Friday, August 31, 2007

Rocky Mountain High

This morning I am blogging from Colorado Springs, CO! We are in town for Annie's wedding which is today!!!

Two of Annie and Lacey's friends (a couple, Bre & Pat) have graciously offered their home for us to stay in while we are here. They are wonderful and have made everything comfy and cozy for us. I'm very thankful. It's great to meet new people who are just the nicest...

They have two cute dogs, Buttercup and CJ - such sweet girls. I'll post photos of them later.

I'm loving the landscape of this state. It's so beautiful. Steve has never been here before. Colorado Springs is nestled at the base of the mountains and when you drive over the hilly roads (we have a zippy little Ford Focus for the weekend!) you can see fields of houses huddling beneath majestic peaks. I listened to John Denver on the plane while I knitted.

Last night was the rehearsal dinner. One of the things I love the most about weddings is meeting all of the friends and family and figuring how they connect to the couple. I like to picture a mental image of all the network links and so on, and see how I fit into the web of relationships. It's easy to create instant friendships with friends of friends.... And it's awesome to see the Miller family again, especially the little grandkids.

Well TODAY is the big day! So I better start getting ready and figuring out where I have to be and when. Tomorrow we will try to visit the Garden of the Gods or possibly Pike's Peak before we have to catch our plane.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Our New Home

To most this may look like a room full of trash. Indeed it is my lovely new bedroom, and those hefty sacks contain mine and Steve's clothing. We have enough threads to clothe an army! Do you think we need to deny our pack-rat tendencies and part with a few things???? Hhmmmmm.....

So we arrived on Saturday after a HUGE amount of help from several kind-hearted individuals... most of them pictured below for your viewing pleasure (mind you, this is after a full morning/early afternoon of moving, and we are having lunch at the Fluffy Turtle - a new little cafe on Claremont north of Devon.)

George & Mary - Thank you! Here is Steve. He's tired.
This is me. I'm stinky.
My Mommy helped us too!
Also a BIG thank you goes out to Rusty and John who brought their big box truck AND helped us load all of our crap into it! What great friends we have! Stephanie and "Muscle-man" Erik were also very instrumental in the speediness of the initial huge truck load.

Now for the grand tour..... Here is a view from the dining room to the living room.
(ooo's and aaahh's at the lack of seafoam green)
Elvis was extremely exhausted on Sunday.... First he had his first car ride as an adult cat on Saturday evening (where Monkey vomited in her cage when we were only 1 block away from the end of our 2mile journey), then he spent the whole night in the apartment exploring, and his Sunday morning was totally devoted to bird watching and squirrel hunting via the BEAUTIFUL East facing windows of our living room. (After all that - he pooped! ha ha private joke)
The aforementioned windows....
more windows....
... do they ever stop?????
yet another window in the apartment, only stained glass this time and there are TWO OF THEM!
The dining room from the living room. Everything seems to have found it's natural place and I think we will leave it this way forever ;)
The kitchen, complete with a faux brick splashboard behind the sink and stove and REAL wood paneling. This is my cabin-up-north-esque sanctuary.... the paneling reminds me of living at Camille's house and the brick reminds me of my Dad's house.
Steve's new studio a.k.a. bedroom #2

That's it for now.... We hope to get more things set up after our trip to Colorado for Annie's wedding this weekend! But before that, there is still a lot to do... various odds and ends at the old apt (turtle, artwork, etc.) and also at the old studio.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Don Hamilton

My very dear friend, Camille Hamilton, lost her father this week. Please keep Camille and her family in your thoughts and prayers. Don was a big guy with a big heart and always smiling. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of years ago while I was living with Camille. I'm so sad for her loss.

Yesterday, Camille's 29th birthday, they celebrated his life at a family gathering.

I love you, Camille. xoxoxo

Donald A. Hamilton
Nov. 19, 1955 — Aug. 21, 2007
Donald A. Hamilton, of Redmond, died Tuesday of heart failure. He was 51.
A celebration of life potluck will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Sam Johnson Park in Redmond.
Mr. Hamilton was born Nov. 19, 1955, in San Mateo, Calif., the son of Bill and Ina Mae Hamilton. He earned a degree in special education.
Mr. Hamilton worked as a special-education teacher at Redmond High School for the past nine years. He enjoyed cooking, the outdoors, bad jokes and pranks, and spending time with family and friends.
Survivors include his daughter, Camille; his parents; and three brothers, Bill, Bob and Chuck.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Redmond High School Independent Living program 675 S.W. Rimrock Drive, Redmond, OR 97756.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Today is the day...

...that we move into our new place. The current apartment is a total wreck and we had 5 people sleeping here last night - me, Steve, my mom, George, & Mary. I feel like illegal aliens! I can't believe some people actually live like this in such a tiny apartment.....

Now that the whole place is torn apart, the cats know the jig is up. Monkey has been walking around crying all night. And once we get to the new place she will walk around all night crying there too! I hope our guests know what they're in for. :) Just ask Barb...when Monkey had to stay at her place for a night once.... oh geez....

Anyway, the truck will be here in 2.5 hours. Everyone else is still sleeping but i have a couple of things left to pack.

Will post photos of the new place soon! Hopefully the apartment will be the right color this time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm a lucky girl

Amidst the dog fighting in the courtyard just the other evening (I'm sort of joking), I met someone who just moved into our building! Right across the hall from me...

"Do you have any boxes that you are getting rid of?" I asked.

"Oh yes!" she said, "take them!"

How convenient. BOXES GALORE!

So here I am with a sea of cardboard in my apartment. Yes there are a lot, but I'm still scared I might not have enough. Monkey and Elvis seem to like having them all stacked up around the house. The empty ones are good for jumping and hiding in. The full ones are good for scratching and nudging. It's like they have their own little city of skyscrapers. I do think they are starting to wonder what exactly is going on. They'll find out soon enough when we take a little ride in the car.

Steve did a lot of packing last night while I was at Stitch n Bitch. What a nice boy!

Less than 2 days left.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Do you have any boxes????

I desperately need boxes!!! Does ANYONE have any they are going to throw out??? Please email me asap

s_b_ellis [@t] yahoo [D0T] com

I can pick them up today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Christine's Baby Booties

Someone on Knitlist brought these to our attention.... They go well with the baby surprise jacket and the pattern can be found at this link:

Someone else also asked about my bootie pattern shown here and here on my blog. It is actually just your basic sock pattern, sized down to fit a baby, using dk or worsted weight yarn. Changing yarn and needle size will change the size of the baby it will fit. I've heard they stay on! But I'm not so sure since I don't have a baby.

I just got back from vacation and I'm moving in 5 days!!! (I know, who goes on vacation right before they move??? but I did) and I haven't even really started packing yet, so it's time to get my butt into gear. Then if I have some free time I will possibly post my little bootie pattern.

I think I may try Christine's booties to go with the baby surprise jackets, for the next two babies.

Until next time....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Taste of Autumn

The majority of the weekend has been cold and wet - downright dreary, you could say. At the moment we are staying at the Marquis residence in Minneapolis. We came to visit and to attend Dawn's wedding (photos will be posted after I get home.)

Even though the weather put a damper on some of the wedding plans, we were a bit excited at the idea of putting on a sweater and curling up on the couch to watch a movie and knit something wooly. We needed a break from the steamy heat we'd come to expect. Today, however, has gotten to be somewhat depressing. I want summer back! Just for a couple of weeks and then I'll be ready for the leaves to turn colors and the air to turn crisp.

Tomorrow we catch a bus back home to the Windy City, where all of my energy will be put toward the big move. I can't believe we are moving in 6 days!!!!! There is so much I have to take care of.

- packing
- changing our utilites
- forwarding mail
- getting parking permits

I hope I can accomplish everything, and the move will go smoothly and quickly.... We shall see.

Friday, August 17, 2007

considering EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket

I just ordered this book the other day off of Amazon. I know a couple of couples who are expecting this fall and thought the baby surprise jacket would be a great addition to my usual baby sets (little booties, and a hat) after seeing it on the Panopticon.

I'm patiently awaiting the book's arrival via Super Saver Shipping..... and wanted to consider my yarn selection in the mean time. I posted this question on the knitlist:
"What weight, what kind, and how much yarn do I need???"

And here are some of the responses:

- The cool thing about this pattern is that you can use almost any size
yarn and needles, and that will determine the size jacket you get. Smaller yarn and needles for a newborn size, larger for toddlers, etc.
I made one with worsted weight yarn on size 6 needles and it came out about a 12-month size.

- I have a friend who just made it out of Koigu and I am not sure if she used two or three skeins. Ruby

- I am on my fourth BSJ, goodness they are like peanuts- once you start you can't stop ! It totally depends on the size you want to make. A group of us in Boston made them for a charity, and they were sizrd from infant o toddler. The bulkier the yarn, the bigger the sweater, A Dk weight yarn will give you an infant size sweater I Ithink, I believe I used 450 to 500 yards on a size 7 needle. There may be a picture of some of them on my blog.

- It calls for 3 ounces of Shetland wool, gauge 6 stitches to the inch or 2 skeins of Canadien Regal.

- I love making this sweater! I find that between 300-400 yards with most weights will do. In general, a baby weight yarn will make a newborn size, worsted will usually fit about 1-2 years and bulky can make a toddler size. I say "in general" because this can vary with the needle size you choose as well. I used a heavy worsted weight yarn and size 10 1/2 needles to make a sweater for my slim 4 year old.
Denise in Iowa http://www.denisesn eedleworks. blogspot. com/

- I am knitting it right now in Cascade Fixation, which I think is a light worsted weight yarn. It is knitting up at 6 stiches per inch, which is the gauge called for in the pattern, and it looks like it will be TINY! Good thing it is for a newborn. :-) It is also using MUCH less yarn than I expected - I bought 6, 100 yard balls and am 3/4 of the way done and just started my second ball!

-I've knit them in everything from fingering weight (came out preemie) to worsted (came out about 18-24 months size), including the last batch which were made of two strands of sock yarn held together. When I used worsted, it took a bit more than one three ounce skein, so I'm guessing about 4 ounces of worsted. The sock yarn was leftovers, multiple small balls.
Check out the crafts pix folder at ID = lisadinpa
Lisa D in PA

- It is a great sweater. The first one is the hardest. My favorite one so far was done on 16 inch circular size 3 needles and fingering yarn. I used the Claudia handpainted yarn. It took one skein and a little more. In shetland wool I used about 3 oz on size 4 16 inch circular needles. The larger the yarn and needles, the larger the sweater. The fingering yarn made a newborn size while the wool version is probably made a three month size. This pattern was so much fun to do but took concentration initially.
Dotti in NC

- (When it was asked whether you could buy the pattern w/out buying the whole book) You can purchase just the pattern for $3, directly from Schoolhouse Press:
http://www.schoolho usepress. com/spunout. htm
Anne Gainesville, FL

- Originally the pattern, by Elizabeth Zimmermann, was available as a single leaflet. You might check with her company, , now owned by her daughter Meg Swansen, to see if it's still available that way.
OTOH, the book, OPINIONATED KNITTER which has it now, includes most
of the other leaflets produced between '58 and the mid 70s which are
likewise, very ingeneous EZ patts. I got the book, EVEN THOUGH I had
all the original newsletters as some of the latter were getting
tattered from all the use.
Joan in Eugene, OR schrouderknits@ clearwire. net

I'm usually a very frugal yarn and knitting book shopper.... you have no choice when you are poor.... but I think this book is a classic and I know I will get a lot of use out of it. Plus, it was a gift from Steve!!!!!! Thanks, honey. :)

More to come after I receive the book.

Monday, August 13, 2007


I fell off my bike today.... Don't worry, folks, I'm okay! Just a couple of scrapes. I felt like I was 7 years old.

I was riding to work and my boss called and I thought about not answering it but I did. Then I was trying to stop and talk at the same time and I just ended up going over. No more talking on the phone while riding!!!

There was a cyclist and a motorist that stopped to ask if I was okay which was very nice of them. I felt stupid.... for talking on the phone... duh!

Hopefully they won't leave scars.

Or maybe that would make me cooler....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stitch n Pitch 2007

Last night we attended the annual Stitch n Pitch event at US Cellular Field. I love the atmosphere of a baseball game..... I don't really watch the game though, so knitting and socializing was a nice distraction. Oh, so was the beer. I did some work on a piece of coral that I'm really happy with.

Here are some of the members of our SnB group! Becky, Kristen, and me! We also met some knitters from the Oak Park SnB. I hope they come to visit us at the Heartland Cafe some time soon.

He learned to do "what" in prison???

We dragged some of the boys along with us. They didn't complain.
The elusive Kaity... who knits, sort of
Then we went to an art show in Pilsen where Kristen unfortunately stubbed her toe very badly..... There's nothing paper towel and hot pink masking tape can't fix!

Pretty Kitties

August is a month often tagged the "dog days" of summer. The temperature and humidity can be quite uncomfortable. We've been worshiping our little air conditioner, which provides us with the luxury of a controlled environment. (Thanks again, Dad!!!) I've still managed to keep up my cycling and walking routine through the heat... I even exercised BOTH days this weekend!!!
Here's a couple of cool cats to help everyone get through their day.
We recently bought a bag of catnip at an organic pet supply store that had a little hemp rope cat toy inside of it, absorbing the cat nip odors. It resembles a dog's rope toy though on a smaller scale. Just before I took these photos Monkey had been sleeping with the rope under her chin!!! Of course when I got the camera all ready she moved, but you can see it under her paw. Dad, I knew you'd get a kick out of this.

This photo shows the closest they get to snuggling without trying to kill eachother.

In addition to taking cat photos all day....just kidding :) we also attended a White Sox game for an event called "Stitch n Pitch". Have a look on my knitting blog for details. Also getting ready to start packing. I collected a load of boxes from our local grocery store. Elvis thinks they are all gifts for him.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

August Adventures

August will prove to be a hectic month for us. We have three trips planned to three different states, and we're moving into our new apartment between travelling. Last weekend we rode the megabus (my first time) to Columbus, Ohio to visit Steve's family and celebrate the 2nd birthdays of both our neice and nephew. I do not recommend riding the bus overnight... but in general it was fine - very clean and very cheap! Just what we needed!

Here are some... er... a lot of photos from the birthday party, which was also for Carly's other cousins, Henry and Nick - so many birthdays! There are no photos of me since I was behind the camera pretty much the whole time. The kids must be used to having a lense shoved in their faces at this point.... they might even think the camera is an extension of my head! Good times were had by all, and in the evening, all the adults went for a Picnic with the Pops where we enjoyed some classical tunes played by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the famous OSU marching band. Very good. Anyone who wants me to share these photos (and more!) on or just shoot me an email.

We had lots of helium balloons, candy, cupcakes, home made ice cream, hamburgers, hot dogs, and lemonade!! Did I mention balloons???

Blowpops were all the rage!
Then came the balloon fight

You mean the party is over??????