I’m Phat Baby!!

(but not fat). Every month Phat Fiber sells a limited number of boxes containing handmade samples from a variety of different sellers (most have shops on Etsy or Artfire). The idea is that you can try out the samples before purchasing online. This is crucial for fiber artists because a lot of time we have to ‘feel’  the yarn to know if we like it (rub, pet, nuzzle, it can admittedly get a bit weird for some fiber addicts!) The boxes are super limited in number so they are sold in two batches on Etsy and usually sell out in less than a minute each time! These boxes go all over the world! I think it is so cool and there is quite a cult following now.

Anyway, on to the good stuff, I got a September Box, WOO-HOO!!!! I have tried 3 times and had the boxes sell out before I could snag one, but not this month! I am so excited with all the fiber and yarn samples! There was also a little drawstring goodie bag in my box and several really cute stichmarkers. Here are a few pictures of my box:

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I am super-duper excited about the fiber because I’m learning to spin and haven’t gotten much practice lately. So, I dove into the fibers first and here are some ‘hot-off-the-spindle’ pics!

Still on the spindle! A single plied multi-color wool with beautiful color transitions:

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I am really proud of this one!! It’s a 2-ply (my first!) of two samples. The grey (carbonized bamboo and wool blend) has pink highlights in it, which is what gave me the idea to ply it together with the pink (superwash wool). I am so happy with how it came out!!!!

I CAN MAKE YARN, YAY!!!!!!!!

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Tea Cozy!!!

I find that ‘up north’ in the winter I drink a lot more hot tea (and hot cocoa, and hot apple cider, but let’s stay focused). While I was home sick last week and had a killer sore throat I was downing hot tea with honey almost constantly because the heat felt so good on my throat. My good friend Caroline is from England and gave me a brief education on the proper way to make tea. So, first I ordered a tea pot. I had a kettle to boil water in on the stove, but no kettle to steep the tea in. About 20 minutes on Ebay and a few bucks later, I have a teapot! This gave me a wonderful fiber opportunity to make a tea cozy!!! I find this to be quite functional because when the ceramic gets blazing hot from the boiling water, you will be protected by the nice little cozy. I crocheted one this weekend:

I think the pattern is quite cute!! I’m not totally crazy about how the colors came out. This yarn is Paton Soy Wool Stripes in Natural Navy. Notice that navy is quite a minor color here!! Our dishes are blues, greens and browns, with ivory contrast, so I thought this would match, but it striped pretty weird and is way more brown than blue. Oh well, it is super functional and most importantly, fits the teapot, so I’m calling it a winner! 🙂

Taking care of my pet peeve!

I have one really big pet peeve. One that sends shivers up my spine every time I encounter it….stuff sticking to my feet! I can’t stand it. If I’m walking barefoot and stuff is sticking to my feet, I’ll run to a rug to wipe them off or I’ll wipe them on the leg of my jeans, anything to get rid of whatever it is. Since I can’t constantly clean my floor, this means I walk around in socks or slippers a LOT! Avoidance, yes, but ignorance is bliss. Except of course that I’m not totally ignorant of the situation, so I’m getting creative about taking care of it!! I mean, we have me and DH, the two puppies, and dogwalkers stopping by 3 times a day. That is a LOT of in-and-out the door tracking in dirt and grass!!

My arsenal:

1-broom/dustpan

2-dustmop with reusable/washable terrycloth cover

3-Swiffer WetJet (I definitely us this the most!)

and now…….

4-Dustmop slippers!!!! I just got these this week. I’ve seen them several times. I’ve laughed at how silly they are. I’ve made fun of them with friends. I know own the neon green ones. I have no shame, I love them and I love knowing that with every step I’m cleaning the floor! I think my DH is getting worried….he says my obsession over the floor has reached a new level.

5-The Bissell ProHeat cleaner!! Just got this puppy today and have already taken it for a spin!!

This purchase was really prompted by a dried up ‘accident’ I found on our rug in the living room (the Crate and Barrel rug that is only about 7 months old). Training two puppies has taken it’s toll, so I thought this would be worth the investment for the occasional (every few months? once a season?) cleaning of the old rug. It is awesome!! Quieter than my regular vacuum cleaner, easy to use and I think I squealed as I dumped out the dirty (really dirty) used water from the tank. My rug is clean, YAY!!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow…..the runner on the stairs. It is scary with dirt and wear from the previous owners (and their two cats) and coffee stains. I can’t wait to see how it goes!!!

San Fran

Finally, got DH to download our San Francisco pictures!! (He is even working on the Spain pictures, hallelujah!) So, we went to Redwood City for a work meeting. Since the meeting ended after lunch on Friday, we decided to stay until Sunday so we could sightsee. Neither of us had ever been to California, so it was a great opportunity!!! First we got an Enterprise rental car delivered to our hotel. There was a little mixup with the fax from the hotel getting missed, so when we called to check on the late car, they send it ASAP and upgraded us to a Mercedes! DH had a blast driving it for a few days and was hinting at what a great car it was, sporty, but still a 4-door, etc. I can see this topic coming up again in our future 😛 I must say, he looked pretty hot cruising in it!

 

We hit the coast first and went to see the Pigeon Point lighthouse. I have a bit of an obsession with lighthouses, so when DH saw this on the map, he kept it a surprise/secret and just drove there while I was clueless. Needless to say I was really excited when we pulled up!! It was gorgeus and a nice area to explore.

After the lighthouse we went to eat at the Moss Beach Distillery where DH had made reservations. This was extra fun because the Distillery was featured on one of our all-time favorite shows, Ghost Hunters! While it was not found to be haunted by Jason and Grant, it was an awesome place to enjoy dinner! Great food and we got a table right by the window. Since the building is situated on a cliff, this made for a GORGEUS view!! It was even quite creepy with all the fog rolling in, GORGEUS!

On Saturday we started with a drive through the city to the Golden Gate Bridge! The fog was pretty thick, but we went ahead thinking it was the best time for us to hit the bridge. Well, here’s the view:

What a view, right?! LOL!!! The rest of the day was spent walking around Fisherman’s Pier, which has a great National Park Site at Hyde Street Pier. DH loves ships and naval history and I love everything associated with the water, so this was a great way to spend the morning! In fact, I have to give the NPS a plug here!! The Pier was such a great site to visit it got me thinking and I pointed out to DH that there are so many great ‘sites’ in our country that so many people never see!! It is so inexpensive to visit also ($5 per adult?! A bargain!) that if you can get to a region, any family could have a great, affordable and educational vacation! I definitely plan to do more like this if/when we have kids!! Anyway, here we are on the deck of one of the ships:

We drove around the city a bit to see some of the sites before wrapping up our day in the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. What a fabulous relaxing trip!! We had no plan whatsoever when we got there, which I think made it more fun to just explore and see where we ended up!

Back from SFO

I’m finally back on the good ole East coast and at home tonight!! Overall we had a very good trip to San Francisco. We were there for work, but managed to slip in a little fun before flying back today. I’ll save the details for when I download the pictures, but here are a few highlights:
1-Fog. Lots and lots of fog.
2-Just say no to ‘shi-shi’ French hotels (Terry’s words, but I’m not going to argue too much). Nice hotel with nice staff, but come on, it’s a hotel and was really overpriced, especially in the restaurant/bar. It was built as a luxury hotel in the late 80’s, which explains why it kinda feels you’re in a Miami Vice episode!!

3-Japanese Tea Garden in the Golden Gate Park = RELAXING!!

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Enough of a teaser, you’ll see more when I get the pics downloaded!! For now, I’m happy to be back home and ready to go pick up my puppies in the morning. The house is WAY too quiet without them here!!

Travel Project

I’m headed out west to San Fran this week for work, Woo-Hoo!! That means a couple of long flights….which of course means a travel knitting project!! Of course, I’m not packed for the trip at all yet….haven’t remotely started. But, I do have my travel knitting all planned. Priorities!! I’ll be attempting my first pair of mittens!

The pattern is Give a Hoot from Kelbourne Woolens. These are too stinking cute to pass up and the pattern looks like something I can handle. I’ll be using Patons Classic Wool in Plum Heather, since I have that on hand and I think I have enough of it (fingers crossed!). Hopefully I can ‘make it work’ as Tim Gunn would say.

Because of this trip, there may not be many posts this week, but hopefully I’ll get some great pics to share and come home with a mitten or two all knitted up!

OOOOooooh, Baby Love, my baby love…

That’s what I’ve named my latest project. This is a belated baby gift for my cousins new little one, who joined our family last week. This handsome fella was a ‘surprise’ because his Mommy and Daddy didn’t want to know the sex of the baby. So unusual these days!! This blankie has been a work in progress for a while and has a lot of miles on it, since most of these squares were made while flying to and from Boston-London-&-Spain. Since I was late finishing anyway, I went ahead and altered my color pattern to minimize the pink squares and add more blue. I also changed the joining of the squares from the original pattern because I wasn’t happy with how that was going.

Overall, I think this is a winner!!! It will go in the mail this weekend!!