. . . And In Conclusion

It's the last day of 2008 and my mind has once again drifted into the world of reflection. There are really no words to describe this year. Ok, maybe there are, but I won't share them on this public forum.

Since I refuse to articulate my thoughts regarding 2008, I thought I'd feature some quotes that have recently stood out to me:

"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." - T.S. Eliot

"We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves." - Eric Hoffer

"We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them." - Livy

"We do not acquire humility. There is humility in us - only we humiliate ourselves before false g-ds." - Simone Weil

"My friends are my estate." - Emily Dickinson (I would like to add family on to this as well)

"I look forward to putting to rest the events of this past year and remembering them with a mixture of happiness and sadness. I look forward to this coming year for there are many adventures and possibilities that await." - Froggie

That Cost Me How Much!?

According to the Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the average knitter spends between $500 to $1,700 a year on yarn, patterns, needles, and books. Since I haven't gotten my annual credit card summary I can't confirm this fact, but I fear I'm somewhere on the higher end of that range rather than the lower end. Actually, I don't know that I'm actually going to review 2008's annual summary. I'd like to start 2009 with a clean slate and not dwell on past purchases.

For a non-knitter this probably seems like an unbelievable amount of money just for knitting. However, it's really easy to run-up that $1700 tab.

The adventure to $1700 starts with the innocent purchase of that one pair of needles you need for your first project. For me it was a pair of size 8 needles so I could make a scarf (a typical beginner project). Then of course that morphed into a pair of size 8 needles for my famous baby blankets. Now one would think that I could just use the same pair that I got for the scarf, however that isn't the case because the length of that first pair were WAY shorter than I needed for a blanket. Before I knew it I was looking at purchasing circular needles and DPNs.

I remember the day I purchased my set of interchangeable circulars. I was at Joanne's mulling over the age old dilemma when it comes to purchasing circular needles - what length cable do I want/need? Oh, and don't get me started on the metal vs. bamboo decision. Sidenote: No matter what type of needle I needed, I would diligently go through the pros and cons of purchasing metal or bamboo needles. I can't even begin to tell you the looks I got from people as I analyzed it all. Getting back to the circular needle tangent . . . So I'm trying to figure out what type of circular needles to purchase. Then I saw the interchangeable set. It was on sale (a dangerous, enabling word) - half price! I must have danced around that aisle for at least half an hour debating in my head what to purchase. In the end I selected the interchangeable set because it was an "investment" (another dangerous, enabling word) .

Investment is word the I would use many, many, many more times over the coming months. Each project required a different size needle and I finally got to a point where I would spend hours on Ravelry just trying to find a pattern that used a size needle I already had so that way I wouldn't have to spend more $ on another set of needles.

So, I've covered needles; let's move onto knitting accessories. Yes, accessories such as a project bags, stitch markers, mini pair of scissors, ball winder, swift, tape measure, more stitch markers because you lost 90% of your other set or you don’t have enough for the project you want to make. The list goes on and on. Most of these things have a small price tags when you are buying them individually, but when you put the receipts together the total adds up!

Then there are swap gifts. Now, don't get me wrong. I love sending gifts to others. Dish Rag Tag was a blast and I did eventually get the reverse swap box out as well. However, the swaps I enjoyed the most were the ones where I didn't expect anything in return - a.k.a. RAK gifts.

Another side tangent: Speaking of RAK, I will never forget the response I got from seamsheavenly when I told her I had a camera for her. It was about 4 years old and , to some, grossly out of date. However, you would have thought I told her she won million dollars. That makes the list of top memories of 2008.

Back to swap gifts. . . Depending on the magnitude of the swap, most of these packages run from $10 - $30/$40 (again, it all depends on the items you include – if the swap requires you purchase yarn that is at least $20 you then need to factor in goodies and shipping).

And, last but not at all least, there is cost of yarn. I miss the days when going to Joanne's for yarn was all I needed. I would stalk the Sunday paper with great enthusiasm as I knew it held a 40% coupon for Joanne's and Michael's. Those were the days when Bernat Baby Coordinates was the bomb to me. Oh, and Patron's and Lion Brand were as well. I had yet to step foot into yarn heaven and sock yarn was just something I heard about, but had never used for one of my projects.

The cost of yarn can be outrageous if you let it be. Case and point, the $130 hank that I saw in Indianapolis. Of course I would never get a hank of yarn that cost that much - I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror without a lingering sense of guilt. It's just ridiculous. In all seriousness, I think I've done a good job of keeping my yarn costs down. A major of my stash was bought at Joanne's or Michael's and I actually have made it through yarn heaven once or twice without making a purchase. However, if you don't budget for yarn the chance you will go overboard is likely.

Two other factors that contribute to high annual yarn costs. . . Yarn Hops (sometimes called Yarn Crawls) and Yarn Clubs.

This is when a group of knitter go together to a yarn shop, or two, and knit and shop and knit and shop some more things can get dangerous. Yes my friends, you've put yourself in a situation were you've gone to a yarn shop with a group of enablers. These people will not tell you that the hank of yarn is too much and they will not tell you to put the yarn down because you really can't afford it. Instead, they will encourage you to purchase said yarn by telling you about all the great things you can make from it.
Then there are yarn clubs. For a flat fee you can be part of an exclusive group that receives custom colorways, patterns and gifts that will not be available to anyone else (at least not for the next 12 months sometimes). However, this privilege comes at a premium cost. The minimum monthly cost averages somewhere around $30 and goes up from there. Now, if you do the math and back out the cost of shipping, the pattern, the yarn and any additional gifts then yes you can see the value in it, but it still isn’t cheap.
So where is this all leading?

I don't plan on reading my annual credit card summary because I want to live in my happy-go-lucky world of denial. I don't really want to know how much I've really spent on this hobby I'm so enamored with. All I need to know is that I've probably spent somewhere between $500 and $1700 this year on knitting. With that in mind I do have to say, yesterday I won the knitting lottery.

Let me explain . . .

Awhile back I mentioned that my mom told me she was going to get me some free yarn because someone she knew got all this yarn from a yarn shop that went out of business. Well, yesterday afternoon I took a trip over to where this yarn was being stored to sort through everything because mom told me there was too much for her to know really what to take for me. We both decided it would be better for me to come over and sort through everything and take what I wanted. Honestly, I don't know what I expected, but what I experience was much more. I'll put it this way - imagine you are in a candy shop and someone told you that you could eat whatever you wanted without any physical repercussions. That's right! No weight gain, no elevated sugar levels, NOTHING. That is what it was like. Anything and everything under the sun was at my disposal - Needles, crochet hooks, buttons, ribbon and trim, books and many other knitting necessities.

Oh, yeah, there was yarn too! It was insane! In the end, I walked away with a crazy amount of stuff. So much so that I think I made up for the hundreds of dollars I have poured into this hobby (passion) of mine throughout the year. Now I have no right to say I don't have a yarn stash. Before I run off to a yarn shop I am required to sort through all my goodies to make sure I really don't have anything at home. I do feel the need to say that there wasn’t any sock yarn for the taking so it’s ok for me to purchase that without reviewing my stash first.

Here is a picture of all the stuff I got . . . .

Lots of Yarn and Stuff

I'm hoping to have it all sorted and organized within the next two weeks or so.

All in all, I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to raid this stash. It amazes me what was left after this individual's going out of business sale. I'm thinking my knitting budget for 2009 just shrunk by leaps and bounds as a result of this opportunity (at least I hope).

Until later. . . Ciao!


My New Favorite Quote

I loved this quote SO much I just had to post it right away. . .

"Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy." - Nora Ephron


Those Aren't Allowed Here

While interviewing for my job, I was informed some travel may be required of me. This travel included one location that would require me to fly which was perfectly fine by me. Then, suddenly, I started to wonder. . . Would I be able to take my projects on the plane? What types of needles were prohibited on planes these days? Would I have to give up knitting during the duration of my trip (g-d forbid!)? It was my first time facing airplane travel as an avid knitter and to be honest the thought of not being able to take a project with me upset me. Much to my delight, after searching the TSA regulations online, I learned knitting needles were permitted on planes as long as the TSA Officer didn't perceive them as a weapon. And what if the TSA Officer perceived them as a weapon? That is what a self-addressed stamped envelope is for. See below for the exact TSA regulations:
TSA Guidelines to Transporting Knitting Needles & Needlepoint

I have a good friend going through a nasty divorce, which includes a bitter custody battle. I am happy to listen to my friend vent and be a sounding board. In all honestly, and full disclosure, I went through a crappy divorce myself this year so if anyone knows the value of having someone to vent unconditionally to, it is yours truly.

As I sit and listen to their tales of whoa I often find myself knitting (don't act so surprised). Recently, as I listened to my friend's latest dramas an extremely random thought popped into my head - wouldn't it be great if all courthouses allowed knitting needles and crochet hooks into the building!? Especially on the Domestic Relations floor - everyone on that floor is either getting divorced, fighting a custody/child support battle and/or fighting with family.

Think about it. . . Unless you work there, most people do not willingly look forward to spending extended periods of time at a courthouse (I know I didn't, and in reality those that work there probably don't either). If you do have to spend extended periods of time at a courthouse it's usually due to one of two things. Either you've been summoned for jury duty or you are part of a trial/court case. Both options lack excitement or any type of positive vibe.

Then there is knitting . . . It's a proven fact that knitting is therapeutic. Knitters not only make creative and beautiful items, they use knitting as way to calm themselves. Don't believe me? Ask an avid knitter what they do when they're frustrated. I'll give you a hint!

Put the two together and what do you have. . . Imagine, instead of the bitterness, hate and lies that normally flood the Domestic Relations floor of any given courthouse; that floor would be a place of calm, peace and honesty. Ah, such a beautiful thing to aspire too. Oh, and as far as knitting needles being "weapons" - the only knitting needles I find dangerous are those used for socks. (I speak from experience when I say it hurts to be poked by one of those things)

Maybe, just maybe, one day this dream of being able to knit in the courthouse will be reality. . . Hey, a frog can dream, right!?

Until later . . . Happy Knitting!


Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get me Down

I have a confession. . . well, actually two. . . Though I was really looking forward to getting together with a friend of mine today, I was not super heartbroken when we ended up rescheduling. Also, after I started my new project yesterday, I started to wish secretly for a bad snow storm that would have me house bound.

Instead, we got heavy rain all day long - which in some ways could be considered the equivalent of a bad snow storm. Do not get me wrong, had my plans not been rescheduled I would have been all about being social and happy to go out in the rain to see my friend. However, once they were and I got over the initial "this bites" feeling, I put things into perspective and embraced the opportunity to stay dry, get back into my sweats, watch movies and knit. I believe it's safe to say a lot of my knitting peeps would agree that rainy days are perfect knitting days (not that we need an excuse to knit). The result of all this - About 24 hours after I started the socks for my mom this is what I had accomplished:

24 Hours Later
The first of mom's socks measuring about 4" in length.

I know it doesn't look like much, but given that I am working with very fine yarn this is great progress. As the yarn began to take shape I decided that mom will definitely like the color and pattern of her socks. I hope they are not too scratchy. I hope that once the socks are washed and treated with a good fabric softener that will not be the case. I guess like many other things time will tell.


Knitting was not the only thing I did today. I did eventually manage to leave my place and venture into the wet world. My main motivation focused on heading to a local camera shop to play with the two digital slr's I've been trying to decide between.

If you had asked me a week ago which camera I was going to get I would have told you with confidence which one. Then I began to do more research and realized that my choice may have been ill advised. Given the financial investment in this item I felt it was necessary to go play with both these models once again. (Yes, I am THAT person who goes back countless times to fidget with the cameras just to make sure - it would be irresponsible of me not too.) The result? I made a decision, and an order has been placed. I eagerly await my new toy!


Happy Birthday Jaden!

I would like to wish a Happy Birthday to my friend's son Jaden Benjamin who arrived yesterday evening.

My friend called me tonight to share the news, but as it would be I found out this afternoon when I saw Jaden's first pics posted on Facebook. It's all good. It was still good to hear from my friend to be assured that mom and baby are doing well.

With that in mind - I wish everyone a good evening!


Jewish Christmas

Maybe it was the guilt of knowing I did not even get close to finishing my holiday knitting . . . Or, maybe it was massive amount of food I consumed over the past two days. . . Whatever it was, I so exhausted that sleeping in this morning was more appealing then taking a trip to yarn heaven for the day after Christmas sale. Heck, I didn't shop their sale online - clearly I am ill.

In all seriousness, the past two days have been fun. Even though I am Jewish and technically I should have been eating Chinese food and going to see a movie, I spent yesterday celebrating Christmas. I am so thankful and appreciative to the families that opened their homes to me this year for Christmas Eve and Christmas. As one of my friends said to me when I thanked them for the invite, "Everyone should have to put up with someone's family on Christmas regardless of their religion." Though I laugh every time I think of that comment, I take it with a grain of salt at the same time. It makes me reflect to Christmas' past and appreciate the memories that were made on those occasions.

My reputation as a "yelper" is starting to precede me. As I shared details of the festivities with a friend I was asked how I would rate both experiences - how many stars would I give them. No pressure people! I opted not to answer the question because I did not feel it was fair to the families. However, I will say this - over the past two days I had some of the best food I ever had. This included Lefse which is a Norwegian specialty made out of potatoes. Also, I had some of the best homemade apple pie ever. I would love to get the recipe and make it with a special pie crust recipe a friend of mine shared with me. I've always wanted to make apple pie and I think the two recipes combined would make an outstanding treat. Additionally, I had a cup of espresso for the first time and I even learned how to make it. Also, I was fortunate enough to spend time with two families that were friendly, warm and a blast to be around. By the end of the evening I felt as though I was part of the family and not just a guest. Again, I am thankful and fortunate to have been included in their celebration.

Now, that the holidays are over it of course the perfect time to start all the holiday knitting I've been mentioning over the prior weeks. Then again, technically, the holidays aren't over for me. Hanukkah doesn't end until the 29th. This discovery makes me feel somewhat better about the fact that I just started my mom's birthday/hanukkah/new years socks today - you know the ones that should have been started when I got the yarn about a month and a half ago.

Here's what I have done so far. . .

It's kind of strange knitting with lace weight sock yarn. My Harry Potter socks are DK weight so they are a lot thicker than what I am working with now. At the end of the day what I am most concerned about is that mom gets a pair of socks that she enjoys.

With that said, it's time for me to sign off. . . Happy Knitting to all! Ciao!


Merry Christmas!

To all that celebrate . . .

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!


The Great Virtual Cookie Swap '08

I LOVE to bake.

However, I do not bake as much as I would like to because I also love to eat what I bake - that is when baking becomes dangerous!

When I saw Emily's (aka Yarn Miracle Goddess) post about The Great Virtual Cookie Swap '08 I was all about participating. I cannot tell you the number of times I've glanced over at my KitchenAid stand mixer and considered all the things I could be using it for.

I considered several recipes, but at the end of the day I only chose one (time was running out and making multiple treats was not an option). The recipe that made the cut - Tyler Florence's Chocolate Covered Snow Peak Cookies. Or, at least it was the base for my cookies. As I read over the ingredients and instructions I decided minor alterations were necessary.

Instead of using dark chocolate chips I used Andes Mint Baking Chips. Also, since I love chocolates so much I ignored Tyler's instructions to just place chocolate at the base of the cookies. My cookies sport a chocolate coating all over. The last alteration I made was ignored Tyler's instructions to "pipe 24 bite-sized 'kiss'-shaped meringues." Don't get me wrong, I almost got my pastry bags and tips out however I decided to make free-form dollops in various sizes was the way to go. I figured that way those that wanted a small taste had a bite size treat, whiles those that wanted more could fill their appetite without feeling like they were a pig because they kept coming back for more.

The result . . .

Andes  Meringue Cookies

Might I say they Y-U-M-M-Y!!!

Since every product should go through quality control, I sought out a taste tester. It could not be just anyone. It had to be someone who I knew would not sugar coat (no pun intended) the truth . . . and I knew just the right person! I was happy to find my cookies passed the test.

Now all that is left is finding a worthy group to share them with.

Being the shutterbug that I am, I snapped a few shots while baking - The Great Virtual Cookie Swap '08

Friday Freaky Fun Fact & Foto (try saying that fast seven times)

I was tagged by YarnPrincess yesterday to participate in the friday freaky fun fact & foto post. Yes, I know it's Tuesday, and almost a week later, but that's when Velma (whom I do not know) posted the original tag so that is what I'm calling it.

With that in mind, here goes nothing. . .

This bike is the first thing you see when you walk into my old company's Milwaukee office. I about died when I saw it the first time - I love motorcycles, especially Harley's.

The next day after first seeing this for the first time, my boss and I went to Harley's headquarters to visit some of our employees who were working there. While waiting for them I couldn't help but stare at the bike they had in their lobby. The nice security guy noticed this and asked if I wanted to get on it. I thanked him nicely, but declined his offer. "Are you sure," he asked. Again, I smiled and nicely declined. (My boss was near by and I was trying to be as professional as possible.) Then the security guard asked one last time. This time I quickly glanced at my boss, looked at him and said sure. OMG! It was awesome! It was my first time sitting on a motorcycle. This past June, I finally got my first ride on a motorcycle - it was even more fun than I thought it would be. I can't wait to go again!

OK, in attempt to keep the ball somewhat rolling, I tag and challenge the following bloggers to follow my Friday Freaky Fun Fact & Foto lead:

jennantonnix - I know I still owe her a package and I want her to know I haven't forgotten and I feel bad about it.

daisysmom - I know she looks at my blog often and enjoys it - which I appreciate knowing.

littledragonfly - It's been too long since we've talk. . .

sarahdluck - Long time no talk!

britnlind - Thanks for the cookie recipe!


Fluff, fluff and more fluff

From Yahoo! News:

In Hanukkah News . . .


Man eats 7 pounds of latkes to win NY contest - Yahoo! News

Out of the ordinary news . . .

I hope the woman gave the cleaning crew who found this a nice reward.

Diamond in the rough: Museum finds vacuumed gem - Yahoo! News


Internet 2008

Knitting Related:

This is for the obsessed knitter.


Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!


The Happy Dance

Small Funny Grassy Watery Frog Animated Avatars

Yes! Yes! That's me doing the Happy Dance! I just got some really good news and it has me jumpin' up and down. . .

. . . You may now return to your regularly scheduled activities.


... And You Thought You Got Screwed In Your Divorce Settlement

"Although Guy Richie reportedly agreed to walk away from his marriage to Madonna without a cent, the divorce settlement is apparently now hovering around a rather exhorbitant figure of £60 million. Madonna, who has a fortune ammassing somewhere between £300 and £450 million, claims Guy will he will now get a mixture of money and property."

Click below to read the article:


Project 4 Awesome


Knit One, Save One Hat

My first Knit One, Save One hat is complete!

It's so small and tiny I couldn't help but keep looking at it and thinking how adorable it was . . . and I wasn't the only one. . . .

Even one of my frog friends wanted to take a look.

Not too long after I finished the first one, I started to make another. I will post pictures once that one is complete!

Until later I hope you consider contributing to this worthwhile cause. . . it's not too late!


It's All About Yelp Today

I could go on and on and on about all the things I did yesterday, I could figure out something knitting related to talk about or for that matter I could get on my soapbox about the whole Blago fiasco. . . but let's face it last night was the Yelp Holiday Bash and that is all that is on my mind right now.

Where should I start?

I guess at the beginning . . . The invite said "cocktail attire" so I figured why not take the opportunity to girl-it-up.

Though I am a t-shirt and jeans girl at heart, there is a part of me that enjoys picking out the perfect dress, shoes, accessories, and fixing up my hair just right. I did all those things for this event. Actually, I got a lot of compliments on my dress which is always appreciated. Oh, while were talking shoes - I believe I have redeemed myself and earned the right to be taken off girl card probation. Actually I liked the shoes I got so much I not only wanted them in the black patten I ended up purchasing but in the purple multi color they also come in (yes, when I find a shoe I like I try to get it in different colors), but alas I could not find my size and honestly I could think of more practical things to spend the money on.

So I was all girled-up, now what?

Getting there from the burbs was a bit of a challenge. The departure time got delayed because getting ready took longer then expected. Then traffic was just crappy and apparently taking side streets doesn't speed things up either. However, at the end of the day I got there and that is all that matters!

Let the Party Begin. . .

Here are my thoughts on the party itself (taken from my Yelp review of the party) -

"I couldn't have picked a better event to make my first Yelp event.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you . . . to Colleen and crew for putting together a wonderful party.

Everything was perfect! Tasty food, tasty drinks! Amazing performers. Oh, and the people . . . great people. It was a treat to finally meet some of you fine folks in real life.

It was the perfect way to end 2008 . . . and I look forward to another fun year of Yelping in 2009!"

Location! Location! Location!

The party was held at Architectural Artifacts. Wow! What a great place... Here's what I had to say about it on Yelp.

"It's all about the space. . .

And there is plenty of it. This place is a funky, spacious, unique space that is perfect for large parties. The openness gives anyone having an event here the option to make it into whatever they want it to be. My only regret in terms of exploring the space is not going out to the garden area - I guess I'll have to do that next time!

My rating is purely based on my experience attending the Winter Holiday Yelp event. Last night was my first visit to Architectural Artifacts, but I'd love to go during regular business hours to see what they've got on display then. From what I could see in terms of the items they sell this place is extremely high end and way out of my price range. However, it doesn't mean it wouldn't be fun to check things out

Close to public transportation and lots of parking as well is just plus Artifacts has going for it.

All in all, I'm a fan!"

What Now?

Ah yes, after all the time and energy put into this one event, likes all good things it eventually had to end. I have the good memories from the evening out and I will never forget them. I look forward to other Yelp events and other occasions there will be to dress up once again.

I know I said this in my posting about the event, but I want to make sure to say a big thanks to Colleen, Andrea and crew for a great party! Y'all did a great job!



Lorna's Laces Tour Secret #1 Relieved:

Lorna's Laces announced yesterday a new colorway - Roadside Gerry. This is one of the "top secret" things we learned about on our tour this past Saturday.

Oh what a beautiful colorway it is! Some of us wanted to buy a hank, or two, while we were there, but that was not gonna happen. Oh well! The color has been released and will be in stores soon. Yay!


And then there was more yarn talk. . .

Apparently one of yarn shops local to my mother's area went out of business. It also appears that someone my mother knows is friends with the owner of said yarn shop so they picked up A LOT of yarn, buttons, trimmings, etc and I am welcome to some - Yay to the friend of Froggie's Mom!


Chix with Stix
is another local yarn shop that I've been to recently. I've been meaning to go there for a while because they support the Knit One, Save One campaign and are offering knitters a free skein of yarn to make hats for premature babies so they stay warm over the winter months.

This is a cause close to my heart as I have two family members that were born premature (about five weeks early).

I know I've posted about this cause in the past, but please take a moment to visit their website and learn more about this great program - Knit One, Save One


Among the random thoughts I had yesterday, I realized that the e-mail address associated with this blog is separate from my personal one. This prompted me to actually check the e-mail account "just in case" someone actually wrote into it. Low-and-behold someone did . . . This random thought also made me realize I should set-up this address in my mail client. Now I will have a better chance of receiving and replying in a more timely manner.


As a follow-up to my shoe dilemma (for lack of a better way to put it) . . . I actually found a kick-ass pair of shoes for my outfit. The best part is that they are versatile so I will be able to wear them with a lot of different things. I think I am going to do one more swing by some local shoe stores to make sure they are the pair I want for sure. I would post a picture of them, but my camera battery is still dead.


Sadly, this whole camera battery debacle is leaving me with a few gaps in my 2008 365 photo project. I've been able to borrow a camera here and there from friends to snap a shot, but nothing on a regular basis until I get a new charger. Oh well! Out of 365 I think missing a handful of days is better than stopping altogether.

I actually am way behind on posting pictures. I guess that is another "to do" for the weekend. :)

On that note, I will say farewell. . . for now. Happy knitting to all!


What Is This World Coming Too?

When I read this I had to ask what is this world coming too? . . . Found on the News Site.

Thieves swipe woman's unfinished knitting project

08:47 AM PST on Wednesday, December 3, 2008

By KING Staff


Cassie Schorsch's knitting project was taken from her car.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. - There are 23 days to Christmas, but a Mountlake Terrace woman says she doesn't have time to re-knit a sweater she planned to give her dad.

Cassie Schorsch says the sweater was half-way finished, with the knitting needles still in it.

"I was furious, spittin' nails mad. I've spent so many hours on that sweater. There's probably 100 and 150 hours of work on that sweater already," she said.

Cassie says she has no idea why the unfinished sweater was stolen.

She says an extra skein of yarn, and a small zippered pouch with crochet hooks, yarn needles, double-pointed needles, and a measuring tape were also taken.

She is offering a reward if someone finds the sweater.

Her CD player and CD's were not taken.

Why Am I Not Surprised!?

I'm finally getting a chance to catch up on today's happenings around the world. Today was a really busy day and I didn't have much time at all to even glance briefly at a news site to see what was taking place outside my little world. . . I did hear details here and there about the news story below, however I felt the need to go back and read whatever articles I could about this crazy situation and get as much information as possible. I can't even begin to say what an embarrassment this is for the State of IL and it really doesn't shock me that our Governor has done something like this.

NY Times Online - Illinois Governor Charged in Scheme to Sell Obama’s Seat


What's Your Passion?

I had a friend who aspired to opened a baked goods business because they enjoyed baking so much - it is their passion. I loved hearing them talk through all the details of this future venture because I could tell it made them happy to think about it. I have not talked to this individual in almost a year so I do not know if they still aspire to open this business, or even have for that matter. I would like to think their aspirations are still the same and that one day I will glance at an advertisement for their business and realize they've turned their passion into their career.

Beth Casey, owner of Lorna's Laces, and the owner of Loopy Yarns, located in Chicago's downtown Loop, are other examples of people who have made a career out of their passion. Both quit their "Corporate America" jobs and became involved in the crafts industry. One took over a successful hand-dyed yarn manufacturing company and the other opened a yarn shop conveniently located close to where "Corporate America" knitters worked so they would have a place to escape during the day.

I bring all this up because I've thought, and talked, a lot this past weekend about what I would do if I were to make my passion(s) my career. Yes, when you make your passion a career there is the reality that it is work and that could potentially make you less passionate about it. However, it's inspiring to see people taking a chance and chasing the dream of true happiness in their careers. Seeing this brings to me a sense of hope that I do not see anywhere else in our world today. It gives me the push to think, "If they can do it, why can't I?"

Maybe in a couple of days this euphoria I am currently experiencing will wear off and reality will once again reside in the nook of my brain where all these aspirations are currently. I hope that will not be the case, but if it is that is fine by me because I know that in time the aspirations will come back once again. Once again I will be reminded that I do not have to settle and that I can, if I wish, one day make them reality.


Before the Crack Was Even a Crack

That is when I got up today - before the crack of dawn was even a crack. . .

So what had me up THAT early you ask?

One of my friends (who would like to be known on my blog as "Froggie's Friend #1") and I took a field trip with a handful of others to Lorna's Laces to tour their facilities and get a lesson in hand dying yarn.

What it took to get there and back . . .

* One 5 AM alarm (which meant I slept in until about 6:15 AM even though I had to be ready to leave my place by 6:30 AM)
* To keep warm - Two hats, two scarves, one winter coat over my already warm clothes and one pair of boots
* One cup of steaming hot coffee
* Two train rides going and two train rides coming back


* Walking through the cold and snow about 7 - 10 blocks, total, both ways. (Maybe we should have just driven)

As we trudged through the snow and sipped our coffee. . .

My fellow knitters and I discussed how it was nice to be amongst others who understood why all this effort was worth it "just for yarn."

When we finally arrived at Lorna's Laces . . .

We were greeted by the owner - Beth Casey, her husband and their dog - Pearl. (Sorry to Beth's husband for not remembering his name)

In the beginning . . .

Beth shared with us how she became the owner of Lorna's, all about the different yarns they sell and even a secret or two about some new yarns that will be available soon (... and yes, we all signed confidentiality agreements so I can't reveal what they are)

And then there was . . .

A dying demo - try more like we saw 40 hanks of a new color that is coming out soon being dyed. I have to say it was really cool. I even picked up a few tips on what I can do differently the next time I attempt to dye yarn.

Last, but of course never least . . .

The group had a chance to shop the sale yarn. All said and done the damage was not that bad (at least for me).

In summary . . .

Overall, it was a great time. Sadly, my camera battery was way low on juice so I did not take any pictures of the excursion. I guess that means I just need to go back again at some point.

That is all for now folks. As always, until later . . . Ciao!


What If You Said Hello to Everyone In Your Path for a Month?

There is so much on my mind to share, but at the moment I don't have the time. Instead, I'm going to share this article I came across while on the Yelp message boards. It's something to think about - What If You Said Hello to Everyone In Your Path for a Month?. I hope you enjoy it!


They're Taking Away My Girl Card

Who is "they" and why is my "girl card" being taken away you ask. . .

Well, it mainly has to do with a comment I made regarding my lack of interest in shoe shopping. Yes, you heard me right, Froggie has not been interested in shoe shopping over the past several months.

I really didn't think about it until recently when I started putting together what I was going to wear for a special occasion. I have the clothes chosen and I decided how my hair will be done, but had no shoes for said occasion. I happened to mention this to a friend of mine and made the comment that I really wasn't interested in shoe shopping. My friend suddenly uttered the words, "Your girl card should be taken away." I guess I was a little taken a back by the comment because it came from one of my guy friends - what the hell would he know about what the requirements for a "girl card" are!? So, I just blew off the comment (sorry, it's not personal!) However, then I got to thinking about what was said and I asked another guy friend of mine about the comment I made. He agreed for the most part with the initial assessment. He did say that taking away the card completely would be a bit extreme and that my comment at least warranted a "warning."

So, I consider myself warned.


Even though I should be, I haven't had the time to knit lately which mean I have nothing knitting related to write about. Instead, I will end this entry with this fine video - enjoy!

Until later . . . Ciao!