Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's here! It's here! It's here!

My Amphora kit is here! And is the yarn gorgeous and yummy and beautiful and I can hardly wait to start knitting with it. Here are some pics of the box and its contents.

This is how the box looked before I cut the paper wrapping off, so neat and tidy.

This is after the paper wrapping is taken off, VY put another label with my name and address on it on the box in case the paper was ripped off, very good packing.

This is the little sticker with VY's logo on it that held the tissue paper together, very classy.

And here is the box and paper finally opened to reveal the treasures inside, four glorious colors of 2-ply Hebridean yarns just waiting for me to sink my knitting needles into them.

And here we see the amendment sheet, which was tucked in at the bottom of the box so it didn't get mussed in shipping. Oh, man! is it going to be hard to wait to start this! But I must be strong, I need to finish DH's St. Enda first. I have two more rows of the body pattern to knit, then the bottom ribbing, then pick up and knit the right front ribbing for the button band, run in ends, wash and block. DH will sew the buttons on when he's ready while I move on to another project.

That project will be my Erin sweater for the Mara_class group. We start officially on April 2nd, but being listmom I need to be able to post pics and help with problems so I'm planning to start this Sunday at the monthly GSAKnitters Knit In at Borders Books here in Salem. When I got the first shipment of yarns from J & S for Erin, I also got two more skeins of the design yarn I'm using for DH's Forest vest, as I had run out. I'm hoping to get the vest done in time for his birthday the third week in April. Then he will have a new cardigan and a new vest, both handknit by his loving wife, for his birthday present. Pretty cool, I would think.

After I get his St. Enda done I plan to go back to work on my St. Brigid, which has been patiently sitting next to me on my desk waiting for me to get back to her. I'm working on the front above the armholes, having knit the body in the round up to the armholes. Then I'll do the back, pick up and knit the shoulder straps down and do the sleeves in the round.

DH was kidding me a while back that I will need a cedar chest just for the AS and JS patterns I'm making. I got to thinking and he might be right about that. I have my Oregon vest, my Mara cardigan, soon to be his St. Enda and my St. Brigid. I'll be starting Erin this Sunday, God willing, and I just opened the box for Amphora by Jade Starmore. Then this fall will be my St. Enda. And I'm planning to make the Thoroughbred vest as a group project this fall on Mara_class. And there's this cute tam in AS' Fair Isle book that is calling me. I know compared with some knitters I'm way behind the curve on making Starmores but I'm making a serious effort to catch up, lol.

Happy knitting!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Well at last!

I'm finally over whatever nasty bug was going around this winter. I came down with it on Thanksgiving and have been having relapses of it for two and a half months - truly a miserable thing to go through. I finally broke down and scrounged some money to buy some Mannatech Immune Booster and Advanced Ambrotose and they turned the tide for me. I had had two courses of antibiotics from my doctor, which had set the bug back but after the pills were done it came back with a vengeance. I missed several days of work, first the end of November and first part of December, and again in January with that bug. I am so glad it's finally gone, thank God!

I have made a commitment to get DH's St. Enda done by the end of the month so have been working diligently on it. I'm on the body now with both sleeves done and just started another ball of yarn. The body is where the yarn really gets gobbled up, a ball lasts for about four inches or so.

I'm also working on the LLV and picked it up last night to do another pattern on it, which I got onto the fourth of five rounds before bedtime. Hopefully tonight I'll finish that pattern, do two rounds of teal, then set it aside and go back to St. Enda. I like to keep rotating my projects so they all have a chance of getting done in a reasonable time and so my hands get a break from being at one gauge for a long time. I went back on the glucosamine and I'm beginning to hear fewer creaks in my knees as I move. I ran out last month and asked my DH to get me some, he kept saying it wasn't doing me any good (he doesn't live in this body and hear the creaks and feel the pain) so I finally bought it myself last week and I can already hear the improvement in my knees. All those years on the machines at work really took their toll and it wasn't my weight that caused it. A man who was hired when I was and has never been heavy since I've known him has the same problem, so it's work related. But I'm not going to try going through the hassle of worker's comp on it, the USPS has stalling on those claims down to a fine science and I can't afford to be off work for three or four years. That's why I got a windowline job after so many years of trying for one - I'm not doing so much walking and bending. Now to get the weight off and things will be great.

These are my small carry around project, for when I know I'll be waiting in line and won't be able to sit and knit on St. Enda. This is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Tuscany, a color I made a pair of socks for my DH in last year and have lusted for ever since. So my pair have a small cable twist every fourth row so we can tell them apart. I have some green sock yarn for DH that I have a pair out of and his pair will be plain rib, as my green ones are like these with the twist. Easy way to tell them apart and I like the little cables running down the socks.

Now for the really stupendous news. This has been a simply amazing week and weekend for me! First, I got the first shipment of yarns from J & S for Erin, the next project for my Mara group which will be started April 2nd. Someone in the group posted that she had a note from J & S about a 10% price hike on April 1st, so I will be ordering the rest of the yarns this Friday on payday to miss the increase. Just wish I could order yarns for several projects at the same time but the money only goes so far. Then I ordered 4 skeins of Tangerine from Schoolhouse Press as J & S has discontinued that color and it's needed for the Autumn Colors Cardigan in 'Sweaters From Camp' and I would like to make that sweater next winter. Two skeins are for me and two for my friend Terri, in case she wants to make it.

Friday night my DH and I went out for dinner to Roadhouse and while we were eating, he casually brings up the Amphora sweater that I've been wanting to order from Virtual Yarns, AS' company in Scotland. I've had to wipe drool off my monitor several times lately, hoping there would be enough in the tax refund that I could order it. He tells me, why don't you go ahead and order that sweater kit from Scotland tonight when we get home? Like it was no big thing. Whoohoo! So I make a beeline for the computer when we get home, sit down and wait (not so patiently, I might add!) while it warms up and I get online, then I go to VY, which I just happened to have about 5 bookmarks set for. I click on 'A Collector's Item' and then scroll down to Amphora. I discover I'm holding my breath as I click on the proper boxes for the large size in the Lochside colorway, enter the card info and send it off. I know that sometimes Jade or Mairi works on Saturdays but Murphy never takes a day off, you know?

Saturday morning I'm reading my email (early, because the dogs wouldn't let me sleep in, drats!) and DH rolls out of bed early, too. Now he usually sleeps in on the weekends, unless we're doing something early, so this is not normal for him. After hitting the bathroom he comes in the den and turns on his computer, I'm thinking to check his email. But no, the first thing he does is check the bank account and the payment has already posted!!!!!! Which means someone was working Saturday, which means my sweater kit is already on its way, which means it could get here sometime this week, which means I will be hurrying in to work every morning to look for it before opening my station, which means yee haw!

Now, all this excitement was more than I'm used to in our calm life right now. But this wasn't to be the end of it. He had been talking about adding some memory cards to our computers, which are year 2000 models (mine had fried so I'm using his spare) so we stopped at Fry's on the way home from the Oregon City Grange Fiber Sale and visiting my Mom. I couldn't make him understand about computer memory speeds and processor speeds and motherboard speeds and how new cards are slowed down to the slowest card on the board. So I got one of the salesmen to explain it to him. Well, since breakfast is almost ready I'll cut this short - we came home with a new desktop system for him and a new notebook for us to use for traveling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, my word, I could not sit still in the car on the way home and forget trying to knit, it would have come out so tight a mouse couldn't have worn it!

I stayed up till 1 am setting up the notebook and he stayed up later setting up the desktop and transferring files over on CDs. Then we did more setting up and tweaking on Sunday. So now we are really set to go traveling when we want, a digital camera, a notebook computer, the camping trailer with all our camping gear stowed in it. We just need to get a car charger for the notebook. But, my word! what a week this has been! And I still have the Tangerine yarn to look for. And Amphora to look for! Talk about being in hog heaven! And it's all paid for, not charged, that's the real blessing. Makes all the hours of work I put in last year worth it. And the bills are paid, thank God.

Okay, DH says time for breakfast so I have to go. Have a great day everyone!
Happy knitting!