Rhinebeck 2009 Countdown

Friday, February 27, 2009

Who's that hobblin' down the lane???

So, word on the street is that I'm gonna be on crutches for the foreseeable future.

Yes, I have two tiny hairline fractures, along with a bad sprain and bone bruising and swelling. I go back to work on Monday, but I'll be on crutches for the next 4-6 weeks. I don't go back to see the orthopedic surgeon until late March.

So, I tried to do what any well-planned knitter would do......I tried to cast-on to start a project.

A "PROJECT"?!.....did I hear right?

Yes, I've been bored out of my gourd, so since I'm STUCK in the house (more on that in a bit....) I thought I would finally get something started.

First it was going to be a hat.....on circs.

The only circs I could put my hands on were size ZERO.....too small for a hat!

Ok, then, I would get AMBITIOUS and try my FIRST pair of socks. I tried casting on and then didn't know what to do with it. My TWO SOCKS ON ONE CIRC book is still packed away in the vortex of a craft room (and I can't even hobble to find it), so that idea was scrapped.

Ok, regroup....ditched the fingering yarn for some worsted superwash---and thought I'd do a set of fingerless gloves. Not too short. I grabbed a set of size 8 bamboo straights (one of only two sets of straights I can even find right now) and began the cast-on. After three attempts, I pulled it all out, after realizing that the needle length was the wrong size. GRRRRRR

Needless to say, there is NOTHING on the needles. STILL. (They're gonna revoke my KNITTERS license soon, if I don't get something going here)

Oh, and another GEM of karma........my car is in the shop, as my heating/cooling system has completely failed. Well, what I mean is, that this is the MAJOR failure which has landed my car into Repairville. Anyone need a good kidney? I'll trade it for some moola to pay for the car repairs?.............hello?? Is this thing on??????

Back to the couch for another Vicodin cocktail and some 80's videos on VH-1 Classic!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Knee injury and YARN P@RN

Things have just been KR-AZY around here in past week. Last Monday, I was off for President's Day and since I had the time, I went to bowling early and bowled some extra games for practice. During league, I went to bowl a frame and I felt a pop in my left knee. Thought nothing of it (although I did not bowl well) and went on, thinking it was a muscle spasm. Tuesday morning was aweful. My knee felt like it was on fire, I could barely walk on it, and I was in so much pain. Through the week it didn't get any better, so on Friday morning, I went to see my doctor. Initial diagnosis is that I have either a torn meniscus or torn medial collateral ligament. I had my MRI yesterday and am currently awaiting the results. Wish me luck!

Now, onto the serious stuff-----YARN P@RN !!!

I received the 2nd package from my Warm Ewe Up swap parnter. She themed my package around WARMTH. She wrapped everthing in bright pink and yellow tissue and the following was found , once I unwrapped everything:

An awsome box of EXOTIC tea blends from Tea Forte (one of my FAVORITE tea companies), THINGS I LEARNED FROM KNITTING by the Yarn Harlot, a pack of vintage travel posters in postcard for, a pair of Lantern Moon size 10.5 Rosewood straights (they are gorgeous---the tops are a palm wood, which has a cheetah-like pattern, a set of Lantern Moon size 1 Rosewood Sox Sticks in a beautiful fabric bag and TWO beautiful skeins of Claudia's Handpainted Sport weight in colorway RED WAGON. While it is red, like a childhood wagon, to me it's more Hawaiian Hibiscus.....vibrant and full of warm tones and memories! I can't say enough about how MUCH my partner has spoiled me with this swap......I can't wait until the final reveal!!

I also received my first Yarn with Something on the Side swap. This first round was Sock Yarn (enough to knit a pair of socks) and at least 6 bags of tea. My partner sent me the perfect selections:

two skeins of Jojoland Melody superwash in a beautiful teal green and a six-pack of Twinings Indian Spiced Chai.......I love CHAI !!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Australian Wildfire Relief = Your chance to help and get some AWESOME YARN too !!!!

As you've recently seen reported, the wildfires in Australia have been devistating. Being halfway around the world, I have no direct connection to it, however the news reports of the now-famous Sam, the koala made me stand up and take notice. Word now has come that all of this devistation is due to arson---how aweful for our friends "Down Under"!!

A fundraiser was started by a fellow knitter, Jacqueline. She's asking for donations to the Australian Red Cross' Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Now, here's the FUN PART.............through her website, you can link to the ARC to make a donation for the relief fund. IF YOU DONATE AT LEAST $10.00 AUD, then you can enter her raffle for some AWESOME yarny-goodness.......she's had donations of WOLLMEISE, POSH YARN, SUNDARA, BMFA, etc.....there are over 60 prizes here people. If you donate within the next 2 weeks, you need to email a copy of your receipt to her at knittershelpingvictorians@gmail.com . If you are wondering just how much your donation will cost in US dollars, use this handy conversion chart (as of this posting, $10 AUD = $6.50 USD)

Now, you're probably asking "HULA, why are you doing this??" Call it PAYING IT FORWARD. And as an incentive to you, I am offering this: Send ME a copy of your donation receipt (hulaknitter AT gmail DOT com), and I'll enter YOU into my own drawing for the following yarns from my personal stash:

BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight in BLUE MOONSTONE
dkKnits Technicolor Dream Toes in French Roast
Malabrigo Worsted in CURACAO
Yarn Pirate Superwash BFL Sock in NEPTUNE

So, that's FIVE chances to win from ME, entry into Serendipity's drawings and MOST IMPORTANT---helping those in the world that need YOU!!

Come on everyone.......LET'S RALLY !!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Not yet "properly" licensed--so I'll play with my yarn instead......

This week'sbeen really quiet, by blog standards. Nothing new or major going on. My work schedule changed again (that's TWICE in one week). I am now working a 5day-abrehviated hours schedule rather than the 4-8hour workdays......needed for workload and phone coverage (and sanity's sake). Mind you, I enjoyed having a weekday off, but it was hectic having to cover someone else's desk and still deal with the phones, especially with our group losing three people. So, now I'm working Mondays from 9a to 6p and Tuesday through Friday working 11:30a to 6p.

I also discovered this week that my NJ drivers license expired back on January 31st. GREAT!! Now, to make matters worse, in order for me to get a DE license, I have to obtain a copy of my drivers abstract (driving record) from the State of NJ and then I have to take a written test!!! Loads of joy for me, since I don't even know HOW to get my record--I have to call the NJMVC on Tuesdays to find out how long it will take to get (and how much it'll cost me). This is what I get for procrastinating.

Because of this, I am trying to limit my driving----good thing I'm feeling sick (I think I'm catching a cold.....achy, throat is sore and it hurts to swallow.....I'm probably getting strep or something).
In the meantime, I did get my Random Holiday - Round 3 - Think SPRING swap package----my partner did not disappoint!!

what a plethora of goodies, a copper wire basket-ey thing (Sue, you need to fill me in to what it's for.......I am clueless!) that has a flower and ladybug on it, a gardening how-to magazine (for my new yard) some nice hand creams, a package of gel-ink pens; seed packets for cucumbers (YUMM) and a medley of flowers; a pattern for a pretty lacey scaft from Knitty and two lovely skeins of yarn--Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in UPTOWN and Araucania Ranco Multy in TEALS

I also receive a skein of Yarn Dyenasty sock yarn in the WATERMELON colorway. It's the perfect colors to help usher in SPRING!!!

Tomorrow is a bonus day off--President's Day. Hoping that DH and I will get to do something fun, since we missed Valentine's Day this year. Plus, I have bowling tomorrow night.......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Warm Ewe Up Bi-Weekly Blog Question #4

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?

Because of the limited funds and the way the economy is, along with the fact that DH has to work on Valentine's Day.....we decided to just have an early dinner on Sunday at the restaurant we went to on our first date. Nothing special......no presents, just the company of each other.


Just found out that DH has to work on Sunday, so I guess our Valentines plans have gone out the window.

My own personal "Rollercoaster" week

Funny how you can go from the highest of HIGH (your favorite football team winning their SIXTH Superbowl - STEELERS NATION RULES!!!) to the lowest of lows & back again. This was the way I spent the last week. It was NOT pretty!!!

After Sunday night's celebration, I was raring to have an awesome week at work. With the recent cuts of going to a 4days workweek, I was finally getting into a rhythm with how to handle my workload in four days –vs- five. Plus, Monday night was to be my first night as substitute for bowling. I was anxious to get out of the house and socialize with others!

Monday afternoon came the doom……email was sent company-wide that said (and I paraphrase)….. “January’s sales were down even more than expected. More cutbacks needed and the company was being forced to inflict the PAIN----LAYOFFS. Those affected would be notified by end of the week. Stay positive folks!”

WTF !!!!!!

Needless, massive emotional breakdowns ensued. Everyone was feeling like they’d been b*tch-slapped/pistol whipped/punched in the gut (*insert your best descriptive adjective here*)….it was just UGLY! I was not feeling well to begin with, and with this news, I went to the Ladies and got sick. While my stomach then felt better, my head (and wallet) did not! Why wait until Friday? Why stress everyone out NOW and then make them wait? What was the criteria being used to make the decision?........everyone had SO many questions and nobody wanted to give the answers……BOLLOCKS, I say……complete BOLLOCKS!

So, I left work and proceeded to the bowling ally. Delaware Sports League is an adult co-ed sports league that promotes getting out, meeting new people, getting some exercise and having fun! They offer different sports—Dodgeball, Bowling, Wiffle Ball, Kickball……..fun stuff from when we all were kids!! Several people that I work with encouraged me to join up for Winter Bowling after they had so much fun with the Fall League. I had intended to join a team over the Christmas holidays, but when I had my Christmas Day injury, I thought my bowling dream was in the gutter (HA----I made a funny!!). Two weeks ago, one of the gals I work with asked me to take over her spot, as she and her boyfriend had broken-up and she didn’t want to continue with her team. Since my foot was fully-healed, I said “Sure!”

The three other members of the team (no names, just INITIALS) – S,D & W were all so nice to welcome me onto the team! D is the team captain and she is a hoot! (She also swears like a sailor on leave, especially when she gets excited—it’s very funny to listen to!), S is my co-worker’s ex (he’s very nice……he’s a quiet one) and W is very cool (he’s a very good bowler, so he was very helpful to help me throughout the frames). I had not bowled (unless you count the i-Bowl app from Apple, which I got addicted to over the holidays) for 3-4 years, so I was just praying that I would score at least a -50-. We bowled three games and my scores were 63-67-and a whopping 128 for my final game !!!! I rocked OUT on bowling!!! I even scored a couple of strikes. So, I might be hooked on a new hobby!! Hopefully I can maintain my average this coming Monday. Oh, and I’m gonna sign up for the Spring League too……

The rest of the week at work was a blur---everyone was in a fog…..We got little tidbits of info……. “if you are affected by the layoffs, insurance stays effective until February 28th (not affected, since all of my insurance is through DH’s coverage), factors for layoff were salary, tenure, time missed, disciplinary write ups, productivity, cross-training and experience”……great, thanks for sharing…....can you just GET TO IT and tell us already?!?

I was apprehensive at work on Wednesday (since I have Thursday’s off). Should I start taking personal items home? Should I just say my goodbye’s now? I even started printing out all of my customer compliment emails, just in case. I wondered, as I got into my car on Wednesday night, would I be seeing these people again?

Wednesday night, DH and I had the hard talk……IF this happened, I’d go and sign-up for unemployment, and we’d concentrate on making sure the staples would be covered-----RENT, HEAT & Electric & Food (in that order). Everything else would have to go----phone, cable, internet (NOOOOOO!!!!!), Netflix……nothing but the basics! Harsh reality, but I would have to deal, if it came down to it.

Thursday’s grocery shopping trip was FUN NOT!!!! But I was very proud of my bargaining. I tried to buy stuff that was on sale, stick to a budget of $125, but the bill came to $138.25 (not too much over) BUT I still ended spending $60 less than what I normally spend at the store. SCORE!

Friday morning was full of dread……..DEADLINE day!! I resounded myself that WHATEVER was going to happen; there was nothing I could do to change the outcome. I was just muster-up and move forward! Walking into work, I was met with a world of relief. Layoffs for my department had been announced and enforced the day before, on my day OFF!


My department had 5 cuts—two managers (one of which was the training manager), two Corporate Specialty reps, and from my group—a Wedding Specialty rep (it was sad, since I trained her…..she was really enthusiastic and good with her customers). Everyone had this strange sense of happiness and sadness……happy that those of us that remained HAD a job and sad for those who were no longer there. I still can’t wrap my head around it, but I’m not going to worry. Apparently, they are happy with my job performance and leadership skills, so it’s MY RESPONSIBILITY to keep it up and KEEP THEM HAPPY!!!

So, you can see why I described my week as a rollercoaster…….UP-DOWN-UP !!!

Today, I am taking a respite from all of the drama---My family’s traveling to see my nephew perform in the Delaware All-State Choir performance this afternoon. We’re still waiting to hear if he made the cut from his audition for the Performing Arts High School. They should start making the notifications in the next several weeks. (Fingers-Crossed!!!!)

Sorry there are no pics for this post----nothing really to picture here this week. With all of the work drama, I missed taking pictures of the new snowfall this week……it’s all melted now, since this weekend is supposed to be in the 50’s-60’s!! Does that mean spring is coming???

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Intentions of color----including STEELERS Black & Gold !!!!

I’m not starting out the new year on a good foot with my blog. My intention at the end of 2008 was to update my blog at least twice a week. Lot of good intentions get you….. I will try to make February better than January.

Lots of updates, so I’ll get to it. First I am now the PROUD owner of WOLLMEISE !!!

The colorway is called FROSCH! I know…….I can’t believe it either. My miss-cues with Wollmeise started last year when I was completely shut OUT of the Woolmeise sock club. My luck with random selection is NOT FAVORABLE. I then kept missing the random updates at TLE. I though I would always be a WV (Wollmeise Virgin). Then, I found the WV thread on Ravelry. The gals over there are especially encouraging……lots of RAK. So much so that a Wollmeise ANGEL happened to cross my path. She sent me a skein of Wollmeise for FREE!!! Can you believe it?!? With my paycuts at work this month, I’ve lost a BIG chunk of money allotted for fun stuff like yarn and such……what a gift to have people GIVE you something without asking for anything in return. Lisa in California……you are truly AWESOME !!!
Another package I received this week was my CUSTOM-MADE knitter’s tools from Karastix on Etsy. I had seen these sets on TurtleGirl’s blog a while back and so wanted a set. I made arrangements prior to our move and was finally able to get them purchased in January. These are AWESOME….and the design is EWENIQUELY me !!!!

She even included some custom stitch markers.....TOO CUTE !!!

I got another TWILIGHT-inspired skein of sock yarn from Sunshine Yarns……this one is called VOLTURI, which is named for the ancient group of European vampires that Dr. Cullen spent time with in the Twilight book series----pictures don’t do it justice……it’s got LOTS of personality!!

Last update I also forgot to post a pic of the pretty Malabrigo that I found……Curacao 5 is the colorway. If I had to pick ONE skein of yarn to represent my personality, this skein would come close:

Some other recent random yarn acquisitions:

Berroco Jasper in Verde Lavras (a very pretty purple/violet/green/lime mixture of colors)
Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed in Willow (the brightness of the pictures is a bit off, but this is a pretty pale mint green with little bits of chocolate—it reminds me of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream—LOVE IT!!)

While working on packages for my various swaps last week, I realized that I had totally missed updating my monthy Yarn Pirate Booty Club arrivals for the past several months. So without further ADO……the Winter colors from Georgia @ Yarn Pirate:

November 2008 – Herron (Merino/Tencel)

December 2008 – Figgy Pudding (Superwash BFL)

January 2009 – Hope (British BFL DK)

I am currently rooting on the Steelers playing in the Super Bowl tonight. This household resides in STEELERS-COUNTRY…..regardless of the geography. We bleed BLACK & GOLD at our house!! PLUS---Springsteen's doing HALF-TIME.......While I'm glad to be at home (cause I'll see more here on TV), but MAN, do I wish I was in Tampa tonight!!!