Posted by: Laura | June 14, 2008

New Location!

Hello, All!
 
I have finally gotten a self hosted blog and I just wanted to let ya’ll know about it, in case you were wondering. 
 
It took me a while until i could find a domain name i liked that was “me” and i settled on how knitting/quilting give me a sense of calm. It’s at http://stitchingmystressaway.com/blog/ NOW PLEASE understand i’m still tweaking it. I mean look at it…it says “STITCHING MY STRESS AWAY” does that seem all that calming? So yes, some tweaking is needed so I need to add/change some stuff.
 
please change your bloglines/google reader subscriptions because this is my last here.
laura
Posted by: Laura | June 13, 2008

FYI ~ Laura’s blog

Sometime this weekend I’m going to get my blog self-hosted. Got the money together and am ready to take the plunge. I am having a hard time finding out a domain name that fits me. (want something more than my Ravelry name) I’m trying to do a play on “Laura’s a work in progress” not only for the obvious knitting insinuation but it also describes me as a person as well. :-D Any suggestions would be nice. More information coming.

Posted by: Laura | June 12, 2008

Secret Pal 12 – Question 1

My swap leader Shelby suggested a weekly question that participants post in their blog.

Question #1: What’s your favorite summer time drink?

My very sexy answer: Crystal Lite Peach Iced Tea. Seriously

I thought I’d mix somethings up a little and do a few blog things tests pertaining to drinks so he/she can get a vibe for me. Hopefully my pal does the same ;-)

You Are an Appletini


Most of the time, you’re a typical party girl / guy.But when you get super sauced, you really up your sex appeal.

You Are Beer!


You don’t need to get totally wasted when you hit the bars.More of a social drinker, you just like to have fun with your friends.

And as long as the beer keeps flowing, you’re a happy camper.

But don’t mix things up: “Beer Before Liquor, Never Been Sicker!”

You Are a White Wine Woman

Breezy and casual, you know how to have fun when you’re drinking.And even though you can kick back with a few drinks, you never let things get out of hand.

Alcohol is not a social lubricant for you… it just enhances your already sparkling personality.

You prefer to date a man who is optimistic, friendly, and funny.

I would say a lot of these are fairly accurate. I am not someone who is against all forms of alchohol but I certainly don’t need it all the time to have a good time. I tend to be cautious around it because of family histories and my diabetes so I guess that explains the ho hum attitude. I cheat with my diabetes. It’ll be twenty years this July so I’ve got it down to a science. I love me some oreos and doughnuts just like the next person. Alcohol however, because it alters how you think, just adds some anxiety to me so I only drink it on special occasions. And yes, I’m awaiting comments from friends about the texts I sent after I had a couple when Obama got the nomination. :-p
Posted by: Laura | June 11, 2008

First of Many…

…Obama hats. Yes, I went there

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Pattern: Just an Ordinary hat pattern. I got the chart from this website
Yarn(s): Lion Brand Wool Ease (navy), Scraps of Patons Classic Merino Wool for the red and white and the light blue is Lion Brand Cotton Ease
Needle(s): Size 4 circulars for the ribbing and 5 DPNs for the rest of the hat
Casted On: June 8th, 2008
Casted Off: June 10th, 2008

This was the first time I’ve done duplicate stitching. The red areas came out fine but once I started the white areas it started looking…well let’s say I can’t describe it without using the word “cluster.” hehehehe But since I plan on making hats for Jermaine and Courtney and the babies in my life, I’ll have more time to practice before the inauguration

Posted by: Laura | June 10, 2008

Laura’s Flickr Badge

My buddy Mai did this. Thought I would in order to calm down from a busy day.

the rules:
a. type your answer to each of the questions below into flickr search
b. using only the first page, pick an image
c. copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker

My creation

the questions:
1. what is your first name?
2. what is your favorite food?
3. what high school did you go to?
4. what is your favorite color?
5. who is your celebrity crush?
6. favorite drink?
7. dream vacation?
8. favorite dessert?
9. what you want to be when you grow up?
10. what do you love most in life?
11. one Word to describe you
12. your flickr name

Go to the flickr link for the answers

everyone, make sure you drink your water! :-)

Posted by: Laura | June 5, 2008

So Wonderfully Amazed

I’ve heard so many things about the 2008 Election. I’ve tried to look up a good quote about it but I think I’ll just stick to my own thoughts ;-)

What a historic race this has been.

There has been so many events occurring lately, that are often associated with pain, death and hardships–9/11, the war, gas prices. Our kids will ask us the expected “Where were you on 9/11/01?” and it will be hard to discuss, emotionally. Just like it was probably a little hard for my parent’s generation to answer “Where were you when JFK or RFK was assassinated?”

There will be a group of children that look up to their parents who served in Iraq like my buddy Corey did (and will unfortunately, go to Afghanistan)

and they’re going to have a lot of questions, just like I did/do for my father who served in Vietnam

And you know, some if not most of those answers are going to be vague because they’re just too hard to answer.

Of late, I have thought about the questions my kids will ask me and there is a lot to not be proud of and a lot of things I know I won’t have an answer to. I will try to be as honest as possible but I also don’t want to crush souls here. Unfortunately we live in a world where racism still exists and war is sometimes inevitable :-(

One June 3, 2008, I saw history in the making. Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee for president. In light of this sadness and anxiety that surrounds our country, it was fantastic to witness such a historic event that shows promise, triumph over adversity, and, as corny as this might sound, hope.

Some have asked me “hey Laura, is it only because he’s black, that you support him?” No. To be honest, it’s icing on the cake.

Our country needs to get out of this huge rut and I feel Obama will do that. His race isn’t something we should ignore either. This is history in the making whether you’ll vote for him or not. Think about how our nation started – on the backs of slaves. Only forty years ago, these events were occurring

an MLK march to DC, 1963

Four Students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University seat at a lunch counter for whites only.

When I was in the fourth grade, we had projects to do on famous African Americans. My teacher tried matching us up with people that reminded her of us. She assigned me Rosa Parks. I’m humbled to say the least. To be honest, I don’t think I could have been as calm as her when she stated, “No. My feet hurt”

Jermaine says he votes for these people above that were fighting for their basic right.

Our country has come far and we’re going to go farther. This was a testament to overcoming adversity and I am nothing but PROUD! For many many reasons, I want Obama to win. Socially, however, it will mean so much for us as a nation too. We’ve come a long way. Who would have thought that 45 years TO THE DAY of MLK’s most famous and amazing “I Have a Dream” speech that a black man will be accepting the nomination from the Democratic Party for the Presidency of the United States.

Wow. God Bless America

Posted by: Laura | June 1, 2008

FO – Lusekofte Cap

As I play with my works in progress throught our apartment, I realize that I seem to always have a lace project, a big project, tons of socks and something fair isle. I’ve had a project that’s been spending some time in hibernation and it got out this past week and I’ve finished it this afternoon.

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 Pattern: Lusekofte Cap by Charlene Schurch from Hats On!
Yarn(s): Rowan Cashsoft Aran
Colorway(s): Purple and Grey
Needle(s): Size 8 16in circulars and DPNs
Casted On: April 5th, 2008
Casted Off: May 31, 2008
Modifications: None, really. When I make Jermaine’s hat using the same pattern, I’ll work the decreases for the crown differently

I really love doing stranded items and I think my skills are getting better and better. Some ladies on the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous were helping me with tension issues on my stranded socks and I’ve found that it’s helping me overall.

 

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Jermaine and I were having a little fun during the FO-Photoshoot :-P

Zoolander:

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Surprised?

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I love this hat and look forward to more fair isle hats. I’m thinking sometime this year, I might get enough just cast on for a sweater. I’m getting ready :-D

Posted by: Laura | May 30, 2008

Secret Swap 12

Yay Secret Pal Swap 12!! I’ve always wanted to be a part of this swap but something was always in the way–found out about it too late…didn’t have a blog. Now I found out about it and even invited some of my friends and I’m looking forward to spoiling someone :-D

and for my spoiler:

What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely not like?

Fingering. I tend to like fingering yarns for both socks and lace items. I’m trying to appreciate laceweight yarns and become more comfortable with it. For sock yarns, I tend to like a thicker fingering weight. As far as worsted weight projects are concerned I love merino wools as well as Cascade 220. What a great yarn with a million different colors.

What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

This little do-hickey. Jermaine got me the KP Options needles and I was thrilled when I didn’t get the binder. I love this little thing :-)\

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I’ve been knitting seriously for 2.5 years but have known how to do it since 2001. I would say I’m more intermediate. You can look at my project pages on Ravelry

Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Amazon

Loopy Ewe

What’s your favorite scent?

I tend to like more watery scents. I know that sounds odd but I really can’t describe it any other way. Pier One for example, has their scents divided into different elements and I tend to like the “water” ones. (For the record, not a huge fan of Pier One except their scents. Wicker + kitties never result in anything pleasant from my experiences.)

Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I do have a sweet tooth. Teehee. I’m pretty basic though. Plain old chocolate suites me just fine. That said, can’t really say it goes through the postal service nicely.

What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I quilt but not as much as I knit. I really enjoy all the steps involved in quilting too and hope to get back to it but knitting, for the time being, has taken over. I might be getting a spinning wheel soon (This situation I seemed to have gotten myself in is almost too good to be true that’s why I’m not saying anything definite). Details to come. J

What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Yes my computer can play mp3s. I tend to like classic rock. I’ve been to ten Allman Brothers Band shows and tend to believe that Live at the Fillmore East happens to be the best live album evar. My first concert was Eric Clapton in 1995 and I find him to be one amazing performer. Others folks I enjoy listening to are simply oldies but goodies. Artists from 1966-1975, you really can’t go wrong with me. And we can not forget about the soul side…who doesn’t love some Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield or Stevie?

What’s your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can’t stand?

Blues/Greens/Purples are my favorite colors. Usually not a big fan of brights but I have to say I like it when there’s something bright in the skein countered by one or more of the mentioned darker colors. Colors I can take only in low dosages include yellow and orange. Especially their bright versions.

What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my boyfriend of six years almost outside of DC with our two adorable kitties, Layla and Luna.

Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Why, yes. I’m looking to make the Chevron Scarf with some Silkie STR. I wear all that’s above except ponchos.

What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks!!! But I also really enjoy lace and I’m entering the world of sweaters too. But I’m always up to cast on a pair of socks.

What are you knitting right now?

Oh goodness! As of today, I seem to be itching just to start stuff, left and right. For the most part, however, I’ve been good. I’m making a shawl for my mom for Christmas, plenty of socks are on the needles and I’m truggin’ along on Rogue

Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Sure! :-D

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I’m actually set on the needles front. I’ve got plenty of KP Option sock needles for magic looping and I’ve received the KP Options set for Christmas.

Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes. And I love it

How old is your oldest UFO?

Courtney’s and Dwayne’s Wedding quilt. It’s been in the works for about two years.

What is your favorite holiday?

Call me corny but Thanksgiving. I find the idea behind it wonderful. I find that there are times when I get so bogged down by all the petty stuff that I forget that I’ve got a great life with great people/dogs/cats in it. Never said I was perfect. This holiday and merely thinking about it help me forget about the petty stuff.

Is there anything that you collect?

Aside from yarn? Nope.

Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Interweave’s Start Spinning comes to mind? But I have an Amazon list too.

Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?

I can not think of any now but I know they exist. I’ll try to keep it in mind when I blog.

Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes! I’ve participated in a few sock swaps and I remember making socks for my buddy wishing I had a trace of their sock. And, because I’m a complete nerd, I’ve done one and put it on Flickr.

When is your birthday?

January 22

What’s your Ravelry ID?

KnittinKitties

Posted by: Laura | May 28, 2008

Self-Reflecting while Knitting

Ever go through a period where shit hits the fan and after it’s settled, you’re left simply thinking about it? Well I’m going through something similar. Wouldn’t say that the shit has hit the fan perse but I guess I’m going through a period of self reflection. I spent Memorial Day Weekend thinking about the relationships I have with people and how I can improve them and how I can change, all of which are completely healthy things to contemplate from time to time.

I think all this contemplation has been seen in my knitting. I was watching a movie and changed projects three or four times, which, even for me is a lot. I just am extremely scatterbrained of late! I guess I should post project pictures, you think?


Here is my Rogue so far. It had been in hibernation for so long then a few weeks ago, I seem to have started attacking it. Just in time for a hot, steamy DC summer, eh? :-) But I got a rather huge portion of this sweater done by completing the chest portion of it. I’m now in the process of dividing for the front and back.

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I have finished one of my Marilinda’s made with Dream In Color, Smooshy and man does it feel nice and smooshy! :-)

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This is the very very limited progress I’ve made for May’s SKA Sock Down Challenge of doing a fair isle sock. I’m doing these specifically toe up so I can keep trying them on as I go. It’s been a little difficult Magic Looping these socks. Usually that’s my preferred way of doing socks but I have found the tension, like the last time I did these socks, were incredibly uneven. I have, however asked the SKA group and looked in an archive on the Stranded group and I’m getting good advice on how to achieve a more even tension.

7i

To add to my scatter-brainedness, tell me why I am this close ll to finishing a work in progress. All it needs is twenty minutes, but I just don’t do it?? Odd! Here is Abby’s dress so far. Don’t mean to toot my own horn but I thought of this pattern mah self

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Here is attempt number….5? at Chris’ Buckeye socks. If all else fails, Jaywalker always works ;-) I also was introduced to Judy’s Magic Cast on for these socks, and let me tell ya, I’m a convert. I heart this cast on so so very much! Thank you Darsana for introducing it to me :-)

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These are the more prominent WIPs I have. There are others of course, but these are the ones I seem to be focusing a lot of time on.

And. Of coooooooooooooourse, I want to cast on more projects. I feel it’s a little bit beyond the normal knitter though. These projects are what is making me burst with excitement (all are Ravelry links)

I considered myself good and only casted on for one of the projects above.

So knitting has been on the brain a lot lately, and as I do it, I often think of personal issues going on with me. I’ve always been a little behind the crowd in doing a lot of things and more prominently, realizing things about myself.

I’ve made mistakes of late. I’m a work in progress and I am simply doing my best. When I say this, I’m not being whiney or defensive, I’m being as matter-of-fact as I can possibly be. I mess up. I put my foot in my mouth probably more times than a dog. I can’t do anything about what happened years ago. If people back then wanted nothing to do with me because of what I did, didn’t do or did too much of, ok. Fine. Can’t do a thing about it. I miss you, don’t get me wrong but no one ever said you were perfect either. Slowly but surely I’m beginning to realize this…that I’m a human that makes mistakes and that I really gotta give myself a break sometimes. Knitting over the weekend helped me do this. Thank you :-)

Posted by: Laura | May 20, 2008

Kitties heart lights

My buddy Mai did this on her blog and it gave me the idea to do the same because, like her puppies, Layla and Luna looooooooooooooooove chasing lights. Dear Duffy (RIP) did figure 8s when mom would point her laser pointer thingie on the ground and Layla and Luna followed suite.

Dad loaned us a laser leveler. He had given Jermaine a great framed photo of him graduating and he loaned it to us when we went to hang it up. Ironically when Dad loaned it (note the verb, father, note the verb), he knew exactly what my first thought would be and he said “Now LAURA, this is on loan for 24 hours. Have your fun and give it back.” hehehe The kitties, Jermaine and I thank you

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