Thoroughly Southern Mystery) one.

T-minus 1:00 - Halloween

I had a fabulous time (albeit hectic) trick or treating with Dorothy (aka Riley) and Glenda the Good Witch (aka Melia). I even cheated on the lifestyle change with some Reese's - the best candy in the world!

And we had some adults trying to steal the show. Well, calling them adults may be a stretch...

Big, Juicy Burger!

And this was a personal favorite in the costume category:

Love the weiner!!

T-minus :30 Almost at the end

My 'Noles came away with a big victory this weekend vs #2 Boston College. 27-17. All week I was slapping myself whenever I had thoughts like "maybe it won't be so bad" or "our defense is pretty good". I just couldn't set myself up for disappointment. When 8:00 came Saturday night, I couldn't stay away from the tv. And I was a doubting thomas up til the last 30 seconds. Actually, I think that there were 28 seconds on the clock when I called Teresa and told her the good news. Even then, I was afraid that the refs would somehow take it away.


A Stitcher's Gathering - Louisville, KY

I spent a fabulous weekend in Louisville at A Stitcher's Gathering sponsored by Moss Creek Designs with friends and acquaintances. It started on Thursday and we were all excited to visit our favorite local restaurant Lynn's Paradise Cafe.

But suddenly the weather had other ideas... We entered the restaurant to the sound of the tornado sirens and had no sooner put our name in for a table when the manager informed us that there was a tornado warning and we must go to the basement. This was unexpected, but we made due and staved off hunger by sharing entrees with 30 or so complete strangers.

Judy and Heather making the best of it!

Ann and Teresa have scoped out the dessert rack in case of emergency.

Our time in the dungeon expired and the restaurant treated us to dinner. If you have never eaten at Lynn's (ha - most of you reading this were with me I know)...but the food is fantastic and the atmosphere unusual and memorable. Lynn's has an annual Ugly Lamp Contest and the decor includes many entrants.

Soon we were ordering!

...to be continued...

A Frosty Finish!

Hmmm...how long has it been since I finished stitching something? Wow - that would have to be an ornament for the exchange, so probably July! Luckily these ornaments stitch up quickly. All of my other projects seem to be years coming close to lifers.

This is Roly Poly Snowman. I got him in the 2007 ornament exchange from DF Teresa - Teresa stitched and kitted him as her Surprise ornament. He was so cute that I couldn't wait to stitch him and actually started only two weeks ago when I was visiting DF Teresa.

Now to find some perfect fabric for finishing...

Pumpkins, pumpkins!

This weekend I went to the North Georgia Mountains with The Tagliatelas in search of pumpkins. And we found them!

Burt's Pumpkin Patch is loaded with pumpkins of all sizes and colors.

I guess you could say that I embraced fall (well it was a little warm, but let's just call it fall) and this helped me get into the spirit.

Don't worry, though, I'm still mourning the death of summer and wearing my sandals as long as possible!

We all found some pumpkins to enjoy.

Some big, some small.

This is Melia with "Mama Pumpkin" or actually in Melia-speak it's "Mama Punkin" and "Baby Punkin".

The colors were great and the types were very interesting.

These are pumpkins, gourds and who knows what else?

We had a great time! This is me with Melia (left) and Riley (right).

After The Pumpkin Patch, we went to the top of Amacolola Falls and had lunch at the Lodge. Here is the view from the top. Not a lot of color yet, but I'm sure that it will be coming in soon.

The Yarn Harlot Cometh!

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka The Yarn Harlot came to Atlanta and my LYS Knitch. Knitch got us all warmed up by drawing raffle tickets. Warmed up may not accurately describe the experience, it was more like feeding the frenzy of knitters who were patiently waiting to meet Stephanie. I, sadly, did not win anything but Jean won some beautiful yarn and Linda won twice (a t-shirt and gift certificate). The evening was still a win for me though. The Yarn Harlot was extremely funny, I made progress on some knitting projects and I enjoyed the company of great friends. The Yarn Harlot is holding my first finished sock (previously pictured).

I even made the infamous Yarn Harlot Blog with my first sock.

And here is my wonderful group of friends who came to enjoy the evening.

This helped jump start me into knitting projects again. It's a good time of year to knit also - well it will be soon.

Finishes - Old and New

I can't explain the motivation, but something led me to get out these stitched pieces

Just Nan's Last Stitches of 1999


Just Nan's Evening Star

and finish the mounting and put them into frames. I know, I know...what a concept. Both pieces have been finished for years and I'm embarrassed to say that they had a long time to wait to be framed. They came out beautiful and I'm happy to have them hanging on the wall now.

Earlier this month I finished knitting my first sock

It was very fun and I've already started the one to match it - maybe by winter it will be finished!