Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another short one

Well, I'm a little better. A year ago, I was convinced (from all of the medical info I had read on H1N1) that if I had caught this, I would be dead. Thank God that is not the case, as most of Central Ohio would be wiped out right about now. Now I feel like I have a really bad cold, which is enough to deal with.

Anyhow, am working on a hat, as I had mentioned earlier, and when I am done, I'll post pictures of it. I'm not entirely convinced that this is the final design, although it is pretty good, I have some ideas to spruce things up a bit.

Also have started unraveling again, but don't really have enough strength yet to complete the skeins. I seem to start off really well, then hit a wall in about an hour and have to crawl back into bed.

So that's about it. Here's to hoping that my life will get a little more exciting in the coming days!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Do Not Like H1N1

I have the flu. I am really sick. I do not like it.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Bad Day for a Yard Sale, I'm Using Circulars!

Bad Day For a Yard Sale

We're having a three day yard sale; today was day #2. Yesterday in Central Ohio was in the 70's and BEAUTIFUL! Lots of people were out yard saleing. We made out quite well and still had tons to sell. Today was in the 50's and wet and rainy. Only the die-hards come out on days like this. I sat cold and wet in the garage for large amounts of time with no action. We didn't do as well. But I did get to knit!


I'm Using Circulars!

Yesterday I cast on some 100% undyed wool for a hat. 128 stitches cast on, Multiple (with a capital "M") errors later, I pulled out all of my work and decided to start over. The dpn's that I was using were too short and I kept dropping stitches the first time around, so I decided to bite the bullet and use a circular. Alas, it is no Addi Turbo. There is not a good join and I have to stop often to pull more stitches onto the needle. But I'm knitting after a 2 week absence and it feel good to be knitting when you haven't done it for a while. I'm using a cable pattern that I designed that is continuous around the hat and I'm hoping that I got my cast on correct as this will affect whether the pattern actually works. Updates later!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


So last night when I was putting Will to sleep we went through all of the regular motions - sing a lullaby, lots of hugs, tuck him in, stroke his cheek and, of course, I said "I love you, baby." Well, last night was the first night that I got back "I la u too, mommy." I swear, it took everything in me to make it out of that room without getting all teary eyes and verklempt. When I told Tim about it, I did cry a little. My little baby is growing up. Where does the time go?

The boy crashed in front of the TV

Today has not been a productive skeining day. My skeining thingy broke - I put door stoppers to serve as my two winding posts on it and one of the door stoppers just broke right off of its screw and went flying. I have around 15 balls of yarn waiting to be turned into skeins and, right now, no way to do it. So frustrating!

It was a frustrating day in general. I really wanted some New York Super Fudge Chunk ice cream In The Worst Way but we must not eat to soothe our emotions. But now that I'm typing it, I want some even more! Ben and Jerry's, stop calling to me, you wicked tempters! I'm going to go take a bath. Calgon, take me away!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


My mom took me to the thrift stores on the West side of Columbus to buy sweaters. She called it her investment in my business. Anyhow, I have a HUGE amount of sweaters to work with now, all with medium to large gauge yarns (except the exceptional 2-ply cashmere men's sweater in a robin's egg blue that I just couldn't pass up. I love cashmere. I do want to marry it.) Anyhow, I'm flush with sweaters with amazing yarn for a LONG time.

Will kept jumping on my pile of sweaters and rolling around like a cat in the catnip

I am currently unraveling a black angora blend sweater that leaves me covered in tiny black fuzzies. I look like sasquatch when I'm done working. But I can't pass up a soft as a cloud angora. And I'm an unraveling addict now. It's so sad because I have no time for knitting now. Which is one of the signs of addiction - you give up things that you love to partake in what you are addicted to. I'm terribly dysfunctional. You should run.

Thursday, October 15, 2009



So this will be a quick blog post. I have been working - it seems endlessly - on this yard sale (which we didn't end up having, has been rescheduled for next week. It is 40 degrees and raining and a chance of snow tomorrow. But next week a warm front comes through and it's supposed to be in the 60's. People showed up in the driving rain knocking on our door trying to figure out why there weren't things for sale in the yard. People are crazy.). There is also Howard Knits - I got my first sale!!! Woohoo!! I sold bunches of skeins of pink and white angora blends. Super yummy soft yarn. I hope it's new owner loves it. And I have more yarn to post - another angora blend, lace weight cotton, a natural, undyed wool, and a lovely tweedy grey wool.

Pile of yarn awaiting posting

The thing that has been driving me crazy this week, and this is since I heard a car commercial with a husky voiced woman singing "Under the Milkyway" by The Church, is, "Why doesn't anyone write jingles anymore?" Then a Chili's commercial with the most annoying jingle in the world came on - you know what I'm talking about - "I want my babyback, babyback, babyback . . ." Where are the creative geniuses behind "I Wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner" and "I'd Like to buy the World a Coke" (o.k. - that one was Barry Manilow - YES, it was!! But you know what I'm getting at)? Our kids are going to grow up thinking Rush songs were written for UPS (or whatever they use that song for - I don't pay much attention to the t.v. Can you tell?) I don't know. The lack of creativity has been nagging me.

Well, that's all, kiddies. Until next time . . .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Things I Found

Yes, I've spruced up the page a bit. Like it? Wanna make your blog look like this? Go to Shabby Blogs to get free backgrounds, headers, buttons, and other cool blog thingies.

Things I Found
We are having a yard sale this Thursday through Saturday so I have been going through closets, cabinets, and cupboards to find items to sell. It's interesting the things that you find that you've totally forgotten about. First of all, I found a notebook that has garden plans in it. It has to be from a long time ago, during my heady single doctor years, as I have plans for a huge lavender border with around 1000 pavers costing $325, so much salvia that is was going to cost $270 (!!), and here's the kicker, $780 (!!!!) dollars worth of lavender. I love lavender. I've mentioned it before. But now that we are pinching pennies until our fingers bleed, I cannot fathom a day that I was willing to even consider spending almost $800 on lavender!

If $800 worth of lavender would make my yard look like this, I'd buy it!

I found bags and boxes of never sent (never opened, even) Christmas cards. I don't send them anymore. I feel a little like Scrooge, but the stamps are too expensive. I had a list of 50 Christmas card recipients from some year long past. Boutonnieres that I made for my wedding were in the bottom of a craft organizer box that looks like a fishing tackle box. My first crochet hook made me feel sentimental; the unfinished cross stitched bookmark whose kit was bought at Winchester Cathedral and stitched on the way to Stonehenge was at the bottom of a bag of cross stitch kits. There was a REALLY sharp pair of stork scissors - I know this as I poked myself with them - and a little hobby saw in my toddler's closet (I have to let you know in my defense that his closet has a hook and eye on it and he can't get into it). I found a female doctor Christmas ornament that made me a little sad and my high school diploma which made me feel old. Even though I have no time to cross stitch anymore, I'm keeping the DMC floss chart to help me when choosing colors for knitting. And I found an afghan hook. I didn't even know that I had an afghan hook. I don't know why I have it, but I do.


Gonna go do something with yarn. I suggest you do, too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Competition Day

Competition Day

So today Kendall skated two programs in an Ice Skating Institute (ISI) sanctioned competition in Newark, OH (for those of you not from Ohio, this is pronounced "Nerk" - well, not really, but this is what some people say). Her first program was a Light Entertainment Spotlight skate in which she performed to "Thriller." She had the Thriller jacket, zombie make-up (which I did, and I thought she looked more like Commando than a zombie). Anyhow, she did a FANTASTIC job, and won a gold medal.


I got to do '80's hair and make-up for her "Flashdance" routine. I had to channel high school ratting and super purple eyeshadow application. I was wishing that we had some shocking pink blush, but we didn't, and that may have taken things too far. Also, if we had a can of Aquanet or Miss Clairol I could have gotten the hair MUCH higher, but I think the effect was pretty damn good.

Yes, that's the sweatshirt I cut a few days ago. Awesome, I know.

Kendall came in second for her Flashdance routine, and I'm wondering if it was the outfit that brought her down as all of the other girls had pretty figure skating dresses and she was channeling Linda, Robbie's ex-fiance in "The Wedding Singer." Anyhow, I thought she did wonderfully, and I hope to have video to show you soon.

Chicken Piccata That Wasn't Piccataey Enough

Tonight is leftover night, and the choices are tuna casserole, spaghetti, and chicken piccata. I opted for tuna casserole. Wasn't too thrilled with the chicken piccata; it was made with the Macaroni Grill kit and I was sure it would be awesome as I really like the chicken marsala kit. The chicken piccata just wasn't lemony. I was wishing I had a lemon to ream to add to the sauce. But I didn't. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't piccataey enough. Next time I get the urge to make chicken piccata, I just think I'll do it the old fashioned way.

Have a few balls of lace weight cotton to make into skeins. In fact, have a lot of skeins to wind. Havent' had a sale yet, but I remain hopeful that if I keep adding inventory, eventually someone will love my store and then I'll be the queen of recycled yarn.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

As Yet Untitled . . .

Well,tuna casserole has been made and served, bellies are full, and the boys are watching "Flushed Away." Pretty quiet evening (especially since Kendall and her friends are at their Homecoming pep rally). Kendall's big competition is in two days, so later I will be making posterboard signs to cheer her on. What a skater mom I have become!

Some great news is that I finally have merchandise in my etsy store, Howard Knits! I've decided to focus on luxury yarns - angora, cashmere, merino wool - and thankfully there is a lot out there to be had. The only problem with finding these beautiful yarns is that I want to keep the sweaters! I found this lovely red cashmere/angora blend cabled pullover and was so tempted to keep it until my husband told me it was too tight on me (I asked, this was not unsolicited information!). So please visit my store for some great yarns!

Old Goat

This lovely animal makes my favorite fiber. Did I tell you I LOVE goats?

So I found a group on Ravelry for bloggers. And in that group was a thread where people can post links to their blogs. Can I tell you there are some really great blogs out there? A few of my favorites are Dances With Wools (great name - wish I was so clever!) which is all about knitting, crochet, yarn, all of the stuff we yarnies obsess over. Kate Creates is the blog of a knitter, spinner, and pretty talented cook it seems in Maine. It is lovely to look at, and she is making a pair of Scandinavian mittens that are to die for! Inkberryblue offers a lot of eye candy as well. The photos on this blog are exceptional, and the first post that I read was entitled "Reasons To Be Grateful." We all need a reminder that we have lots of things to thank God for all around us, and this post focused on Inkberryblue's. Check these out. Leave comments. Us bloggers like comments, it shows us you care. Send a little love. You'll feel better about yourself.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Random Confessions

All I've been doing lately is dimantling sweaters, shopping for sweaters, washing yarn, making skeins, etc. These would all be posted on my etsy store, Howard Knits, if my little William weren't a budding photographer and used up all of the battery life on my camera.

Life from the perspective of a 2 year old

So what to write about? I was wondering what to make for dinner and started thinking about Hamburger Helper, specifically Beefy Pasta, and how much I love it. And I realized that this would be incredibly shocking and almost something to keep a secret on a site where I talk about cooking. Sort of like a confession. Then I wondered if there were more things that I needed to confess to my extremely small readership. This is what I came up with.

1. I own Barry Manilow records (yes, records) and listen to them. Oh, and I LOVE The Carpenters.

2 I have a celebrity crush on Eddie Veder. I just wish he knew how to coordinate his clothing a little better.

Gratuitous Eddie Veder photo. Mmm hmm, that's right.

3. Sometimes I let William yell a little longer than a second so that I can sleep a little longer in the morning. I am a terrible mother!

4. I don't like circular needles. They simply disrupt the natural order of things.

5. I have eaten an entire package of Oreos. I no longer buy them. Their siren song haunts me.

Actually, these confessions aren't really that exciting. I have no bodies along my life's trail, and I'm a ridiculous goody-two-shoes. Maybe I should go out and rob a bank or something. For now, I think I'll just stick to playing my Carpenters 45's on my Stack-O-Matic.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Flights of nerdiness, yarniness, and general overtired momminess.

It seems like my life is endlessly busy, but I am sure that this is the plight of all moms. Yesterday, I was constantly doing three things at once - helping Tim launch his online business, No Sweat!; he manufactures what are basically cedar sachets for odor and sweat control in such items as boots (motorcycle, hockey, etc.), gloves, and helmets (they are also good as a moth repellant - I keep one with my wool fibers). Anyhow, he has gaps in his computer nerdiness, and as I am the head nerd in this house, I work on most of the online aspect of the business. Did I mention that I am studying A+ (a lot of which I already know) and trying to eventually get my Microsoft Certification?

Why yes, I am, thank you!

Then there is also the yarn recycling, which has it's own learning curve. I'm learning that it's just not worth the time to buy sweaters with machine sewn shoulders - you don't get a good amount of yarn. Angora, no matter how yummy it may be, leaves your clothing covered in fuzzies and is extremely fragile. Wool, as you know, likes to felt, and so the 100% wool sweater that looks perfect, like no felting action has ever occurred is still difficult to unravel as the individual stitches micro-felt (my own made-up term). But it is still addictive and I really like doing it, and Tim seems to appreciate it as well as he pulled out his box o' sweaters and donated a few to the cause (I made him keep his cashmere, though. I believe the number one commandment of sweater recycling should be "Thou Shalt not unravel a perfectly wearable cashmere sweater lest thou hadst the desire to suffer deep yarn remorse forevermore").

Kendall has a competition coming up next weekend in which she is skating three programs and has multiple costume changes. She has been stressing about getting everything ready for it. Last night, I cut a "Flashdance" sweatshirt for her (she is skating to "Flashdance: What a Feeling") and felt like I was back in middle school. She looks great in it, though.

You know the sweatshirt. You probably had one. Wanna make another one? There are great directions here.

And now synchronized skating season is on in full force. If you aren't familiar with synchronized skating, think synchronized swimming except on the ice. I am becoming a total skater mom, with the "my kid skates" decal on my car, the fleece "Team Chiller" pull over, and sacrificing my Sunday nights to synchro practice, which, for Kendall, goes from 4:45 to 8:00 p.m. The cool thing is that I get some kid free time to knit or read or just veg. If you think I'm totally insane and there just couldn't be such a thing as synchronized skating, watch this (it's only 3 minutes, it won't kill you):

This is Miami University (of Ohio)'s 2009 World Synchronized Skating Championship short program. Groovy, eh? Well, Kendall sure seems to like it, is excitied about the travel (Detroit! Oxford, Ohio!), and is improving exponentially the longer she is on the team. Go Team Chiller!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Balls and balls of yarn; Sweater progress

Balls and balls of yarn

Spent most of the day unraveling sweaters and creating balls of yarn. From there, I use my skein measuring thing (for lack of a better term, which is nothing more than a salvaged piece of wood with 2 nails, one 1/2 a yard away from the other. Then they get washed, get put on the drying rack, turned into pretty hanks, and then listed on my etsy store Howard Knits!


A sweater in progress - yummy orange cotton!


My very knitterly looking basket of yarn balls.


My measuring thingy. Right now, it's 1/2 yard. I think I'll make another one that is a yard long.


Yarn drying after being washed


The finished product!

Sweater Progress

Yes, I'm still working on the Micheal Kors Cardigan. I, like most knitters, suffer from a bit of knitters ADD and get distracted easily by patterns I must try and yarns I must knit with. I've started to knit socks, made a few hats, etc. But it's coming along. I now have the right front knit and am very close to finishing the left front. I also found some great leather covered buttons in my sewing stash that will give it the proper collegial feel that I am going for. I will get it done - promise!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Howard Knits

It's been a while. Yes, this seems to happen every once in a while, but I am back. Recently I came to the realization that I needed something other than taking care of the kids, cleaning the house, going to church, and wondering where the money is going to come from. While perusing Ravelry for ways to save money knitting ($20 skeins of sock yarn are no longer an option) I came across a few tutorials about recycling yarn from sweaters.

I love yarn. I've always wanted to own a yarn shop. I don't have the money to open one, and I don't know how to spin (and am holding off on this as I don't want to become obsessed with yet another thing), so this recycling thing sounded like a great thing.

And now I'm hooked. I'm pulling apart sweaters left and right, scoring the greatest yarn. And the yarn that I don't keep I'll be putting up for sale on Etsy.


So Howard was the name of my grandfather who passed away 3 years ago. He was a huge part of my life; I often say that he was one of the great loves of my life. William's middle name is Howard. I also have an uncle Howard and Tommy's middle name is Howard. According to family lore, we are descendants of the Howards of England, but I'm not sure if this is true or just a romantic notion. Anyhow, you can see how I've been surrounded by the name Howard. So I'm calling my fledgling yarn company "Howard Knits" to honor all of the Howards in my life.


That's about all for now. I'm working tirelessly to build inventory and when I have somewhat of a store, I'll announce it to the world. Now it's back to unraveling!
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