09 December 2008

The blob

I'm on a roll. I finished the first repeat of Chart C.

Here's my current lace blob:

Spider's Web Shawl, half-hexagon version

The close-up:

Close-up of half-hex shawl

The only mod so far is that I went down one needle size so it won't be quite as airy as some of the others out there. I'm a little worried that it may not block out as big as I would like but it is lace and blocking does amazing things to a project.

At this rate, I might actually be done by Christmas. Of course, its just for me. hee hee.

07 December 2008

Finally, photos

For my Tia, who is celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary in a few weeks:

Shawl for Tia
(for reference, the shawl is blocking on a queen-sized bed)

Shawl for Tia
(sorry for the white on white, hopefully you can still make out the shawl)

Pattern: Blue Curacao by Doris Chan (Ravelry link, part of Amazing Crochet Lace)
Yarn: Lily Chin's Greenwich yarn in white, 60% nylon, 22% acrylic, 28% mohair. This was the yarn in the pattern and I happened to have some in my stash. I actually have enough for another one but I haven't decided if I should make the same pattern for my mom.
Modifications: none

I really enjoyed crocheting this project. I was done in a couple of weeks but that was mostly because I didn't have much time to work on it during the week.

For myself:

Cashmere scarf

Cashmere Scarf - kitchener stitched together

Pattern: Tiger Eyes Lace Scarf by Toni M. Maddox
Yarn: Neighborhood Fiber Co. Limited Edition: Luxury Sock Yarn (Cashmere & merino) in Raspberry Truffle. (Ravelry link since I can't find it anywhere else)
Modifications: I split the skein in two (good thing I have that scale) and then knit both ends at the same time. Originally, I used a 3-needle bindoff to join the two sides but it wasn't stretchy enough so I had to kitchener it together.

I've already worn this twice. It's only 8" wide but its ridiculously long, I think it was almost 80". It was too long to block on the queen-sized bed so I put a sheet over the carpet and pinned it using blocking wires.

05 December 2008

Apparently, its no big surprise♦

Because I couldn't resist...

Your rainbow is strongly shaded orange, red, and brown.


What is says about you: You are a passionate person. You appreciate the roughness of nature. You feel closer to people when you understand their imperfections. Others are amazed at how you don't give up.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

I saw this on Trillian's blog. Uh, apparently its no surprise that I always pick up the fiery orange yarns. Although that nature thing? Yeah, not really. Did I mention I'm a city girl and don't really "do" nature? (For those of you on my one & only camping trip, you can attest to it.)

I have been knitting (& crocheting) and one day I will actually take some pictures.

The holidays...so much to do & so little time. So I decided I needed to start a lace project (Ravelry link). I'm doing the half-hexagon version. I finished chart A (100 rows) in a few days but then had a brain fart when I started chart B. After tinking back a bit (we won't say how much), I'm back on track.

Lace knitting...so much better than thinking about all those things I should be doing.

27 October 2008

Souvenir Yarn

I've been trying to cut back on my yarn purchases but the one thing I haven't given up is souvenir yarn. When we were in Jacksonville, I had to get some yarn.

One of the yarns I purchased was this lovely yarn from J. Knits. Its superwash light sock in the color "Kansas".

J. Knits Light Sock Yarn, Color: Kansas

J. Knits Light Sock Yarn, Color: Kansas
(the true color is somewhere in between)

The vividness reminds me of Kill Bill, one of my FIL's favorite movies. When I mentioned to my MIL that I thought it would make a great scarf for him, she mentioned that she really liked the other yarn I bought at Knit Witz (the one I bought with a stole for me in mind). I think she may be a little jealous that I am currently working on socks for my FIL and am now thinking about a scarf for him. Gotta tread that line lightly.

On a different note, my niece and nephew called me last week and about 5 minutes into the conversation, they were talking about what they wanted for Christmas. My first thought was "eek, I can't believe its coming up so soon!". My niece named 2 video games immediately. My nephew on the other hand, asked if he could come see me (awww, isn't he sweet?). He said if that was too much to ask, then he would like a new blanket. (I crocheted him a toddler-sized blanket when he was about 1 year old.)

OK, if I didn't already love him to death, that boy has now won my undying devotion as well. Really, an 11-year old boy asking for handcrafted work from his aunt? I am currently searching for the perfect yarn/pattern combo so I can get started ASAP. This needs to be a twin-bed sized blanket at the very least. Aack! Will I make it by the holidays? Any suggestions? There are some pretty blankets out there but many seem too girly. I'm leaning towards the Knitted Garter Stitch Blanket but I'm afraid it might be too small. They live in MA so a very warm blanket would totally work.

17 October 2008

"Hot for the Harlot"

That was what one of the signs read at the Yarn Harlot (aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee) reading last night. I'd always said that if she ever came to FL, I would find a way to go to the reading. If you think her books and blog are funny, let me tell you she is even better in person. (Run, do not walk to the nearest reading, you will never regret it.) I laughed so hard that I cried. Amy (who kindly drove us to Jax and back) and I were one of the last to get our books signed. I told her that "I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats". She looked up at me and asked me to repeat myself. For a moment there was shear terror that I had offended her. It was too late, I'd already said it once aloud, there was no turning back. So, I repeated myself ("I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats") and she said that was the best thing she'd heard all day. She said I should put it on my blog. (She even remembered the photo I sent her of my snowdrop shawl. It was my first lace project ever. Did I mention that she totally rocks?)

I only wished I had remembered to bring her good beer. Next time, Stephanie, I promise you will not have to drink beer-flavored water in FL.

20 August 2008

Eye of the Storm

You ever wonder where you fellow bloggers live? Well, from now on when I tell people where I live, they'll actually know. Unfortunately, they'll know all about "Melbourne, FL" because tropical storm Fay has been sitting over us for the last 36 hours or so. Thankfully, we are safely nestled away in our home with our storm shutters down over the windows. We only lost power briefly this morning and my DH finally figured out what was wrong with my internet connection so we're good. The only time we leave is to let the dogs out. There is some flooding of nearby roads so we can't get out of our community but our actual road is OK.

It also means lots of time for knitting. I'll be done soon with the body for my Licorice Whip (take 2). Depending on whether or not I'm tired of it, I may go back to working on the socks for my FIL or get started on the sleeves right away. I have some other things to share so as soon as it clears up long enough to take some pictures, I'll share.

ETA: DH just found out work is cancelled for tomorrow too because of all the clean-up and residual flooding tomorrow. Unfortunately, they also announced the make-up days-he'll be working a few weekends but that's better than taking unnecessary risks on the road. I hope everyone is safe.

03 July 2008

I'm back!

I know I have yarn and fiber to give away but I am sorry to say that I have not picked the winners yet. Sorry! My inlaws are coming tonight so I'm thinking Monday will have to be the big day so I can try to reach winners via email over the weekend.

Alaska was beautiful and I highly recommend that if you ever have the chance, you should go. The marathon was tough and there were moments where I wasn't sure I would make it. Thanks to the support and reassurance of DH (who stayed with me the whole way, isn't he great?), I made it across the finish line. But best of all, I raised lots of money for a cause I believe in (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) and I had a good time training. I may even do it again some day...

Have a great holiday weekend!

15 June 2008

Last Raffle - Lots of Prizes

June 21st is my first marathon. As part of the fundraising effort to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, I'm raffling off the rest of the prize yarn/fiber. Just a dollar gets you a chance at a prize and for every $5 you get 6 chances. Donate at http://www.active.com/donate/tntcfl/tntcflBGuzman. Technically, I get an email from the site but you can also send me an email at betzig AT gmail DOT com just so I know to be on the lookout.

Look at all this fiber goodness (and one could be yours):

YarnAhoy prizes

Yarn: YarnAhoy Desert Song
Content: 50/50 silk/merino
Yards: 1250 yds

YarnAhoy prizes

Yarn: YarnAhoy's Velvet Night
Content: Cotton/lycra (great for summer socks or for those with wool allergies)
Yards: 375 yds

YarnAhoy prizes

Yarn: YarnAhoy's Royal Peacock (I think, she donated the yarn and it doesn't have a tag)
Content: 100% Superwash merino
Yards: 375 yds

YarnAhoy prizes

Yarn: YarnAhoy's Hummingbird's nest (I have two of these skeins up for the raffle)
Content: 100% Superwash merino
Yards: 375 yds

YarnAhoy prizes

Fiber: 100% superwash merino roving
Weight: 4.7 oz

The details: the marathon is this Sat. and we're hopping on a plane on Wed. so I'll use a random number generator to pick winners after we get back. We get back June 27th so that means all prizes will be awarded in 2 weeks. One person per skein/fiber. Remember, all it takes is $1 and every donation goes directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Thank you!!

03 June 2008

For the love of ravelry

I know not everyone is on Ravelry or would care to be part of it, but it has saved my credit card from over use. Although I have bought yarn (for a good cause to be sure, but still) so my diet is a bust, I am trying very hard to stop myself from spontaneous/"must have now" purchases. I was cruising through some pattern pages and that, of course, leads to yarn pages and next thing I know I'm looking at yarn shops online. In fact, I was looking at some laceweight on a discount site when I remembered that I already had some of that yarn in my stash. I flip back to my stash page on Ravelry, and there it is--no need to get more. Phew! Because if I had bought said yarn, it would mean that I would have had to buy more just to get the free shipping. I mean, really, why not spend just a little over the shipping cost so there is something to show for that additional expense? (Yes, this is how the slippery slope of gratuitous yarn shopping happens.)

I've worked on the ABC afghan and finally finished the ribbing for some socks for my FIL but neither show any exciting progress. I'll work on them tonight so I have something to show for my time (other than leaving comments on everyone else's blogs).

22 May 2008

C is for crochet

I gave in to the temptation and started a crocheted baby blanket. My college roommate just had a boy and another friend is supposed to have a boy next month. Since I don't have really boy-appropriate yarn in my stash (stop snickering, its true that despite all that yarn there wasn't anything just right for a baby blanket for a boy), I fell victim to the acrylic at one of the big box stores. Now, not all acrylic is equal. Sadly, I got some crappy acrylic because I thought the colors were exactly what I wanted. I am not enjoying the actual crocheting of this blanket but it is turning out lovely. I'll just have to steam the crap out of it so its not so scratchy.

A photo of the ABC Afghan:

ABC Afghan

From the side its easier to see the puff stitch which creates the outlines and letters:
ABC Afghan

Again, the colors were perfect for the recipient so I went with it. I'm sure she will appreciate the easy care acrylic but it sure is tough on my hands. On the other hand, it is such an easy project, it is just zooming along and makes for great TV crocheting.

Guess what came in the mail yesterday?

Wii Fit

Yeah, because I really need another distraction from my work during the day. (It's actually DH's anniversary present. Wednesday marked 4 years since we got married.)

19 May 2008

Bad Blogger

Um, yeah, its been a few days since I posted and I owed you some photos.

First, the nearly finished Baby Surprise Jacket:

EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket

When I seamed up the first sleeve, I went too far over and the neck opening was too small so I had to pull out the seam. This time I'm going to use safety pins to help me figure out the right spacing. I need to find buttons--what side should the buttons be on for a girl? I never know these rules... Since this isn't for anyone in particular now, I have time to find something perfect.

The yarn haul from MDS&W was modest. There was some Socks that Rock (mediumweight) in Lodestone and Ravenscroft:

Socks that Rock, mediumweight

Its hard to see but there is some green in that black:

Socks that Rock, mediumweight

I think that together they are destined to be a beautiful shawl. Its hard to tell from the pictures but the green hue in the black is picked up in the Lodestone (those parts that look kind of dirty are really a green color).

Socks that Rock, mediumweight

There was also some Worsted Weight (Russian American) yarn from Peace Fleece in Siberian Midnight:

Peace Fleece

Look at all that tweed-y goodness:
knit 005

The base is navy blue plied with a dark brown and then its got white, gray, and tan flecks. I'm thinking it might be the perfect Cobblestone yarn.

The Peace Fleece customer service was fabulous, just so you know. They only had 6 skeins left at the festival and I wanted 7 just to be sure I didn't run out of yarn. I paid for 7 at the festival and they shipped me (free of charge) the last skein. I can't wait to cast on.

Next time, how I succumbed to the call of crochet.

13 May 2008

Crochet is calling

I'm almost finished with my Baby Surprise Jacket. Only one more ridge, the bindoff and I'm ready to put it all together. I love the colors and think it will make a great gift. Unfortunately, its intended recipient is already too big for it. (I guess I should have actually started this while the baby was still in the womb.) I didn't bother to swatch since I knew I wanted to make the pattern and I knew I wanted to use this yarn so I don't really care. Of course, it means I need to come up with another gift for the baby girl.

So I went to Maryland Sheep & Wool and did the abbreviated tour (I was only there on Sunday). I actually got to meet Casey and Jess of Ravelry fame. I showed some restraint and only came home with two skeins of Blue Moon Fiber's Socks that Rock and some beautiful tweedy wool from Peace Fleece--enough to make a Cobblestone sweater for hubby. (Well, in theory since we all know how often I actually finish a sweater for him.)

But what is most interesting about the whirlwind trip to the MD/DC area? I came back with a serious hankering to do some crochet. Honestly, I think its the STR--it is screaming to become a crocheted something. (Or maybe it was all the exposure to other crocheters like Carrie, Pam and newbie crocheter Christi.) Perhaps a Blue Curacao?

I'll finish up the BSJ tonight and then take pics of the FO and new yarn tomorrow.

19 April 2008

We have a winner!

It took a while to get to the goal, but we finally have a winner for the Coral Shock sock yarn. Congratulations to Christine! (She also just signed up the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk so go on over there and show her some love.)

This means that we'll be ready for the next yarn. In the opposing corner we have

Desert Song
coming in at 1250 yards
made of 50% silk and 50% merino
the opponents don't stand a chance

Desert Song

A little closer so you can see how yummy this yarn and the colors are:
Desert Song

I think I'll change the rules a little to maybe make it easier for everyone. We'll approach this like an internet drawing: for every $1 you donate, you get a "chance" (since this is all virtual, you won't get a physical ticket). For every $5 you get 6 chances to win. This time, we'll shoot for just an accumulated total of $50. Sound good?

Like last time, email me at betzig AT gmail DOT com (delete spaces and change to appropriate punctuation) and/or comment on this post when you make a donation so I know to put you down for the drawing.

09 April 2008

Pretty in Pink and Purple

I finally started my first Elizabeth Zimmerman project, a Baby Surprise Jacket.

Baby Surprise Jacket

It doesn't look like much right now, but I'm enjoying the simple garter stitch. Unfortunately, I got cocky and messed something up when I was knitting and watching TV. I ripped and reknit so that the stitch count is back to what it should be. I thought briefly about fudging the counts and then adding another ridge to get everything back on count but I knew if it didn't look right later, I would just be annoyed. Better to rip and restart to get it right than hate it later. With the help of Kenny's spreadsheet, I should be able to stay on track.

I enjoy EZ's straightforward description of the pattern because you can hear her voice as you read the words. However, it very much feels like a description since its not like other commercial patterns where everything is spelled out for you. When she describes a new direction, it takes a while to internalize what I'm supposed to be doing but as soon as I get it, it seems so obvious.

Technically, this is for my friend's baby but I don't actually know if it will fit the baby. However, I've really wanted to try this pattern and there seems to be lots of support/tips on the internet so even if it doesn't fit her, I'll enjoy the process and just have a baby gift on hand.

31 March 2008

Actual FO!

I have actually made the effort to squeeze in some knitting time. I didn't take the time to photograph it at the beginning but here is an actual FO, some Red Dwarf socks for me.

Pattern: Red Dwarf socks
Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino
Needles: 2 size 4 circulars (did them 2 at a time)

Notes: After being disappointed by this yarn in terms of yardage, I was glad that it was enough to finish these socks. Although, I had to do 4 repeats of the fishtail lace and only 3 garter ridges because I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough yarn to do the 6 repeats and 5 garter ridges that the pattern specifies. (In the end, I had about 6 grams of yarn left from one skein but only 1 gram of yarn from the other skein.) I also find the bindoff a little tight. I did the bindoff with size 6 needles (after doing them on the size 4 needles the first time) so its not too bad *but* it is a little tough to get the cuff over the heel. Once the socks are on, there is no problem and the bindoff looks good with the garter ridge edge so I left it as is. (Considering I wove in the plies separately, there is no way I'm re-doing the bindoff again.)

I'm supposed to be in the Maryland area for MDS&W and I will finally meet, in person, the lovely sock designer herself, Cristi.

24 March 2008

Help Cure Cancer and Get Some Yarn and Good Karma in the Bargain

OK, so I haven't been posting much knitting these days in part because I've been training for the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, AK through Team in Training. Apparently, I am only capable of doing one non-work activity/hobby at a time. However, I want to combine my love of yarn with my goal to raise $5,100 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I have lost some loved ones to cancer and currently have a childhood friend struggling through cancer treatment. From what I've read, leukemia has been designated as a "gateway" cancer, namely that they think that once they figure out how to cure it that cure will lead to the development of cures for other cancers.

So how can you help cure cancer and get some yarn out of this? Well, I've decided to hold a contest of sorts. (Its my first-ever so bear with me.) Here are the rules:

-for every $10 you donate, your name goes in the pool of potential winners once
-for every $50 you donate, your name goes in the pool of potential winners six (6) times (that's 5 for each $10 you donated plus a bonus because I appreciate your sacrificing some yarn money for this cause)

-for every $100 that you wonderful knitters/crocheters/fiber lovers donate to my fundraising efforts, I will give away a skein of yarn (or perhaps a braid of roving) and maybe even a little surprise
-the drawing starts from scratch for each skein giveaway, so no more than 10 people will be in the running for any given skein
-at the very end, everyone who has donated and not previously won anything will be in the running for some surprise yarn

-keep in mind every donation is tax deductible (the money goes directly to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), you are doing something that makes a tangible difference to someone fighting cancer (hence the good karma), and you might even get some yarn out of the deal (a 1-in-10 chance isn't too bad and the odds increase in your favor the more you give)

The winner at each $100 mark will be chosen by a random number generator. You will need to let me know when you donate that you are interested in being part of the contest. Email me at betzig AT gmail DOT com (change the words to symbols and remove all the spaces so you don't get a bounce-back) with your name and email. You can donate online or you can email me to get an address to send a check. When you win, I will send you an email to get your snail mail address.

The yarn to tempt you to donate is from Yarhahoy. We'll be starting with some lovely sock yarn in Coral Shock, appropriate name no?

Handpainted sock yarn
100% superwash merino
460 yards (more than enough for a pair of socks or a scarf/neckwarmer)
Gauge: Gauge: 7- 8 sts=1" on #1-#3
Retail price: $22.80 (and could be yours for a mere $10 donation)
The color is pretty true on my monitor but you can get a second opinion on Yarhahoy's site here.

One more thing, if you would like for me to run in honor of someone you know and love who has battled cancer (doesn't have to be leukemia or lymphoma or a blood cancer), please send me the name of that person. During the marathon I will be wearing the names (probably written on ribbons) of people who I am honoring by undertaking this challenge.

A little preview of the next skein up for the contest:


15 March 2008

Yarn diet out the window

So, I've decided I'm not going to Stitches East this year. Although very enjoyable, I think I'm ready for a new avenue. Well, it just so happens that the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival will occur the weekend I was planning on being in the area anyway. Is it me or is that a sign that I should go? Of course, I will be attending with the fabulous Pam, the very funny Amanda and I think I may even (finally) meet Cristi in person. It goes without saying, that first weekend of May will involve some serious yarn shopping.

Considering its already mid-March and I haven't really been swayed to break the diet, I thought waiting until May would be a no-brainer. However, I was tempted by the Yarnahoy sale. Her yarn is lovely and starting on March 17th she will shut down her shop for 2 months while she is in India. Even that alone was not enough to sway me. So why did I break down and buy yarn (and even some roving)? Because I am planning a blog contest!

I have never done a contest before so I'm thinking the easiest thing is to use a random number generator. The reason I'm having this contest is to bribe folks into making some donations for my fundraising efforts for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I'll figure out the details by the time the yarn arrives. Just wait until you see what I got for you.

18 February 2008

Rip it, rip it

The lovely Licorice Whip is going to have to take a trip to the frog pond. Although I actually knit a gauge swatch, I am doing something different and the sweater is too big by about 6 inches in the bust. OK, so I knit the swatch flat and knit the sweater in the round, so this was probably my first mistake. However, when I hold a tape measure across the back of the sweater (all stockinette) to measure my actual gauge, I get the same thing: 19st/4 inches. The lace might be affecting my gauge but enough to wind up with 6 inches more in the bust? I don't think so. Most likely user error.

I hate to think of ripping all this work out but it really is too big.

See the bunching at the shoulder?

Yeah, those couple of inches of positive ease on the sides can only lead to unhappiness later.

Better to face the reality now than to make it and hate it later. On the bright side, it means that I may actually have enough yarn to finish the whole sweater.

Since I thought I was getting 19st/4 inches, I followed the directions for the XXL. The reality is that I'm getting more like 16st/4 inches, so I should be following the directions for the S. However, for the life of me, I can't figure out how I'm getting the wrong counts for the actual gauge. Oh well, either way it has to be re-done. bummer.

06 February 2008


I finally took a picture of Licorice Whip. Hubby is impressed at how it seems to be flying along.

Gotta say, I'm pretty happy with it. I put it on scrap yarn and think it will have some positive ease but not too much. Now lets just hope that I have enough yarn to finish.

The pest control guy came yesterday and sprayed the crap out of the house. Even though I kept the dogs out all day while the stuff dried, Genny has been acting weird--every once in a while she'll start licking (like when she's got peanut butter stuck on the roof of her mouth) and she starts making that sound that dogs make before they puke (no dry heaving, just that staccato breathing). She was just doing it and then started to whine so I took her out and she started eating the grass like it was going out of style. She'll definitely be puking later. Lovely. Although, I hope it makes her feel better.

A picture of the doggies visiting with their cousin, Stella, when the house was not tick-infested.

On yet another non-knitting note, hubby and I have joined Team in Training which works with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to raise awareness and help fund research. If you feel so inclined, you can contribute to my fundraising efforts here.

04 February 2008

In which we discuss knitting and dog-related drama

The sockee for hubby still needs a new toe. I was going to do it this weekend, really I was but...um, I get distracted easily. Maybe this week will be the one where he gets his finished socks.

As I mentioned, I'm trying to resist the lure of buying new yarn. My stash is modest, but there is still plenty of it. Its only January and I'm already starting to think of ways I can skirt this self-imposed yarn diet. SweetGeorgia is talking about opening her shop again. Hel-lo! If any of those Joss Whedon-related colors come back, I will have to break down. (Sock yarn doesn't count, right?)

Having been inspired to think about a small project that would involve steeks, I looked through my stash (thanks to Ravelry that no longer leads to yarn all over the floor) and realized that I have very little wool. Makes sense, I'm in Florida and I rarely have a need for anything warmer than a light cotton sweater. But now with the new job and the occasional trips back to the DC area, surely I need at least a couple of wool sweaters? at the very least some accessories, no? Surely, I need some wool yarn to try out my first steeking project?

Did you know about Blue Moon Fibers' Raven Clan? I want them all. I love black and dark colors in general, so those are right up my alley. Sure, it would probably help if I just stopped looking at all the beautiful yarn and stopped clicking on all the yarn sale links but I just can't help myself.

On the other hand, the other day when I was looking for a new travel project I went stash diving instead of buying some great new yarn and a corresponding pattern. Good for the bank account. After looking at some of the patterns in my queue, taking into account I was in the mood for something that would be mostly stockinette, and what yarn I have on hand, I came up with Licorice Whip. Its coming along fairly quickly (for me anyway). Unfortunately, I wasn't paying attention to the fact that because my yarn has less yardage per ball and knits at a smaller gauge, I'm going to need more of it than if I used the pattern yarn. I'm starting to worry that I'll run out before I finish the sleeves. So now I'm thinking, it doesn't count if I buy yarn to finish a project, right?

We'll see how long I can hold out. At least I'm getting a yarn fix every so often with my sock club yarn from Neighborhood Fiber Co. This month's colors are some of my favorites--blues and grays. I think I may restart socks for my FIL from this yarn.

Now for the dog-related drama. For those of you cursing me for living in sunny, warm Florida, think again. Year-round warmth means year-round flea and tick control for the doggies. (Do you see where this is going?) When we got our first dog, we were told that we only needed to worry about flea and tick control during spring and summer but that in the cooler months not to put it on them. That stuff is actually some poison that in low doses doesn't usually do any harm to the dog. But I'm thinking, why do that to them if its not necessary, right? Well, in Oct. I quit putting the stuff on them. By late Oct. I noticed they were getting more ticks than normal. No worries, I just needed to check them every time I brought them in from a walk. Well, come mid-Nov. I start noticing ticks just walking around on my floor. eww! I call the pest control guy and due to scheduling issues they can't come right away. I vacuum the crap out of the house and hubby buys some over the counter stuff to kill the ticks. Needless to say, the dogs were back on flea and tick control ASAP. Things seemed to quickly improve.

Fast forward a few months, the dogs still seemed to have an inordinate amount of ticks on them but the ticks no longer seemed to be all over the house. That sense of security was short-lived. First, what looked like dirt on one of our walls this weekend turned out to be many (possibly hundreds?) of little baby ticks. They were removed and flushed. Then, when we were removing our old rug from our bedroom we found more. To add insult to injury, I found a tick last night actually stuck to my stomach, right at my waistband so that sucker probably crawled up my leg. (eww - that is so disturbing, I kept search for ticks on my body for a good 30 mins after) The pest control guy has been called and he better be coming later this week. (Oh yeah, the joys of living in a small town: although the pest control company is centralized, the workers are independent so they pass along the message and then get back to me.)

So for those of you in cold climates, be glad it gets below freezing so that ticks die. I'm trying to remain calm and not think about how many more are hiding in my walls.

07 January 2008

Happy New Year

As I review the knitting year, I have to admit, I didn't do nearly all I thought I would. Actually, (blushes) I didn't meet any of my knitting resolutions so this year I'm not making any. I'm just going to enjoy knitting and try to spend more time focusing on the process and not on finishing projects.

I did knit my first socks and found that I liked the experience. I actually finished socks for hubby so he jokes that I finally finished something for him. Although I haven't maximized my Ravelry membership, I have found that it helps me from making rash yarn buying decisions. I also like that I can see my WIPs--I'm feeling empowered to frog some of them. I haven't done it yet but its on my list of things to do.

This year, I'm also putting a freeze on the yarn buying. That's right, you read right, no yarn buying--at least not until Stitches East. Even if I don't go, I'm holding out until the event. Of course, my Tour of DC yarn membership doesn't count since I bought & paid for it a few months ago. (C'mon a yarn fiend has to have something.)

On the personal front, I'm changing jobs again. Yet again, someone came to me and made me an offer that was too good to pass up. I'm hoping 2008 will finally bring some stability to my professional life and by extension to my personal life. I didn't think it would be so disruptive to have things change so much every few months. I'm tired of it and hope that in a few months my life will settle into a comfortable rhythm.