I've finally started a blog. It's mostly for myself to keep track of everything I'm doing, but if anyone else finds it interesting that's cool too.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kitty Captions

If you like funny cat pictures and can think of funny captions, you'll like this website.
Maybe I'll caption some of my cat pics.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Forward

How did I get so many clocks to turn forward? I have 12 different things to change. My watch, 2 tv's, 2 dvd players, a vcr, my answering machine, 3 wall clocks, the microwave and my alarm clock. I'm glad that cell phones and computers turn themselves or I'd have a few more to take care of. We lost an hour of sleep but that's okay since I was having VERY strange dreams last night so I didn't mind waking up. I'm looking forward to the extra hour of daylight and I'm soooo ready for spring.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Soggy Parade

I went to the St. Patrick's Day Parade today. It was raining pretty hard at the start but St. Patrick must have been looking out for us because it slacked off for most of it. It was a little cold after a while but when you live here you get used to the cold since it lasts about 8 months of the year. Some of my pictures are a little blurry. I have to learn how to hold my camera steadier. Stopped at the library book sale after the parade. I went on Thursday and bought 8 books and today I picked up some magazines. Altogether a good day.

Monday, March 8, 2010


The weather this weekend was so nice that I intended to get out and take pictures. That didn't happen. Instead I started organizing. I HATE organizing. First you have to decide what to keep, then you have to decide where to put it. The hardest part for me is deciding what to throw away. My parents were born during the depression and they learned to save what they had, which wasn't much. Also my father was in World War II and he learned the saying that was popular at the time:
Use it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or do without.
So, they made do. As I was growing up we saved EVERYTHING. Even though we moved a lot. I lived in 8 different houses and went to 3 elementary schools by the time I was 12 years old. We never seemed to leave anything behind. My father worked for a moving company so he never had to worry about truck space. Any time a neighbor needed something there was a good chance that we had it.
It's hard to change the habits I 've learned my whole life. Every time I think of tossing something, I always think "Maybe I'll need this someday." So it takes me a long time to finish. But I'll keep trying.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Learning New Things

Yesterday I went to a class on scanning. Although my job is scanning and I was familiar with most of it, I did learn new things about color management in case I do any color photo work in the future. I mainly work with old books in black in white from Local History and the project we're just finishing up was newspapers. I also learned more about curves and levels in photoshop.  I love working with computers and scanners but after doing it all week, on the weekends I usually need to do something creative. So I get a balance of technology during the week and art work on the weekend.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

No Gold Medal for me

Well, I didn't finish the Knitting Olympics in time. So I didn't earn a gold medal. I guess I underestimated the time I would have to knit. I had planned to work on it over the two weekends but only had time for a day and a half of knitting. I had to rip back 3 rows because of misreading the chart but otherwise it wasn't that hard. I did however learn to work from a chart which is not too unlike doing counted cross-stitch and I learned how to knit with 2 yarns, holding one in each hand. So I did learn a lot. Maybe I'll try again next Olympics.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Little Snow

Thursday night and Friday morning we got a foot of snow. It slowed things down a little. I was supposed to go to a class on Video Podcasting Friday morning outside the city but I couldn't get there. I hope they have the class again, this time hopefully in better weather. I did have a ride into work so I did have a productive day even though I thought about taking a snow day. I guess you don't get over wanting snow days just because you're out of school.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Moving along

Busy working, busy knitting. Here are pics of the hat so far.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Catching up

I had a very busy weekend. I saw the movie Amelia about Amelia Earhart. It was a good movie (but we all know how it ends) and also saw the Chipmunk movie. It was pretty funny. I remember watching the tv show when I was growing up. On the hat front, I'm about half done with the hat. I'm still working on getting even tension. I'll do more tonight while watching the women's skating on the Olympics. I checked out the craft stores this weekend to see what new stuff they have in. One thing that bugs me about certain stores is that they rearrange the store every couple of months. So if you want to quickly run in and out for a special yarn for example, you enter the store and go down the first aisle and turn right expecting to see the knitting section and you see.....beads. The yarn is now at the other end of the store. I understand why they do it, they want people to see the other things they have and maybe buy more, but it drives me crazy when I'm in a hurry.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Uneven Stitches

Here are close-ups of my uneven stitches.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday and Payday

Today is payday or as I like to call it, "Pay everyone else day" because when you get through paying all the bills you don't have any left for yourself. My cat seriously needs to get a job. Her food, litter and treats sometimes cost more than my food!
On the knitting front, I'm struggling with keeping the yarns stranded when working with 2 colors. I have to make my stitches so loose that they seem sloppy to me. I hope with practice it will get better. Pictures soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Terrarium Pics

As promised, pics of my terrarium.

Worked on the K.O. project last night while watching Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader and then the skating on the Olympics. Why do four day work weeks always seem longer than five day ones?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Staff Training Day

Yesterday was President's Day. It was also Staff Day at work. I learned the latest news, saw some people I haven't seen in a while and took a class. I took the horticulture class and made a terrarium. It was fun. We also had a scavenger hunt and my team came in second. I won a Barnes and Noble gift certificate. I love to get new books. I wish that it was on a Friday though because after all that running around and going up and down all those stairs, I could use today off to rest. I was so tired when I got home I only knit 2 rows on my hat. So not much progress to report there. But altogether a great day. Pics of the terrarium tomorrow.

Monday, February 15, 2010

K.O. Day 3

Short post today. The progress of my project  as of yesterday, 3 inches of ribbing done and ready to start the color work. I've never worked from a chart before. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Sunday

Sunday is laundry and cleaning day. This shows how I feel about cleaning and Rags feels about the vacuum:

It's Valentine's Day too and I read a great post about it yesterday from Laurie on her Crazy Aunt Purl blog:
http://www.crazyauntpurl.com/archives/2010/02/weekend.php She says it better than I could.. And YAY for the sales on chocolate tomorrow.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Lazy Saturday and Day 1 of the Knitting Olympics

I'm posting late today because Saturday mornings are for decompressing from the week, just sitting back, drinking cinnamon coffee and eating something sweet. Today it was a lemon bar. If anyone has an easy recipe for lemon bars I'd love to have it.
I cast on for the hat during the opening ceremonies but it was tough with the time difference. It was 9 pm here and by that time I'm usually ready to fall asleep, not count stitches.
There were 2 small glitches so far: I couldn't get one of the colors I needed so I had to substitute a color called chestnut for the one the pattern calls for which is chocolate. I hope it's close enough. Then I had to switch needles. I cast on a #6 Boye interchangeable needle but found out the cord is 24 inches not 16 and was too big. I have a Knitpicks set but it doesn't have a cord that small either. So I have to use my old Denise set. It's annoying because I hate to knit with plastic needles because they drag. I much prefer metal ones. But I'll just have to deal with it. I used a cable cast on. The long-tail cast on is faster but I usually cast on too tightly with it. I don't have to start the fair-isle part yet. First I have to do ribbing for 3 inches.
Here's the start of it:

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Knitting Olympics

I've decided to join the Knitting Olympics. Basically, you knit something challenging for you. You cast on during the opening ceremonies of the real Olympics and you have to finish it within 17 days by the time the torch is put out. The full rules are here on the Yarn Harlot's site: http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/archives/2010/02/10/the_2010_knitting_olympics.html
I've decided to try this pattern from Knitpicks: http://www.knitpicks.com/cfpatterns/pattern_display.cfm?ID=50777220
Learn to Fair-Isle Hat and Mittens set. I've never done fair-isle before so it should be challenging.
I'll post pictures of my progress.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Let It Snow

The weather this year hasn't been too bad. Usually the city has an accumulation of about 90 inches a year. This year it's snowed some but no big storm, only a few inches here and there.

While the rest of the Northeast has had major snowfalls. You can read about them here: Round Two: Second Major Snowstorm Buries Northeast : Discovery News 
I'm okay with a few inches but what I don't like are ice and heavy winds. It's no fun waiting for a bus and getting your face pelted by snow.
My favorite time to get snow is on a Friday night when I don't have to go back out until Monday. Then I can snuggle up on the couch wrapped up in my down comforter with a cup of coffee, the cat and a pile of books next to me. Is it Friday yet?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Neverending Blanket

Last year I (stupidly) agreed to make a blanket for someone. I call it the Neverending Blanket (NEB).
She wanted Acrylic for ease of care, which I understand even though I'm a bit of a yarn snob and prefer wool.
The major problems are the colors, really bright red, blue, yellow, green etc. After this I'll probably only want to knit with pastel colors.
It's also pooling some but I'm leaving it that way. You know what they say 'One time is a mistake, two or more times is a 'design feature'.
She wanted Stockinette Stitch, and it has 375 stitches across so I have miles and miles of knitting and purling to do.
On the plus side, since I've had so much practice, I've learned to knit more smoothly and hopefully faster. I knit continental style (yarn held in the left hand) and it's supposed to be the fastest. I'm usually a slow knitter and only do about a half inch at a time.
It's getting pretty heavy. I've done about 54 inches and have about 31 more to go. At this rate she'll probably get it next year.
Updates to follow.
Close-ups of the NEB

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cat-alog of my interests

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
About my many interests; my parents used to use an expression 'Jack of All Trades, Master of None' to describe someone with a lot of interests. I personally don't believe it's necessarily a bad thing. I think that you should try a lot of things to see what you like and what you're good at. As a child I tried latch-hooking, cross-stitch and embroidery, chocolate making and candlemaking. Now I knit, loom knit, crochet and do hairpin lace. I'm sure there will be other things in the future.
A couple of my recent projects:
Loom knit hat and crochet scarf

Monday, February 8, 2010

Introduction and Cute Cat Pictures

Hi, my name is Margaret and I live in the Northeastern United States.

And this is Ragamuffin aka Rags.

She'll be making regular appearances because on the days when I can't think of anything interesting to say, I'll probably show cute cat pictures. Maybe she'll even be a guest blogger now and then.