Have a spooktacular halloween! The only night where I don't think twice when I see a grown man dressed as a Roman soldier, complete with short toga and sandals, walking down my street in the dark by himself.
Socks all around--completed! They came out almost identical, despite about a two year break between knitting the first sock and the second. They are very comfortable and I can't wait to finally wear them.
Today was the Halloween parade in my sister's neighborhood. The little kids were so cute in all their costumes. At the end of the parade there were snacks for all the kids and coffee for the adults. Everyone had fun. Nicholas attached himself to my dad almost the entire time. It was very cute. He was an astronaut. Isabel dressed as a princess butterfly. She later rode her Barbie four wheeler around while in costume, entertaining all of the adults! The weather was beautiful--perfect for a parade!
It's finally Friday and a Halloween Weekend! This was a tough week. Chris has been sick with a head cold all week and hasn't taken a day off to rest. I had a terrible sinus headache for two days and was able to stay home on Tuesday to sleep off the pain and catch up with a few things at home, including knitting my sock. I actually felt so crappy that I didn't knit as much as I would have liked, but I am very close to finishing. I am almost at the toe! I am determined to finish it in time for the close of Socktoberfest!
I have continued to work on the blue crayon sweater at work and am at the point where I need to start on the sleeves. So, despite sinus and allergy issues, I have made knitting progress!
Sunday is a Halloween parade in my sister's development. My niece and nephew will be in the parade, and since I won't be able to visit them on Halloween, I want to see them in their costumes Sunday. I also have to stop at the King of Prussia Mall, which is on my way to my sister's house, and return perfume I bought from Sephora. I bought it online, with many other things, but after I smelled it I decided it wasn't for me. The sales receipt says I can return in person, so I am hoping to exchange it for another scent. I don't know what I was thinking--the scent is chocolate covered cherries, which smell and taste good, but not as a perfume.
On Monday my office is having a Halloween party/luncheon. I spent this afternoon and evening making cookies for it. I made oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and gingersnaps. The gingersnaps are one of my favorite cookies to make--they smell incredible, look nice, and are very simple to bake. They make a great fall cookie.
When I was home sick on Tuesday, I spent time unpacking winter clothes from the attic. I found the one and only sweater I ever knit for myself. I really love this sweater--especially the pattern--because it took forever to knit and involved my first cables. Unfortunately the darn thing grew over the years and is absolutely gigantic now. I knit it way before I had become a yarn snob and knit it out of acrylic yarn--I think Red Heart. It is now softer from repeated washings. The sleeves have always been too big on me and it makes a better outdoor sweater than an indoor one because it is so warm. I am thinking of stuffing a pillow form in it and use it as a giant pillow instead of a too-big sweater. Someday I'll knit another sweater, with better yarn and following a gauge!
Have you checked out Etsy.com? It is a fabulous online store for crafters to sell their products. I found the baby bug boutique on it and fell in love with the bags she makes and sells. I have wanted to make myself a tote bag for a while, but my sewing skills are inadequate and I have enough hobbies as it is, so I bought a bag from this shop. It has a lime green interior with two inside pockets and a hard bottom to give it shape. It is made out of canvas and seems to be very well made.
Well, that's my week's update. Have a fun weekend!
I have managed to poke my index finger so many times with my size 1 Inox needle that I have broken the skin and bruised my finger tip! That's what I get for working too long on these sharp tiny needles! LOL I even have a cramped finger in my left hand. However--it is all worth it as I have made significant progress on my "socks all around" sock. I am at the start of the heel flap and the intarsia part is done! Yippee. The rest of the sock should go quickly, once my stupid finger heals!
I have also been working on two other projects when I need a break from this sock. I have the second Crayon sweater that I am knitting for Nicholas for Christmas to match his sister's pink one. I primarily knit on that at work and at the SnB. I also started a super secret baby gift. A photo of that will have to wait for a while. So I have accomplished a great deal of knitting on this rainy weekend.
Last Wednesday's SnB meeting was great. We had two new ladies join us. The bookstore offered to reserve the community room for us in the back so that we have a more comfortable setting for knitting. We were able to spread out around one big table instead of squeezing around a few cafe tables. A few more knitters joined our group via the Yahoo site, so maybe next time we'll be even bigger. I had so much fun that I didn't even realize I was going to be late getting home for Lost, my tv addiction.
Right now I am making apple sauce. I bought a bunch of different apple varieties. I found the recipe on Epicurious.com. Check out Autumn Apple Sauce and make some for yourself. It smells incredible!
...The words my husband said when I showed him my latest finished object. He doesn't get my "interest" in purses. He has the similar confusion with my affinity for shoes. His theory is that you need one pair of black shoes, one pair of brown shoes, and one pair of sneakers. (He forgets that he owns two pairs of boots.) Whereas I have several shoes in each color, in multiple styles, etc. The same with purses. I use different ones for different occasions, so I need many! So, my latest FO is this cute little knitted purse with buttons and beads from Pussycat squared. The interior is lined with a pink paisley pattern. It was a bit difficult to assemble, but I like how it turned out. It is small, and holds my wallet, phone, and a lipstick only, so this may not be an every day bag! My favorite part of the bag is the strap/handle, which is a rhinestone cat collar. It reminds me of my grandmother's cats, who always had a variety of rhinestone collars.
In honor of Socktoberfest, I pulled out my oldest (I think) unfinished objects. It is my sock nightmare, but I am determined, and motivated to finish it. This monstrosity is a sock of the month kit I bought in June of 2002. It is knit out of Lorna's Laces sock yarn and is super soft. It took me forever to knit the first sock because it is an intarsia pattern. There are ten bobbins used and the sock is knit back and forth (knit a round, go back and purl the round.) There is some kind of wrap at the end of each round that you are supposed to do so that the sock continues to be knit in the round, however, I hate how it turned out on the first sock, so I am just going back and forth and will graft those open stitches together when finished. I picked up the second sock last night and it surprisingly went much faster than I recall. This may be due to the fact that I am a more experienced knitter now, or that I just want to finish the socks and wear them!
I knit these itty bitty baby socks using stretchy Cascade fixation yarn and size five dpns. They are for my future niece, who is expected sometime next summer. These are fun and easy to make socks and are my second pair of completed socks this month of Socktoberfest! I have some ideas for other socks I want to start, however, I have two socks that do not have mates that need to be knitted up. Hmmm...I'll have to see what yarn motivates me to knit.
Julie inspired me to learn how to fold a paper oragami crane. I had a huge pack of oragami paper in my office for over a year--left over from a camp project. I found directions to making a crane online and practiced for a bit. They are easier than I thought and now my staff has requested cranes from me.
Happy Thursday, or as one co worker calls it...Thirsty Thursday.
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary--Seven years! Since both of us had to work, we went out to dinner on Sunday night. We had decided not to do gifts for each other this year. Of course Chris sent me roses at work, and I bought him some Polo Black cologne, so that agreement didn't work well. I didn't have time to make a cake or dessert, so this store bought cake served well as a celebratory Monday night treat.
On the knitting front, I am on my second baby sock that I am knitting for Socktoberfest. My sister in law and her husband recently announced that they are adopting a baby girl from China next summer, so the pink socks will be for the new niece. I will post a photo when completed--hopefully I'll get them finished tonight.
Saturday night I attended a Gala, held by my agency as a fund raiser event. The soiree was at Philadelphia's National Constitution Center on the second floor. It was a red, white, and blue theme and Laura Bush was the honorary chair. She was rumored to show up, but did not in the end. Staff of the agency were invited to the cocktail hour and then were allowed to stay for dinner if there were empty seats. Corporations/businesses in the area buy tables and send their folks to the gala. Many times they buy the tables but do not attend the gala, so then the agency staff benefit and are able to attend without paying the hefty ticket price. Last night's weather was atrocious--torrential rains--and there were many available seats, so any staff attending got to stay for the party. I "won" the centerpiece and was able to make three arrangements out of it at home!
It was a fun night and great party. I tried to finish up the knitted purse I am making from the kit I bought at Stitches to use at the gala, but I ran out of knitting time. I am so close to finishing!
Wow! You would have been a pair of socks as long as it's possible for socks to be before they're tights - and all multi-coloured with pretty patterns and detail all over the place - then you could stand and admire your sock-self all day!
Lolly has started Socktoberfest--the idea is to knit and post all the socks one knits in October. I think it is a great idea. I did finish my rainbow ripple socks on October 1st, so I guess they count as my first pair. I have a ton of sock yarn sitting around, so I need to get cracking on it!
It's October, a favorite month of mine. I love Halloween, the fall festivals, the red and orange leaves. My wedding anniversary is in October, too, so I have many reasons to celebrate during this month. For the month of October, I have been planning some fun events for the kids in my program. They have four days off from school this month, which gives us daytime hours to spend with them. This past Wednesday, we took them to the Edgar Allen Poe House in Philadelphia. To prepare them, they had several lessons about his writing and his life. They even watched a Simpsons episode, the Treehouse of Terror show from Season 2, in which Bart is the Raven. The house itself is completely empty--no furniture, no lights, nada. Apparently Poe rented it with his family back in 1838-1844. He wrote some of his most popular pieces then, including the Black Cat, which was inspired, they say, by the false fireplace in the basement of the house (see the far right side of the photo--that is the false fireplace.)
I don't think the house is haunted, even though the kids really wanted it to be! Our guide was a park ranger/actress who did a spectacular job explaining Poe's life to us. She had us sit on the floor of a top floor bedroom and told us an abreviated version of the Tell-tale Heart. She concluded it by asking one of the kids to pick up a floor board--he said no way, as did some of the staff! They were scared of what might be there. One brave boy picked up the floor board and discovered a plastic hand and a felt heart, which he threw into the crowd. It was very funny to see the kids reactions. At the end of our visit the kids got to play Poe-Jeopardy. The winning team won copies of The Ravenand other poems.
Poe's home was actually the house in the rear--the front one was added on later. The statue of the Raven created a cool shadow. The second photo is of a mural of Poe painted on the side of an apartment building on the next block over from the house. If you are a Poe fan and in Philadelphia, I recommend checking out this historical site--admission is free.
Our visit inspired some fun conversations at work during lunch. My agency is in a new building now, but until last year, we were housed in a fifty year old converted convent, which I am convinced was haunted. I am sure I had seen a ghost once, as are several other employees. The building was a convent and a home for "wayward girls" at one time. There had to have been some confused or lost souls roaming the halls. Once when I was meeting with a client at night, it was dark out, I saw a white figure "float" by the window. It happened quickly, but I am sure of what I saw. There was no light shining in the window--it was pitch black out. Was it the spirit of a nun? Who knows. One of our secretaries saw a nun in habit float down the hallway one morning, before many people were in the office yet. This conversation led to a conversation about my ghost pictures.
When I was in college, I lived in a castle my senior year. It was the former estate home of the Harrison family. The college (now Arcadia University) bought the estate when they were expanding years ago. The main house, the Grey Towers Castle, became a mix of administrative offices and dorm rooms. Living in a castle was amazing--we had such fun there. The castle had many ghost stories passed down from students over the years. I never actually saw anything, at least I didn't think I did, but at times I could feel a shift in energy around me. One of the stories I had been told was that the wife of the original owner, Mrs. Harrison, had been seen roaming the rear of the castle by students.
I have always enjoyed photography, although strictly amateur. While I lived in the castle I took a roll of black and white film (pre-digital camera age) of the architecture of the building. I was so in love with that building and the many nooks and crannies there. In the back of the castle was a turret that contained a spiral staircase. It was not used by students really, but was a fire escape if needed. One night I convinced my roommate to come with me to take pictures of the interior of the castle, including the spiral staircase. The stairwell was not lit, so my roommate held the access door to it open for me while I took several photographs with a flash. My flash lit up the staircase enough and I captured the images. There were some blurs in the photos, but I didn't think much of it until one day a few months later I saw an Oprah show that was on the subject of photographing ghosts. I realized from watching that show that the blurs in my stairwell photos were similar to the ghost images the "experts" were describing. I think I captured Mrs. Harrison descending the spiral stairs. I took two pictures looking down the center of the spiral, from the top floor. The same "blur" appears in each photo, only in different spots, similar to someone descending the stairs. There also appears to be an arm and hand holding onto the railing. Maybe they are just blurs, but I like to believe I have ghost pictures! See for your self: