Sunday, December 31, 2006

Knitting ADD

Apparently I have it. I've started 4 different projects in 3 days. The blue scarf is called Liesel and is much more blue than this picture shows.

The orange and blue tie are a Christmas present which isn't quite done. Oops.

The purple bag is finished and just needs to be felted then the magnetic clasp added.

This blue yarn is going to be for the next felted bag. Once I finish it, I am going to felt both of the bags at the same time. I have only cast on for it but not done much more than that. I am waiting for my KnitPicks needles to come in the mail. They were supposed to be here yesterday but didn't arrive. This means that they won't be here until Tuesday. This arrived, however.
Isn't it wonderful? It is undyed sock yarn from Ruby Sapphire Yarns on I am planning to dye it using Kool-Aid sometime soon. I have decided to make one skein "Berry Blue," "Grape" and "Black Cherry." The other one will be " Lemonade," "Orange" and "Cherry." I can't wait! :)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

OK, so I am starting some Christmas books a little late. This one probably won't even get to the recipient for a couple of weeks what with drying time and shipping time. I love working with heavier weight yarn (or two strands of worsted weight held together) and large needles. It just makes the project knit up so quickly! I started this purse in the afternoon yesterday and am finished with it (other than weaving in the ends, sewing the bottom together and felting it) this afternoon.

I am going to be starting on the next purse (exact same pattern but different colors) this evening. The sun is shining so I will be riding the horse while the weather is good. Perhaps there will be time to walk the dog, too?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Fortune Cookie of the Day

My Fortune Cookie told me:
Chocolate-coated lofts! Dozens of them! All of them hapless!
Get a cookie from Miss Fortune


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The key to a party

The final round of Christmas parties has finally come to an end. Don't get me wrong, I love visiting with all of the people but it can be a bit much. In high school, we used to have a cookie party each year. The tradition didn't continue when I went to college. This year, however, we decided to change that. Apparently we went a little overboard! My family ended up having 3 parties this year. :)

The first and second parties happened on the same day. The first was in the afternoon and the second in the evening. Much soup was eaten, many stories shared, and meeting new people was done but not much cookie decorating happened. The third party, on the other hand, was a cookie decorating machine. (I know that sentence doesn't make sense but stick with me on this one.) I had to start baking more cookies during the party so there would be more variety! All of the parties were so much fun. I just love socializing and feeding people :)

My family had a quiet but nice Christmas. The cat and the dog stayed in the same room to see what all of the activity was about. We use cloth bags instead of wrapping paper so the cat couldn't have fun attacking the paper. In the way of knitterly gifts, my aunt gave me a gift card to the LYS (<3) and Mom (and presumably Dad) gave me a set of Knit Picks Options needles. I didn't get all of my presents finished for Christmas (oops) so I am still working on them. Perhaps New Year's presents?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Just might make it

I have finished the heels on Mom's socks and just might make it for Christmas. Hope she doesn't want a long leg! This picture was from yesterday. I happened to be reading the chapter on socks in Knitting Rules! while making these socks :D

This picture is from today with both of the heels made. It should be pretty smooth sailing from here. I'm not wearing the other sock because it would have done interesting things to the circular needles.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

FO (Finally) and WIPs

Picture time!

The picture to the right is the Forest Canopy Shawl being blocked. Note to self: get more T-pins!!!

This picture on the left is a close-up of the stitch pattern. See the detail? I definitely like it better after blocking. It looks much more like a leaf. I think the green was a good choice for the pattern.

These socks are the socks I am making Mom for Christmas. Note to self: stop sleeping! It is cutting down on the gift making time!! They are made out of Cherry Tree Hill yarn (<3)in Spanish Moss colorway.

And this is what I did yesterday at work. I really like the 3D snowflakes. Easy to make yet look very complicated.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mozart and more Mozart

On Andi, Emily, Karen and I went to Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart and town known to everyone who has watched The Sound of Music. Here is a quick photo collage.

The guesthouse where we were staying was one train stop away from the main train station and a couple of minutes walk. Well, it would have been a couple of minutes if we had not been lugging our luggage (funny how similar those two words are) up a steep hill. The guest house on Panoramaweg was very nice, pleasant, and cozy. The proprietress met us at the door and showed us to our large 4 person room. The next morning we were not able to see much from the breakfast nook because the fog had rolled in during the night. :( That is the downside of visiting Austria at the end of November and the beginning of December.

We made our way into town and began walking around. The streets of the old city were very charming. Everything was decorated for Christmas and the Christmas markets were in full swing.

Speaking of Christmas markets, I don't think I have ever had alcohol as early in the morning as I had this trip. The gluehwein and punsch were freely consumed. Probably explains why many of my pictures are slightly tilted. Hmmm.

My friend, Sarah, is currently an au pair in Germany. She and her boyfriend, Aaron, were visiting Salzburg at the same time so we met up with them in the Christmas market. The 6 of us trooped up to the fortress which hangs over the city. How anyone ever stormed castles is beyond me!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


To start off, our trip to Feldkirch, Austria was interesting. We landed in Zurich and were going to take the train to Feldkirch to meet Andi. We bought the tickets and had an hour+ to kill. We hung out in the train station until we were asked to leave for loitering (or we think that is what he said in German).

We went to the track where we thought the train was leaving from. The word "thought" is very important here. I blame jetlag. The train left at the correct time but ended up being a local train. We were riding along blissfully (me knitting then napping away) until the train came to a stop and the dreaded words "Last stop" were heard. Keep in mind that we had no map of Switzerland, only Austria, and were on the wrong train.

Luckily, a girl in a shop at the train station spoke some English and was able to direct us to a train which would take us to a place where we could connect for Feldkirch. Meanwhile, Em, Karen and I are worried that Andi would be waiting for us at the train station and not knowing where we were.

We arrived in Feldkirch (with a side trip to Lichtenstein) 2+ hours later than planned. Andi wasn't there waiting for us and we realized that we didn't know where she was teaching, living or her phone number. Ooops. We did know the address of the hostel so we trudged our way there. Not an encouraging start to the trip.

The owner of the hostel let us check in super early and put our stuff in our room. We sent an e-mail to Andi telling her that we made it to the hostel, were going out to find food, and would be back at the hostel later. The Italian(ish) place we stopped at was OK though there were major difficulties with the credit card machine. We wandered some in the old town when what should appear? A yarn store! It was the one I had found online :)

Zum Schwarzen Schaf was the best store I found the entire trip. The people were so friendly, the store was so bright and happy, and it was stocked full of beautiful yarns. I bought some Austermann Step yarn there (with aloe vera and jojoba oil). There was a BEAUTIFUL other sock yarn that I didn't buy because I thought I would find it later in Vienna or Salzburg. That was stupid! I should have bought it then because I didn't see it anywhere else. *Sigh*

Walking back to the hostel we met up with Andi and, boy, were we happy to see her! She had gotten our e-mail and told us that somehow she had written down the wrong address in her date book and was expecting us Thursday not Wednesday. She scrambled and was able to leave a day earlier than planned though we wouldn't have a chance to meet with her friends. Emily and I declined to go to her Wednesday movie night but Karen did. I think we (Em and I) to sleep at 7.30. Ugh, jetlag.

The next day we met up with Andi again and she showed us around her town. Feldkirch is a cute medieval town. We wandered to the castle there but it was closed for the season. Andi showed us around the old town. We had lunch in a very nice restaurant and I had a traditional Austrian dish almost like maccaroni and cheese but much heavier. After lunch, we stopped by the supermarket (International SPAR!!!) to buy food for the train. Then we started the hike to where Andi lives and teaches.

Let me tell you, by the end of her time there, Andi will be able to race up mountains without pausing for breath! It was a pretty steep hill which would ensure that you didn't buy much at the supermarket. I am just glad that she didn't take us up the steep stairs!

Andi's school and dorm (and a couple of other buildings) are all connected. Genius for those cold, winter mornings when snow is falling. The commute to work wouldn't be bad at all :) Andi's room is much bigger than I expected. It reminded me of my room in England with an extra room tacked on. The view out the window was amazing!

That evening, the four of us got on the train to Salzburg.

P.S. Go to this link to Austria pictures and this link to see New York pictures.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

More vacation stories (oh, how I wish I was back there)

Meeting up with Karen and Emily was extremely easy at the airport. They had a little more difficulty because our tickets were purchased as a group but I wasn't there yet. That problem was resolved quickly and they were checked in.

The flight over to Zurich was amazingly empty. I would say that the plane only had 1/3 of it occupancy filled. Everyone was able to spread out and almost everyone was able to have a row of seats to themselves. I was really looking forward to watching the in-flight movie, The Devil Wears Prada (who else thought the book ending was much better?). It did get started late so I wasn't able to get as much sleep as I should have. Also, the individual lights weren't working so they never turned off the main cabin lights :( I did, however, get plenty of knitting done.

I guess we were really getting pushed by the tailwinds because we arrived in Zurich almost an hour (!) early.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yes, I am alive

All of us made it back to the United States easily. I am going to do one post for my New York trip and probably break up the Austria/Switzerland trip into different posts.

There was knitting and yarn shop visiting all of the places I went. Ironically the best store in Austria was the one I visited first. Isn't that always the way? :)

New York City. . . Ice Skating in the Rockefeller Plaza (mini picture)

My cousin Carolyn is currently living in the city so I went to visit her and be a tourist. The only other time that I had been to New York was when I flew out of JFK in 2003 to study abroad in England. Didn't see too much then.

My trip to NY started on the day after Thanksgiving because that is when the ticket prices were the cheapest. The only problem was that I was working the day after Thanksgiving. Small detail. So I had to pack the night before and was all ready to leave directly from work. Mom drove me to the airport.

I wrote about my first little bit of NY in an earlier post. So read that and I will skip ahead.

On Sunday, Carolyn, Greg and I went to see Spamalot on Broadway. Carolyn and I got up earlier (kind of) to try to get discount tickets for it but we weren't sucessful. We ended up having to buy them online like everyone else. Oh, well. The play was just like the Holy Grail movie come to life. I think my favorite song was the "Song that Goes Like This." Monty Python humour all the way.

I was expecting to meet up with Mike, Karen and Emily sometime either on Sunday or Monday since we were leaving on Tuesday. Well, I forgot to take my phone with me on Saturday. Of course, that was the day that Mike kept trying to get a hold of me. He realized that they would have nowhere to store Emily and Karen's bags while going around the city. Oops. So we ended up having to give Mike keys to Carolyn's apartment in Brooklyn so they could put their stuff there. We met up with Mike right before the play. Em and Karen's bus was coming into the Port Authority which was only 2 blocks away.

Once they got all the way out into Brooklyn, they ended up being too tired and hungry to make the trip back into Manhattan. Carolyn told them how to get to the Alligator Lounge so we all met up there. Yummm, pizza. Six of us ate 9 pizzas. NINE. It was really fun to catch up and have my friends meet my cousin. After dinner and many games of pool, we went back to Carolyn's apartment. Dre and her boyfriend were there (now the number of people fitting into the apartment was 8). Most of us played poker late into the night. Skittles as poker chips worked well until they started getting sticky. Sticky skittles with slivers of serviettes. I, of course, knit socks :) Em, Karen and Mike took off around midnight or so for Long Island.

The next day I did the touristy thing on my own since Carolyn had to go to work. I went all over Manhattan and seemed to walk most of the way. Course I walked everywhere because I got confused on the subway, took the wrong stop, and decided to walk from 14th St up 5th Ave to 59th St. Yeah, that was nuts. Later, I walked around Central Park. Way too much walking! It was really nice though to walk along 5th Ave and see all of the shop windows.

I also went to the NYPL but, as it is now the Humanities Library or some such thing, it was closed on Mondays. I did take plenty of pictures of the lions. Then I wandered over to the Mid-Manhattan branch (sort of across the street) to sit down and look through my guidebook. I happened to sit at the table where all of the city guidebooks were located so I was able to do some more research. Then I wandered over to the Grand Central Station and ate lunch from the fresh air market in it. Later, I wandered over to Central Park and had a very nice walk. I'm really glad the weather was so good.

I did, however, have a goal for the day; visiting a yarn shop. It was on Ave A so I took the subway to a stop nearby and walked. In my walk, I went by a restaurant, 7A, that Carolyn, Greg and I had eaten at on Saturday. It was kind of nice to be able to recognize landmarks. The yarn store, Downtown Yarns, was really nice. They even had a store dog! I sat there for a while and began a sock with some beautiful yarn I got there. Here that sock is at the Statue of Liberty.

Later, I met up with Carolyn and Greg to eat in Little Italy. That makes it sounds like I knew where I was going. No, I did not. I got horribly lost and ended up in the completely opposite direction of where I was supposed to be. Ugh. I hate getting lost. Luckily, I had my map (and it screamed tourist) and I was able to navigate my way back. We had a pretty good dinner and made our way back to Carolyn's apartment. My stomach was upset so I stayed in when Care and Greg went to karaoke. Later, I watched Heroes with Dre and her boyfriend.

The next day, I wanted to be at the airport 2.5 - 3 hours before my plane left around 5. I figured it would take me a longer time to get there than it would Care (because she actually understands the system). So that meant that I wanted to be leaving Care's apartment around 1 -1.30. Decided to go to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the morning, meet Care for lunch, then head to her apartment to gather my stuff. Let me tell you, sitting on a boat with an upset stomach is NOT a good thing. I felt very green.

I decided to not go into the Statue because I didn't have much time. Walking around the Ellis Island building was really neat. The 3-D representations of immigration graphs were interesting. The part I liked the most was the pictures of the island before it was rehabbed. It was just pictures of the empty buildings. The best one was a picture of a chair in a deserted room, captured in a light shaft.

I easily met Care for lunch. Then I made my way back to the apartment and headed to the airport. There, I was able to check in easily (yea!) and met with Em and Karen at the gate.

Wow, that was a lot of info! I will put pictures in later.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

still alive in austria

right now in vienna. already visited a couple of yarn stores in feldkirch and new york. going to try to find one in vienna