Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thank you and Knitting Content

Sometimes, the thoughtfulness of others brings me to tears!!

From time to time someone will send me an EM asking about Gracie...... I don't post very often about her...(she didn't like her picture taken at ALL)! I felt the need to post let folks know and for myself as well.

Later in the day I received these most BEAUTIFUL flowers and the sweetest card from Tonni!!!

Anyone that has ever lost a pet knows it is such a helpless feeling and Tonni knew just what I needed yesterday! Thank you my dear friend!!

Thank you so much for all your kind comments.....I received so many emails and calls!! What a wonderful group of friends that I have....both far and wide!!!

I did finish a pair of socks for my sister for her Birthday on Sunday. I told her to "strike a pose" and model. (I told her not to quit her day job as I don't think Milan is going to come calling for her anytime soon)! LOL!! These socks were knit with 100% Alpaca, VERY soft, plain knit stitch with a K2,P2 rib at the top. I think she was pleased with them. We both love socks!!

Again, many thanks for all the thoughtful comments, emails and phone calls!!!!! I am blessed with friends WAY beyond what I deserve!!!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gracie Kitty

Gracie was a unique kitty no doubt, she had her "ways" about her! She was full of odd thoughts and ideas, a plethora of idiosyncrasies.

She was not a "normal" cat if there is such a thing....she was frightened of most things.....yet pawed at the door to go out in the midst of storms and would get downright nasty if you didn't do as she requested. She loved anything sparkly.....I have several single earrings that can attest to that fact.....all I had to do was say the words "sparkly ball" and she would come she loved nothing better than batting around a tinsel ball around the floor.

She cared for none but me....and not even me unless it was at a time that she chose....but when she came close, she was very loving, she didn't purr until the last year or two.....but when she could get into that mood she enjoyed being loved on.

Generally, she enjoyed a bit of quality bird watching time first thing in the morning but yesterday morning there were dogs loose in the neighborhood. I got to her within moments.....rushed her to the vet, but her injuries were too severe. She died in a morhpine induced haze, hopefully chasing little moles in her mind.

She wasn't your typical cat.....she was crazy to a large degree.....but she was my crazy cat and I loved her.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tete-A Tete Daffodils and YARN!!

On The Way to the mail box to retrieve THIS:

I saw THIS!!! Aren't they pretty? The yarn AND the flowers of course!!! I am SOOOO ready for Spring to "officially" start!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Buyer Beware!!

Please allow me a moment to share my thoughts regarding Best Buy. No Knitting content on this post.

If you are contemplating purchasing a desk top computer (and/or possibly a laptop) might want to consider buying directly from the manufacturer and NOT Best Buy!

We purchased 2 Gateway desk top computers a year ago this month from Best Buy. These computers had the most current operating system, dual large monitors, the works!! Fast forward to one year and 8 DAYS past the date of purchase and the mother board goes out on one of the systems.

I phoned Gateway tech support to see about purchasing a part and was informed that Gateway contracts with Best Buy to sell "end of life" computers with current software. These computers ARE new computers, NOT rebuilt.....but the "guts" of the system if you will is "end of life" which means Gateway no longer supports, nor does the manufacturer of the internal components.....this is NOT a software issue, but rather an issue of the unit itself.

We did not purchase an extended warranty as when put to the wall, Best Buy admitted that they do not service their own extended warranties.....but it is marketed out to a third party company.....out of state and would require us sending in our entire tower (which contains all of our work info and we were not willing to let strangers have access to sensitive account information). It is amazing what you learn when you push the sales person to "show you in writing"!!!

While I do realize that technology changes almost daily it seems like, but the physical components of a unit (i.e. boards, etc.) are not ditched and new parts manufactured daily....remember, we are not talking about the software.

I was sick to know that the SEVERAL THOUSAND dollars we spent on computers was for systems that no one supports!!! The manufacturer no longer makes parts for these computers.....remember, these were purchased one year and 8 DAYS ago!!

In our business we do not sell "end of life" equipment as the manufacturer can no longer supply parts! Gateway should not sell "end of life" equipment unless they have some kind of disclaimer alerting the customer.....but then again, I don't imagine someone would actually purchase these computers if they knew they were end of life. In my line of work we do have a lot of 3rd party companies that manufacture parts for equipment....."generic" parts if you will, at a considerable savings over the manufacturers parts, so I researched and discovered that Gateway has their units configured so that the "generic" motherboard will not fit their they "have you" more ways than one.

I do not know if all Gateway computers sold at Best Buy are end of life, just desk top models, etc.

The tech support department at Gateway actually suggested that I complain to the corporate office as this was a procedure that he personally did not agree with!!

In closing, I would like to strongly urge you to consider buying a computer direct from the manufacturer. I don't know if there is a price difference, you may end up paying a bit more.....but the small amount saved purchasing retail from an "authorized" NOT worth it. The fact that you can walk into a store and actually see what you are purchasing definitely has it's good points over ordering "sight unseen" but still not worth the risk in my opinion. Had we of been informed that this was the case with Best Buy we most CERTAINLY would not have purchased these computers! I don't believe that the sales staff at Best Buy is aware of this issue. When I spoke with the service manager at Best Buy, he was not aware of the issue with the parts no longer being manufactured.....but upon investigation admitted that I was correct.

Please feel free to pass this info along to anyone you choose. I would like to let other unsuspecting consumers to be privy to this information.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bloomin Feet Update & Surprise!!

Know how some folks are just so thoughtful and kind that it makes you want to do more for others???

I present you with Exhibit A:

How cute is this?????

I was checking out the Bloomin Feet Bloggers last week and saw a post that contained a Brie Baker! I thought I had every single kitchen "gadget" known to man.....but somehow I manged to miss this:

I LOVE Brie cheese!!! I think this is absolutely the cutest piece of pottery I have ever seen.....and I have a lot of pottery!!!

Wendy, you are so very thoughtful!! I know you are incredibly busy, yet you took the time to spread the sunshine my way and I can't thank you enough!!! I had a co-worker once tell me that sometimes I just need to say "thank-you" and let it go......but this time I can't do I have a little something that will be on it's way to you shortly!!! (Besides, after this weekend you deserve a little something more than your newest badge!) LOL!!!

I also have an update on my Bloomin Feet Sock!!!
I HAVE been working on a sock!!!

I'm disappointed that the yarn is virtually solid....I spent a lot of time looking for "just the right" yarn for my sock mate. While the yarn is nice quality, the color is very dark with little variation in the color way. The website showcased a yarn that had several different shades from light to dark.

I'm a nervous wreck about knitting a sock that will fit a foot that is MANY miles from my knitting socks to date have all been made for those close enough that they can try on periodically and I can adjust as needed.

The pattern is a fairly simple pattern.....from Charlene Schurch, hopefully with enough stretch that it will make up for my lack of knitting skills!!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I WON!!!!!

I WON.....and I NEVER win ANYTHING!!!

Aren't these absolutely BEAUTIFUL??? The pic of the bracelet does NOT do it justice as these are Austrian Crystals......and MAN do they S.P.A.R.K.L.E.!!!!! Best of all the bracelet is completely waterproof, has a magnetic closure and can be worn in the shower as a reminder to "check yer boobies" monthly!! The stitch marker set is definitely going to be put to good use!!! They are just the right size to use while knitting socks and the colors are so very pretty!!!

Several weeks ago I was checking out some blogs looking for socks and stumbled across Deb's Blog . What a great blog......sock knitter and dog lover....good combo!!! Deb was featuring a contest so I threw my name in the hat. I never win ANYTHING so you an imagine my surprise when I received an email stating I won second prize!!!
Deb went WAY out of her way to send a second pkg. to me when the first one never showed up.....but I'm thinking considering how the second one arrived that someone in the post office somewhere between here and the Great Frozen North is enjoying the first pkg. Check THIS out!!!

When you get a chance check out Deb's blog, start at the beginning....she has some great socks to share.....oh....and send some warm thoughts her way.....she lives in Minnesota......a bit colder than here in Alabama!!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!!


The day is off to it's usual start for Valentine's Day.

I hid ALL my DH undies and left a single pair available.....RED....with WHITE hearts on them!! (....all those early childhood warnings of wearing clean underwear in case you are in an accident has carried over to).......But honey, what if I'm in an accident and have to go to the ER.....what kind of care will a man with valentine's boxers receive? My standard answer: Why dear, you'll receive the attention of ALL the nurses!! LOL!!!

I will make it up to him with his favorite meal, grilled steak and steamed shrimp, fluffy baked potato, salad, and for dessert I think this year I am going simple with a hot fudge brownies.

My Sweetie started off my day with this:

Hastily arranged by me!

YUM Ferrero Rocher candies!!!!

AND......just in time for Valentine's Day I received THIS:

Chocolate Covered Cherries from Yarn Ahoy!!! Best of all.....NO Fat and NO Calories!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bloomin Feet Update!

FINALLY.....I have made my decision on which yarn to use for my Bloomin Feet mate!!

I was so excited when I found the Sweet Georgia Yarn site (click on link and scroll to see the Viola yarn).......but quite disapointed when I actually received the Viola as it is N.O.T.H.I.N.G.
like the picture posted on their website. What I received has VERY little variation in the color, pretty much solid and VERY dark....although still pretty! I was planning on knitting a simple K2,P2 pattern and was counting on the quality of the yarn in addition to the beautiful variations of color making up for my basic stitch pattern.

The Wildflower is pretty, but with so many different colors I'm not sure how "busy" it might look. The Wisteria is pretty also but very, very light.

SOOOOO......having looked at all the options I have decided to go with the Viola by Sweet Georgia Yarn. The quality of this yarn is very nice....reminds me very much of Blue Moon Fibers, I am even contemplating a pattern that is NOT my usual K2,P2 pattern!! I'll be going over patterns tonight and will have a decision made later on. I haven't knitted any patterns other than straight knit stitch or K2,P2, so this will be a challenge!!!!

(I would have posted pics of the above mentioned yarns but "new and improved" blogger wouldn't allow me to post any of my saved photos, yet allowed the Bloomin Feet Logo.....don't you just LOVE the New and Improved Blogger??)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bloomin Feet Update!!

The pic is a tad blurry for some reason but don't these colors make anxious for Spring?

Sunshine Yarns is a vendor that I found on Etsy and if I'm not mistaken was one that was recommended by Lime & Violet. I have ordered one other yarn from this shop but haven't had time to knit it just yet!

This yarn is SOOO just can't help but pick it up and "pet" it!! LOL!!!

This is the second yarn I have purchased in anticipation of making socks for my Bloomin Feet secret pal. I do have one other skein of yarn in mind that I am going to order today. I have read several blogs and there are quite a few of you out there that have already completed your pair or at least one.....and here I am still ordering yarn!!! I will have my decision made this weekend and get something on my needles in the next few days!!!

My other 2 choices are: Wisteria

And Viola

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sheep To Shawl

If you live anywhere close to Montevallo, Alabama, I HIGHLY recommend visiting this shop!! Elizabeth of Trailing Yarn had a post on her blog (Janury 24th entry) about her visit to Sheep To Shawl.

I had not heard of this shop and decided I had to get myself to Montevallo ASAP!!! I picked up my dear friend Cindy on Saturday morning and met up with Tonni to check it out. (Check out Tonni's blog for some additional pictures).

I could NOT have been more impressed!!! The owner and her daughter were both as kind as they could be to us.....letting us ask a lot of questions yet gave us all the space we needed to browse without feeling any pressure!!

There was a table set up with four different felted sheep.....I didn't think to take my camera but they were SOOO cute!!! This was the only duplicate so the owner allowed me to buy it, otherwise you can place an order for one. In addition to the brown she also offers white, black and gray!!

The owner's daughter has the job of assigning a name for all the sheep, so she took this little fella into the back for a moment of quiet to see what name came to her and low and behold.....BROWNIE it was!!! I couldn't have chosen a better name myself!!

The shop has a lot of roving, raw fibers and yarn that you don't see at other yarn stores, which was so nice to see yarnsI had never seen before, as well as some favorites such as Trekking and Step sock yarn to name just a couple. (And Thank-You Tonni for giving up the Trekking.....was it the drooling part that got you to hand it over or the fact that I couldn't keep my hands off it!!) LOL!!!

WE all three fell in love with a scarf that the owner had on display so much so that we all left with enough yarn to make the scarf and hope to have some free time to get together in the near future to work on this project!! The owner designed the scarf and was gracious enough to jot the pattern down for us!!

The owner also has a lot of her pottery on display and it is absolutely beautiful!!!!

If you make it to the shop be sure and save time to stop in at the local coffee house/bar/restaurant/hang out spot......named the Eclipse. Right on main street, can't miss it! Lunch was outstanding!!!!

Birmingham News did a great article on this shop:

Montevallo mom, daughter have learned to spin a yarn
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

NANCY WILSTACHNews staff writer

Fingers figured prominently in Rae Jean Flatt's switch from clay to yarn, because the Montevallo woman cannot abide hers being idle.
Stripping off a white cotton glove from her right hand, Flatt displayed her puckered fingertips. "It is hydrosis," she said, "from too much water."
When doctors told her to lay off making pottery for at least six months because contact with wet clay exacerbated the condition, Flatt took up another interest - fibers. Now she's spinning, weaving, knitting and crocheting hats, vests, scarves, socks, placemats, belts, purses and shawls.

It all happens at Sheep-to-Shawl, the store Flatt has opened on Main Street in Montevallo.

Baskets and bins:

Stepping into the little shop is like entering a kaleidoscope. Baskets and bins of yarn in all colors and textures line the walls, interspersed with baskets of, yes, unreconstructed sheep's wool. There also are spinning wheels, looms in various sizes and a bouquet of completed garments.

Flatt is particularly tickled with her "felting" projects. "This came from across the street," she said, referring to the Twice As Nice Thrift Store. She held up a white hat adorned with Impressionist-fuzzy flowers. The hat once was a stretchy wool toboggan cap until someone put it in the washer.

Now it's a thick, solid white with a texture similar to felt. Flatt fashioned the suggestion of a garland of flowers from colorful yarns and affixed them to the hat with a felting tool. The result is a designer original from a 25-cent, thrift-store find.

Flatt's sidekick in this woolly business is her 28-year-old daughter. Marissa Flatt is almost blind and suffers from neurofibromytosis, a disease that has caused fibrous tumors to grow on various parts of her body, including her brain. A series of brain surgeries when she was a little girl left the young woman with the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

Although she has a high-normal intelligence, she has trouble with short-term memory. However, her mother has taught her to spin. Marissa saves hair from her angora rabbit that she spins into heavenly soft yarn.

She is working in the shop with her mother and delights in showing customers the funny sheep, llama and coyote puppets that are part of the decor.

For Rae Jean Flatt, the store not only feeds her own need to stay busy, it provides her daughter with a measure of independence and a downtown social network.

Sheep-to-Shawl offers an array of classes in beginning and advanced knitting, weaving, felting and spinning.

Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday. For information