Tuesday, December 2, 2008

What's in my Bag this week?

This week is more about Christmas presents than anything else.
My Bag: Brown wool plaid....medium size

This week we have a skein of pretty pink/green and black wool  that is waiting to be made into socks, along with socks in progress.  The first is the pair knitted from the sock blank.  Last time, these were only a cuff, now the heel has been made, and turned.  I'm knitting on the foot part now.   The other sock is 1 out of 2 being knitted as a Christmas Present.  It's out of Knitpicks bare yarn that I dyed shades of blue.  the knitting is showing some cool pooling of the colors with white bands about every inch.  That was not deliberate but it is cool! 

Other things being knitted are for charity: mittens and baby blankets. 
 The mittens are from some handspun bulky that I had around and the blanket is peaches and cream cotton.  
As you see, the blanket is 1 block short of being done and I need a thumb on one of the mittens.
  And...to finish them of course. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Topic of Discussion: Color in Roving

On the Spinlist now is a discussion of color in roving. There are many techniques, tricks and ways to get a solid colored yarn from roving. But what happens if you take small samples of color, and ply it with others? Well you can get yarn that will look like this 
when knitted. Ignore the white bands for a bit and focus on the colored areas.  To a knitter, that looks like Noro, but it is not.  I used small bits of dyed handspun to create a yarn that looked real muddy on the skein. 

I purchase  something called 'scrappies' from Vedabliss on Etsy. On the spinning wheel, the color blocks were less than 12" long.  They were mostly greens, and pinks. Occasionally another darker color would be in it. I plied it to itself without concern for what the result would be. 

The scarf was an experiment.  What would spinning and plying this type of yarn do? The answer was to make a knitted fabric with that Noro look, but with MUCH better feel.  I've been trying 'purposely' to do this for months without a good result.  This happened on accident! 

Friday, November 7, 2008

What's in my Bag?

You know, I hardly ever post these days and it's a shame.  I've been knitting like a fiend and should show my cool stuff. 

So, perhaps this will be a new feature: What's in my bag? Since I make the bags, be aware that my bag preferences change frequently.  

Current bag: Skulls and Roses in Medium

You will notice a few items in there: a white-ish thing and a knitted thing in green, orange and red.  Let's go with that colorful thing first.

This is a sock blank by Fiberartcafe.  It is just beautiful!!! I met Susan at the Dragonfly Yarn Shop yesterday. Kerrie has open knitting on Thusdays from 1 til 4.  For a work-at-home Mom like me, it's 2 hours that keeps me sane.  Sure, working from home is great.  I get to set my own hours and save money
 on gas and stuff. But, there is a downside: No one to talk to. 

My husband and my son are sometimes the only people I talk to for DAYS.  About a month ago, I realized how much strain this puts on both them and me. I'm relying on them too much for just plain conversation. I'm female,  with a female need to converse with others.  So I go in every week for 2 hours, talk knitting with some ladies and knit.  It's been great! 

Ok, back on track now.  Susan, the maker of the sock blanks was in and she had a HUGE tote of these blanks.  To a knitter- especially a sock knitter- that's like paradise.  Susan and I flipped through a bunch before I heard this one shout my name.  After I am done with the Harry Potter socks, this is the next thing on the needles. 

Speaking of Harry Potter: 
This is from the Opal Harry Potter line of sock yarn.  The colorway I am using is Ron.  The needles are size 0 Addi Lace circulars.  I do think I slipped a mental nut when I started on size 0's but, hey....there's worse things I could've done!

Next up, cashmere. 

Kerrie's been starting to sell spinning fibers. Last week I went to see what she had and this cashmere was just..............awesome.  I petted it for a while and then left it there.  
This week,  I bought an ounce of it. Since I had this planned, I tucked my mini-Boz in my knitting bag. I tugged a bit of fiber off my ounce and started spinning it right in the shop.  Oh, how beautiful it spins!  

At home I spun about 1/2 an hour and then the temptation got to me.  I had to knit it!  So I grabbed a couple of size 0 dpns and cast on stitches.  The swatch was knitted with the pattern from the Apres Surf Hoodie .  Now that I've seen how it looks, I'll be improvising that lace pattern and putting it to use on a smoke ring.  What else would you do with wisps of soft cashmere?

For more practical knitting; there's the washcloths.  Knitted on size 9 needles from a pattern by Artsygal
I knitted about 5 of them in a week. I like the colors, which is the peaches and cream gumdrop color.  This is that washcloth cotton you can get at Walmart for less than 2 bucks a skein.  I saw the pattern and on impulse, bought yarn and knitted them. 

So....what's in your knitting bag???

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's a Meme, but it's OK

I am: Brenda - Wife, Mother and Bag Lady.
I think: almost constantly, and to the point where I need to spin or knit NOT to think.
I know: More about the miseries that people inflict on others than I really ought to.  It keeps me awake at night.
I have: a pretty great Husband and Son.
I wish: that my non-immediate family would learn to grow cojones and spend better. (don't ask)
I hate: people who believe that everyone else should worship the ground that they flick their boogers on. 
I miss: sitting on the beaches in Hawaii.
I fear: that my son will not finish High School and end up being 'that kid' with the bedroom in the basement...cybering with girls online.
I hear: the teenage boys in the next room playing video games.
I smell: nothing right now, which is good.  Asian ladybugs are swarming our front porch and sneaking in the house. If you touch them, they give off this horrible smell.  
I crave: kimchi
I search: for all my lost knitting needles.
I wonder: why people lose their common sense when they belong to any group. 
I regret: Not going to college in Minnesota after High School.
I love: Talking about things with my Husband.
I ache: in my head. I've had a sinus headache for about 2 weeks now.
I am not: a simpering, vain, whining female who is concerned about her looks.  I've accepted that this is the way God made me and I'm not fighting it. 
I believe: that everyone has the ability to think for themselves but lets the media do it for them instead.
I dance: shamelessly to Ricky Martin whenever I can. 
I sing: off tune. 
I cry: when I am alone.  I hate an audience.
I fight: Anyone and everyone.
I win: because I picked the best husband around!!
I lose: only when it would benefit the other person to win more than me. 
I never: have had any type of surgery.
I always: make myself a hazlenut mocha latte every morning.
I confuse: no one.  If you know me, you know how I feel about everything. 
I listen: to TV more than I watch it.
I can usually be found: Sewing, Spinning, Knitting or Driving. 
I am scared: That the people of this country prefer communism over being a republic.
I need: about 20 more terrabytes of memory in my brain. 
I am happy about: snuggling under warm flannel sheets on a cold morning with my Honey.
I imagine: retiring to Hawaii.
I tag: whomever has the time to type all of this. 

Here’s how you play: in a post at your own blog, copy and paste all the questions below. Erase out my answers and replace them with your own.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Love Him So Much I Married him Twice!

Last Sunday David and I were re-married at St. Augustine's church.  Having our marriage recognized by the Catholic church meant giving each other the sacrament of marriage.  For non-Catholics out there, that means repeating the vows.
That same day a baby was baptised also.  Father Kevin looked a bit frazzled at having so much going on, but he did wonderfully.  I had hoped that we had a picture of him with us, but I think that photograph was in another camera.

Picture from the left: Tim (my Goddson) David, Me and JoAn (my cousin)

Monday, September 15, 2008

How to insert a string through a channel

To insert a string through a channel, like the ones at the top of the KIP Bag, you need a string and a safety pin.  This time, I'll use an orange string.  Next, a slip knot will be put into the string.  A slip knot allows the string to be attached to the safety pin without putting a knot in the string that can be hard to get out. 

First, make a loop so that the part with the end of the  string lies over the bottom part.  The end of the string is under my index finger. 

Now, pull the other end up and over the string going to the end and through the hole in the middle.    If done correctly, you should be able to pull the loop made in the middle 
of the other loop to tighten it. 

If you've truly made a slip knot,  you should be able to pull on the long end of the
 string and the knot will get smaller.  If you pull all the way, the knot will come out totally. Now insert the safety pin into the loop made. 

 The string is now ready to be put in  the channel. Take a look at the back of the bag where the tabs are.

 This is a seam and stringing the bag will go much easier if the safety pin goes through it correctly.  Feel the seam to see which side of the line feels thick.  The thinner side is which side you want to put the safety pin through first. 

On the cloud bag shown in the pictures, the thinner side is on the right of the vertical line (er, seam) so I will insert the safety pin and go from left to right. Insert the safety pin with the string attached into the button hole. 

Start gathering the fabric along the channel by
 pinching the string with your left hand, and sliding the safety pin along the channel. 

 fabric will start to gather.  About 2 or 3 times, pinch the safety pin instead of the string and
 pull on the bag itself with the left hand. 

Eventually the safety pin will show up at the buttonhole where you started.  Make sure to hang on to the other end, or you'll pull on the safety pin and it will all go through and you'll have to start over. In this picture, I have both the safety pin and the other end in my hand. 

 Once the safety pin is through, unlock it and take off the loop. Pull on that end of the string to undo the slip knot.

Tie the ends together.  Repeat the whole process on the other buttonhole. Make sure to remember which way you slid the safety pin (either from left to right or right to left) and  it will go easily.  Now you are done!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I found my card reader, on the table where it's supposed to be. That means I can get those pictures out for everyone to see. There's my knitting for the Church Festival.

Here's one side of the pattern Spirogyra. I have to get some more yarn for the other hand. Do you realize how hard it is to take a picture with the left hand on a right-handed camera? That's knitted out of Alpaca, which makes it sooooft.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's almost time for kids to go back to school, and to get ready for winter. I've been knitting like crazy to get some things done for the church festival. I've knitted two sets of mittens and one cap. I think I'll add a knitted cupcake to the bunch. Photos will be forthcoming as soon as I can find my card-reader.

I spent last Saturday at Stitches Midwest. A busload of knitters from the area went down and spent the day browsing and buying. I went away just in awe of the amount of yarn, knitting needles, and extras that were available to buy. My knitting stash was added to with a ball of laceweight yarn in beautiful shades of purples and oranges:
Sock yarn in a vibrant hue of hot pink and yellow jumped into my bag also.

My Sister and Brother-In-Law were over today. They were sent home with two baskets of apples, one bucket of cucumbers and potatoes. There's a joke that goes around small towns that the only time that people lock their car doors is during Zucchini season. A locked car means that no one can put zucchini in your car while you're not looking!

Friday, August 1, 2008

How many links to other webpages can I make?

Our vacation this year was one week of camping at Willow River State Park in Wisconsin. On the way up, we stopped in Black River Falls to say hey to the In-Laws and to stop at Fibergarden. Deb is the owner and she taught me how to spin some 7 years ago.

I bought the bamboo fiber in 3 colors: Ruby, Turquoise and Topaz. I purchased 3 ounces each and was off to the State Park.

I spun up about 60 yards of laceweight yarn in the ruby color during the week on a mini-Bosworth spindle.

I wound the yarn around my hand, and then plied it on the spindle for a laceweight yarn. I knitted a bookmark from the yarn using the Lace Waves Bookmark Pattern.

My opinion of spinning bamboo: It has the feel of silk when spinning. It requires more twist than silk. When spinning, it does have a nice 'slide' to it like silk, but can also stubbornly 'stick' when it wants to. My first experiences on the spindle were great when spinning, but hideous when plying.

I have decided the best way to ply it is to wind it on the ball winder and use my Ashford Traveller. There was just so much tangling with winding using what I call the 'Parade Wave' wind about the hand. This technique was taught to me by Patsy Z and the Wi spin in a few years ago. Works well for small amounts of yarn.

The sheen and depth of color on this fiber is mesmerizing. I am using the gold and blue to make the Roped Shell from Interweave Knits Summer Issue. This will take a while..........

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Frustrations are easier to take when you are blind

I fully intended on blogging about my vacation. Willow River State Park in Wisconsin is a beautiful park. There is barely a mention on the website about Willow Falls. It's a shame really, because they are beautiful. This picture is from gowaterfalling.com as I cannot see to actually alter the pictures that we have take.

The falls can be walked through, and it will not sweep you away. There were kids playing and jumping into it. I've got pictures of Alex and I in the falls, but I can't see right now.

I pulled a bonehead move and broke my glasses last night. I can't see very well with Alex's old glasses but they keep me from injuring myself.

Also, my KIP Bags were featured on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum. COOL!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Free Pattern: Ruddawg's Generic Watch Cap

My Mom's birthday is a week away. Like most Mom's, you ask her what she wants for her birthday and she responds, "Oh I don't want anything." PFFFFT. That does not help! Mom's a big Packer fan though, so inspiration struck:

I grabbed a skein of my Cheddarheads yarn, sold on http://ruddawg.etsy.com and knitted this hat in 4 hours.
The hat will work on any worsted-weight yarn. The cheddarheads colorway gives it those cool stripes in the colors of the Packers.

Ruddawg's Generic Watch Cap

Materials needed:
Size 8 Circular Needles + DPNs of the same size
1 Skein of Cheddarheads Worsted Weight
5 stitch markers
crochet hook

5 stitches per inch - 7 rows per inch

The Pattern:
Cast on 80 stitches using knitted cast-on.
(For help with this technique go to:
and it's the technique 2/3 down the page called 'knitting-on')

Making sure that the stitches are not twisted, use K2-P2 Ribbing for 2 1/2"

Then knit in stockinette stitch for 5 1/2"
(Or use my method, flip up the ribbing and try on the head until it reaches the crown of your head.)K

Knit 16 stitches, place marker five times.

On next row, k2 together before the stitch marker, slip stitch marker and repeat until you have 10 stitches left. Switch to DPNs when it gets difficult to work the stitches on the circs.

Bind off 10 stitches, leaving a 3" tail.

Flip the hat inside out.

Take the crochet hook and pull the tail through the 10 bound off stitches and pull tight and make a knot to keep it from unravelling.

Weave in end at the bottom of the hat and TA DA! Done and ready to wear, or give.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My neice Kate was here last week to get new Garb made for SCA. The bodice took the longest time and 4 different fittings before I was satisfied with it. The pleating of the skirt and attachment took an hour to do......stitching by hand! Kate's going to finish up the underskirt and the sleeves by herself.

Doesn't she look nice in it? It's crushed velvet with a silk chemise. If you're a SCA or Rennie, I'd recommend the silk chemise. It's worth the extra money and time. This is one I made some years ago out of silk from http://www.dharmatrading.com/ Buy the silk in 11 yard bolts and they are about 5 bucks a yard. That's cheap!

I've been working on getting rid of that huge stack of fabric. The goal is to move the sewing area to Tim's room once he moves back with his folks. Right now, he's still in Boot Camp. I've not heard from him but his Mom has. But back to the fabric. I had an idea and sewed some recycled drawstring bags out of fabric that was scavenged from old bags. If they didn't sell, I'd tear them apart and cannibalize what I could. So this is what I came up with:

Simple bags that are lined and washable. They've got plenty of uses and they're on etsy.

While waiting for my sock yarn to show up, I've been working with worsted weight superwash to make the Packer colors in yarn. The superwash dyes up so much better than the usual stuff.

There are 4 skeins made up from Cascade 220 superwash on my Etsy now: http://ruddawg.etsy.com

Ok, shameless plug done. As you can see, I've been in a more creative mood than usual. And what is more unlike me than anything.......is that I'm trying to get more organized.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tigger Says Hi

Originally uploaded by ruddawg
And how's your day going?

Me? I've been sewing lots of things, and will be doing more tomorrow.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I finished up the sweater I've been knitting for my honey and gave it to him for Father's Day. Now I know it's not sweater weather, but it will be!

It was a bit of a rush at the last week, and there was a panic that I had not bought enough yarn. But I quickly basted together a sleeve and the front to the back. I found it to be about an 1" too long in the body and 2" too long in the sleeve. That gave me enough extra yarn to finish it and get the turtleneck done.

Will I knit this one again? I lost the pattern! I even lost the copy of the pattern I scanned in case I lost the pattern! !! When my hard drive died, it went with it.

Lion Brand yarn has a sweater close to it, but I have my thoughts on a cabled sweater next time.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


My bloody hard drive bit the dust last week. I've been doing a lot of spinning and knitting since I can't surf. Dave's gonna fix it next week.

I'm suffering from internet withdrawl. I've got the DT's

"Hello, my name is Brenda, and I'm addicted to the internet."

I want my ravelry!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Absolutely Cool!

This fabric was one I found while browsing online. I had to buy it! Imagine seeing dogs in Yoga poses with such serene looks on their face. Awesome!

The flowers and trees are blooming here. I'm getting over a cold. My In-Law's were down last weekend. My MIL and I got some serious rummage sale-ing down. I think my Son got the best end of the deal, with me finding more pants and shorts for him. He's grown over 6" in the last year, so he desperately needs new shorts.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm working on some new pocket designs: One for crocheters with shorter, slimmer slots for crochet hooks and one bag with pockets inside for those who have yarns that like to tangle. I'm almost done and will post pictures!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sweater Update1

Sweater Update1
Originally uploaded by ruddawg
The back is the big part and the front is the smaller part. I have realized why I don't like knitting adult-sized sweaters; they are BORING. I mean, 30" of knitting the same pattern? I want to drill a hole in my head!

I will finish this, I will finish this, I will finish this!


Originally uploaded by ruddawg
This is what my cat does: he treats all the kids like they are his responsibilty. Tigger feels that he must keep his children well-groomed and clean.

Yeah, I know Mimmy's flipping me off. No, I didn't notice until I was tweaking the picture.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Why do they stand up?

A prospective buyer asked; are the bags I make and sell stiffened with anything? How do they stand up like that? You know, I never really thought about it. They DO stand up don't they?!

I'm guessing it's the double layering on the inside and bottom that does it. Just to make sure they stand up, I took a skein (my trekking yarn skein) and stuck the project in a bag at my feet. 20 minutes later, it's still standing up. I never noticed that, but they do!

Now since I don't add any stiffener to them, they will still stand up by themselves after being washed. In a stiff wind, they do fall down. There were a few of the earlier bags made with thin fabric that won't stand up for long. I started backing them with fusible interfacing to make them stiffer.

Monday, April 14, 2008

another YAY

and I forgot:

7. I've not smoked for over 2 months now! The wedding and reception were a true temptation, but I did not smoke at all. YAY


Spring is here, and I'm outside more (YAY!) and I'm working more and more with bright colors. But work cannot be the only thing out there, so what do I do after that?
1. Deal with the woes of an old, old well and pump. The pump went out about 2 weeks ago. It was replaced but the pump guy said something was still making it run a lot. Could it be a leak somewhere? No. We checked everywhere,...or so we thought.
But down in that fallen-down wreck of a barn there was a faucet. We didn't know about it until this morning when my Brother-In-Law was getting some more barnwood from the pile. He said the faucet was busted and water was spraying everywhere. Well, there's our leak! He managed to find the shut-off for that. Now we get to dig a trench and cap off that faucet. yay.

2. Stare dreamily at pictures of Halema`uma`u. Halema`uma`u is the crater-within-a-crater at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii. We visited there in January of 2007. Last Month, Pele blew another hole into her home. It's now spewing out sulfur dioxide and ash. If you've ever been there, the hole is directly under the viewing area. Gosh, I wish I was there to see this! Oh well....

3. My Friend Carlyn got married last weekend. I wish her and her new husband well. The wedding was quick and our friends were well. Ok, let me say our friends were drinking well!

4. My Godson is mostly moved in. That makes 2 boys who are teenagers and one husband to feed. I've recently purchased a larger grain shovel.

5. Adding another person means cleaning out some more space for him. I've been re-evaluating how much fiber/yarn I really do need. Therefore some of it is going away. I'm trading some, selling others.

6. And lastly, wondering why I use so many hyphens!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Now, for a moment of Zen

Originally uploaded by ruddawg
This is my kitty Tigger. He should've been named Garfield. At the moment I took this picture, he was attempting to clean his belly. Imagine an orange-colored raccoon....that would be Tigger.

Last time I weighed him, he was 20 pounds. Do we feed him anything special? Nope. He refuses scraps, and sleeps all the time. He's just big. Usually, when a new person comes to the house, he runs and hides.

So if he shows himself when a visitor is here, we get the usual comment, "Wow, that's a BIG cat!"

Friday, March 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by ruddawg
Photo Courtesy of Family Circle Easy Knitting Holiday 2002 issue.

This is my current project. Every year, I make goals for what I want to do: knitting, sewing and relationship-wise. No New Year's Resolutions, but goals. This year, my knitting goals are to 1) Perfect the kitchener stitch and 2) knit an honest-to-goodness adult sized sweater.

DH is getting the sweater. This a picture of the pattern, not my hubby. When buying the yarn for the sweater (Cascade 220) I asked Kerri at Dragonfly Yarn Shop for color suggestions. She asked what did my DH look like, and I responded, "Seriously? Santa Claus."

Her immediate response was, "I'd stay away from red then."

Oh that was funny! I will be knitting it in shades of blue.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It is done!

Dem Fischer Finished
Originally uploaded by ruddawg
Dem Fischer Sin Fru is finished! Yay!!! I washed and blocked it on the kitchen floor last night. Yep, the kitchen floor. Some brainiac decided to carpet it long before we moved in. The ability to block lace on it is the only saving grace.

The shawl is wonderful now that it is done. It was knitted out of Misti Alpaca laceweight in cream color on size 4 addi turbo needles.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The "N" Word

My son has been given the task of reading To Kill a Mockingbird for English. He does not read. To a parent who reads almost rabidly, this is gobstopping to me: not read??? I never understood why he did not enjoy reading. We've tried different books, different genres to limited success. He enjoys the heck outta manga, but they don't make To Kill a Mockingbird in Manga. So, we brought the issue up to his counselor because his reluctance to read this book is causing him to get behind in English.

After talking it out we realized that he could not utilize his brain to visualize the story while he read it. His counselor suggested the book be read out loud to help him visualize the story. So, I'm reading 2 chapters a day until it's done. Yesterday I read sitting crossed-legged on the kitchen carpet while he chopped veggies for Chicken & Dumplings.

When this book was written, it was normal to describe a black person using the 'n-word'. In the book, it gets used quite frequently. Now at first, I was really reluctant to even utter that word. I mean geez, do I have to? We're not a type of family that is racially prejudiced. As I say to my son, "I don't judge people on their color. I judge them on their personality. People can be assholes no matter what color they are." ok, well he gets the idea. But now, I say what's written. It's literature, I use the dialogue that is in the book as Harper Lee wrote it. The southern accent is a bit difficult to do-I'm from Wisconsin for cry-aye-aye.

As a High Schooler, I never had to read that book. I guess they figured the brainiacs had already done so. My take on the book is that it does have it's message; but it is dated. Isn't there a more updated take on the racial inequalities that these kids can read? Reading about the deep south in the 30's does no resonate with the usual high-schooler.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Trekking Yarn

Trekking Yarn
Originally uploaded by ruddawg
I've gone without a ciggarette for one month! Ok, well..... it will be tomorrow that it will be one month. But, there was that leap day..........

My reward is one skein of Trekking yarn in Jamaika colorway. ooooh isn't that a great colorway?

At the end of my smoking career, I was smoking 3 - 5 ciggs a day. That would be over 1 pack a week. That figures to be 4.50 a pack or roughly the same amount of cash that would cover what I spent for this yarn.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dem Fischer Sin Fru Clue 4

Originally uploaded by ruddawg
The faerose shawl is going nicely. Since this keeps me from craving ciggs, I knit a LOT. This time, got through the clue in 3 days. What you see here is the middle of the shawl plus 2 of the 6 side panels. The side panels are repeated 3 times on each side of the middle panel.

I gave myself a gift for going 7 days without smoking, and bought a 60" Addi Circ to knit this on. Oh WOW does that make knitting easier! The length of it is oh, about 18" so far. I didn't really measure it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Myths Propigated by the Healthy

When you are a smoker, your doctor will tell you out-and-out lies. They will promise you the moon, the stars, 72 virgins, and rivers of milk and honey once you quit smoking. "You will feel so much better! You will taste food better! Your clothes will smell fresh! Your breath will be like roses!!" Oh yeah sure. For one thing; I didn't smoke in my house. My clothes NEVER smelled like a night in a bar.
Now I will tell you what only one Doctor had the balls to tell me: For the first six months after you quit smoking, you will feel like SHIT. Especially in the morning. You will hack up little balls of phlegm, and it will hurt to do so. Headaches, sore chest, colds, sinus crap is all you are in for. It will get better and better the longer you are not smoking.

But those same doctors will also hand you the same line when you are overweight.
"Just lose 10 pounds and you won't need to take your bp meds." My doctor said.
To which I responded, "Dude, I lost TWENTY pounds and I'm still on it!"
That made him look at my chart. "Oh you did."
The promise that spewed forth from the doc was that by losing 10-20 pounds I'd not have to take my bp meds any more, my asthma would improve and I'd not have migranes any more. I would have to say that eventually that stuff happened after I lost 50 pounds. During the time it took to lose the weight, I had a host of problems that would make many just give up: Nausea, intestinal issues, aches and pains, and muscle twitches. The time it took to lose the weight and get into better shape was about 8 months.
The moral of the story is that even when you are changing your lifestyle for the good; don't expect it to be all sunshine and roses from the get-go. Don't get discouraged if the change isn't dramatic from day 1.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I am a domain name now!

I have a domain, http://www.ruddawg.com
For now, it's tied in with Auctiva. I'm working on the whole create-an-online-store thing. It's confusing, time-consuming and frustrating. But I wanted my own domain name, I wanted my nickname.com.....oh that's sooo cool!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dragon Bag

Dragon Bag
Originally uploaded by ruddawg

Ok, last one for today: this is the cooles fabric I've found so far (Well, in town anyways) for the bags. I'm in love with the design on the fabric!

Dem Fischer Sin Fru 3

Dem Fischer Sin Fru 3
Originally uploaded by ruddawg
Completed to the end of clue 3. The shawl is beautiful and I will be cracking on clue 4 that came out this morning.

Day 7 of the non-smoking thing. I knit whenever I start getting the urge to have a ciggarette. Valentine's day was spent pigging out on steak, chocolate cake, turtle cookies and parmesan cheese. My gift to my honey was the rib eye steak. His to me was authentic parmesan reggiano cheese from Italy. Oh I love it!

Monday, February 11, 2008

2 1/2 days and someone's gonna die

Yeah, I've quit smoking again: (no that's not my sister in the pic, but I wish I had ONE of those ciggs)The biggest thing that triggers my urge to smoke (or the stress urge to smoke) is my sister. I'm a laid back lady. I don't freak out over little things. Drama is not my scene. I'd rather spend my days quietly spinning, knitting or sewing.
But my sister lives, breathes and sustains her life on drama. She's raising her own grandkids, there's always something going on with their cars, she's got more physical ailments that most 10 people. And to top it off, her family got caught in that mortgage fiasco. Their mortgage is now more than they make per month, so bye-bye house.
And hello my house! When they move out, they have a month or so that they don't really have a place to call home. Hey, we have some room...sure come on over! We can put her and her hubby in the spare bedroom, and my Godson can bunk in with Alex. That's before she said that it would be 6 people accompanying her; including 2 kids under the age of 3. Um WHAT?!?!?! That means a total rehab of this place...it ain't kid proof! The youngest kid here is 15. He stopped sticking knives into outlets YEARS ago.
Oh God this is stressing me out too much. I want a ciggarette NOW. NOW NOW NOW.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

We've had some fun snowstorms here in Wisconsin. All this winter, we've been endlessly shoveling snow. Our favorite thing to say is "Oh look, it's snowing again!"

But yesterday's storm beat them all. It even got our area on the national news. Here's a link from the Chicago Trib: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/wisconsin/chi-ap-wi-wis.weather,0,2281609.story

You don't have to read it, actually it's quite boring. I'll summarize the fun part:
"The National Weather Service said Thursday its preliminary figures put the highest accumulations at 21 inches at Orfordville and near Beloit, 20.1 at Saukville, 20 near Evansville and at Jackson, 18 at Glendale, 17.1 at Beaver Dam and 16.5 near Sun Prairie. "

Our cozy little farm is located outside of Orfordville on the way to Beloit. Yeah, we've got something like 21" of snow in one day. Everything shuts down when you get 21" of snow in one day. Hell, even the postal service doesn't work. Dave and Alex haven't been to work or school in two days. Good thing I work at home eh? Well..........I can't mail anything until tomorrow.

Last night Dave and I went outside and did some digging out. It took over 2 hours with a snowblower, shovel and our labor to clear off the driveway, parking pad and the cars. The wind whipped up some 4' high snowdrifts. That's taller than the snowblower y'all.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Knit Along Updates

Dem Fischer Sin Fru 2
Originally uploaded by ruddawg
What you see is Dem Fischer Sin Fru -Fisherman's Wife. It's a faerose type shawl. Faerose to me translates as "Oh, the shawls that don't fall off" I like that in a shawl.

This is the completion of clue 1. I was waiting for a store in the mall to open up yesterday so I sat down and knitted for an hour in the food court. Two people commented: One older lady (older than me) liked the lace in it, and one BIG dude wanted to know what I was knitting for him. I cocked my head to the side and purred, "A shawl, and you will look soooooo pretty in it!" He laughed.

The details: Knitted in Misti Alpaca Laceweight yarn in cream color on Addi Turbo size 4 needles.

Now, I'm also in Secret of the Stole 2, but my effort got hideously screwed up and I frogged it. I'm not sure I'm going to start again. I knitted the first stole and gave it as a gift. The recipient received it, questioned what it was, then announced that it will be used as a table runner. Um ah, sure..........whatever.

I know I ought to let go. Whatever the recipient wants to do with a gift should not reflect upon the knitter. Ah, to heck with it. I'm not knitting any more shawls for Christmas.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Practical Knitting

Later on this morning: The progress on my knit alongs. I'm on the Dem-Fischer-Sin-Fru (the fisherman's wife) and Secret of the Stole 2.

But for now, it is what I do what I am not knitting along. I have been doing what I would call practical knitting. It's been freezing cold here and the men have cold toes. I grabbed some of my thicker yarn from the stash. Ok, not really stash but two large garbage bags full of yarn. In a weekend I had two sets of slippers made.

On the left is my Husband's pair. I know, they don't match. The problem was that I ran out of yarn after knitting the first one. My only excuse is that they were needed immediately. My husband was not concerned with looks, he just needed warm feet.

I learned my lesson with my son's socks. (On the Right)
I had even less of the cool colored wool and much of the gray stuff, so I knitted the color in the cuffs, heels and toes and left the middle to be plain. His hit his feet about as fast as Dave's did and they've not been off since. I need to wash them.

Mine are not on my feet. (left) These were knitted at my In-Laws' about a month ago. I was not happy because they were supposed to be just normal socks. They were knitted on too large of kneedles to be comfortable. Then, I had an inspiration and threw them in the wash. That worked! I think I'll try that again.
Each of these were knitted from the same pattern: A general sock pattern knitted on size 10 needles. I cast on 40 stitches, knitted about 2" of k2p2 ribbing, then 8 knited rows. The heel is the slip one, knit one on the knitted side, then slip one, purl one on the purl side. The heel was a V-Shaped heel. The rest was knitted and tried on until I got to the end where it was k2 together at the beginning and end of each row at the toes, then bind off and crochet the toes together.

My Mother's socks were finished also. (On the Right) They were knitted on size 3 bamboo DPN's with my handspun. As usual, I was afraid I was running out of yarn so I grabbed some pink and did some 'shadow' knitting on the feet. It was knit one row of the colored, then knit one row of the pink.
My reasoning was that the feet weren't going to be seen anyways, they could be a bit less flashy. I'm just happy that they are done.