Monday, February 25, 2008

Home & Garden Show

So I went to the Home & Garden show in Richmond last Saturday. And had an overwhelming desire to buy a pile of zippers!

At least that's what it looks like, right?

Actually, you zip and zip and zip and it turns into a tote bag!

Just like this. Kinda cool. The real idea is that it takes up less space unzipped so its good for traveling. But I really just bought it because I was amused. Though I do like the colors I picked.

Otherwise I mostly bought food - flavored oils, balsamic vinegar, applewood smoke sea salt and an herb blend.

This is my new idea for the backyard dream landscaping. This year replacing all the windows has to take priority as the big project, but next year maybe I can get the backyard landscaped. My backyard is fairly flat for about 10 yards from the back of the house, then slopes down pretty steeply to a wooded area. The constant in my plan is a patio on the flat part, maybe with planter boxes all around, then a winding path with terraced gardens down the rest of the yard. Because mowing back there is a nightmare! It also is the south side of the house, so a pergola over the patio would be nice. So the idea of a wall of water like this coming off the pergola before the garden area seems really cool to me!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Trades are fun!

Okay, so in my last post I mentioned surprising me with something from where you live as a trade for some of my yarn. And the first one from my end anyway was so much more than I ever could expect. The only thing I feel bad about is that apparently the Royal Mail is so much better than the US Postal Service that its not even funny. I've had my package since early last week and Jan is still waiting for her yarn to arrive in Scotland.

So I'm think Scotland, hmm, maybe shortbread or scotch (which my father and BIL would have enjoyed but not me), or .... Okay, I did wonder whether haggis was something you could mail, but had decided I'd at least I'd give it a try if it came!

Instead I get some cards - one with a small scene with sheep and the heading "missing ewe," two with print of textiles by Susan Woodcock from Blue Beyond Cards, and the last card a print of a painting by Martin Devine.

AND... The original painting you see here by Martin Devine called Scottish Landscape No. 71. I LOVE IT!

The best part is that I'm currently trying to put together a room in the house that will be my craft room. This is definitely going on the wall there.

Oh I only hope Jan's yarn arrives soon and she likes it as much as she expected!

Thank you Jan!

Sunday, February 03, 2008


A while back I used my excel spreadsheet to list my stash in Ravelry. Since then I've been gradually adding pictures. Once a picture is added, I've been moving the listing to the "trade or sell" section if I don't have an idea of what I'd use the yarn for or if I've decided I'm no longer interested in the project it was purchased for. I've added a link to that page on this blog.

I'm serious about making me an offer. In fact feel free to browse the entire stash. I've been rather open to requests for other yarn unless (a) I specific idea for a project and think that yarn is perfect or (b) its a yarn I purchased to try and its the only example in the stash.

I'm not actually interested in trades for yarn, since stash reduction is my primary goal. But i'd be interested in other trades. Be inventive. Maybe something unique to the area where you live. I'll also add a list of things I'm interested in, for example some older Simply Knitting magazines I'm looking for.

Or make me an offer for purchase. I tend to be rather generous with how cheaply I'll let things go, though that may be a function of how much I like the yarn.

Oh, and my Ravelry name is vaknitter . Feel free to add me to your friends and I'll do the same.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Happy? Groundhog's Day

I have a niece who thinks Groundhog's Day is a major holiday. I thought she believed it was THE major holiday, but she clarified this week that Christmas is a bigger deal.

She also loves dressing up their dog Blaize, aka Bubba (he was a post-Katrina rescue, so a southerner now living in New England). This is him helping her celebrate last year. Doesn't he look like he's having fun?

I put the ? in because the prediction is six more weeks of winter. So maybe not such a happy day for everyone! Actually, maybe that explains the look on Bubba's face, not the hat.

Friday, February 01, 2008

January resolutions met!!!!!


This is the first time I pulled off all resolutions since I started monthly resolutions, and I don't think its because I've learned to lowball myself!

These were the January resolutions, with results in bold:
- Take the "knit a mile" challenge in the Stash Knit Down 2008 group on Ravelry, and, since it straddles two months, knit the January proportion to reach that goal.

Counting only finished objects, I've knit 831 of the 1760 needed to meet this challenge. A little less than 1/2, but I've done a little more on some other things and feel it is still achievable from here.
- Finish the last two Christmas presents.

Done, as mentioned in my last post.

- Knock at least one more WIP/UFO off the current list.

Done, the Loopy and Luscious scarf in the last post takes care of this.

- Knit enough yardage to exceed the incoming stash from existing clubs and any other purchases I don't manage to resist (yikes I'm going to be near Webs!). Though there are enough existing clubs incoming that I'm hoping that thought will help resist the later.

By the skin of my teeth! Incoming yardage = 4150; outgoing = 4370.

The only reason I pulled this off is because my first yarn from the Neighborhood Yarn Company's Tour of DC sock club didn't arrive by yesterday, even though others have been getting them for the past week. Then again, the only reason I was this tight was because of my sister deciding that yarn was a good gift after all (see Murphy's Law ). But I didn't buy any new yarn myself, despite that Webs visit!

The beginning of the year totals I posted were off. I think the formulas in the spreadsheet that did the tallies were wrong. The new numbers are:
- 462990.15 yards of yarn in the stash
- 41 kits not otherwise counted in the stash (I did destash one of these)
- 19 WIPs

In addition to the three FOs mentioned above, I also started and finished two others.

So what will February's resolutions be:
- Meet the Knit a Mile challenge
- Finish two more of the WIPs
- Knit or destash enough yardage to exceed the incoming yardage from existing clubs and any other purchases I don't manage to resist.

So what clubs might I see this month:
- the last 2007 Flock Sock Club kit (not renewed for 2008)
- Yarn4Socks February Club (not renewed after this)
- Yarn Pirate Booty Club (not renewed after March)
- dkKnits Technicolor Dream Toes (continues through October)
- January and February Tour of DC Sock Club (continues through March)
- Harmony Sock Club (continues through June)
- Webs Skein of the Month (continues through December)
- Brooklyn Handspun Holiday Sock Club (continues through April)
- Tofutsies February, and also a 4-skein Collector's set I ordered last year

I've got a lot of knitting and/or destashing to do!

I'm hoping I can resist renewing these, especially since I'm in three other clubs that start in March! But if Zen Yarn Garden restarts the Sumptuous Sock Club I will not be able to resist that!