How did we end up here? We've lived in Northern Illinois for 24 years. Way too long for this vegetarian! Thankfully, we're only a Metra ride away from Chicago.

Friday, September 29, 2006

This can't be wool.

I wanted to make the cable footies from the Oneskein book but I also wanted some really soft, warm, washable yarn to knit them up with. I ordered Swish Superwash from Knit Picks. I have converted my house into belivers that wool doesn't have to be scratchy fiber that you wouldn't want to wear next to your skin with this yarn. I completed my first footie and my roomies have each requested one in their favorite colors. For now these are all mine.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

You're not really going to wear that right?

My knitting has a big case of the blahs lately. I decided to start a lace pattern a couple of weeks ago after ordering some lace wieight yarn and purchasing the pattern from knit picks. The damned thing kicked my arse. It seems I have some sort of ADD at the moment and following this chart takes way more concentration than I'm willing to give it right now.
I could add my recently completed project, the hallowig, to the "You Knit What" blog if it was still up and running.

I've always wanted to dye my hair a bright color like pink, blue, or purple. I'm sure my husband appreciates I've never followed up on this though. I needed a good excuse to wear this hideous blue wig so Tuesday night I decided to get my hair cut. By hair cut I mean cutting my hair really, really short. Never mind that winter is right around the corner and freezing temperatures are weeks away. Good thing I can knit warm hats too eh?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Homegrown pumpkins

First things first, Bears 3-0. Go Bears!

My gardening season is winding down for the year. We headed over yesterday to pick our pumpkins.

We netted 9 "carveable" pumpkins and 6 cute miniature pumpkins. I was off to a rocky start but I was pleased with how much I was able to reap from the small plot I had. I harvested about 100 tomatoes off 4 plants and 25 jalepenos off 3 plants. I'm hoping next year I can get myself organized to grow a complete salsa garden by using container gardening in my backyard.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The end of summer

Go Bears!!2-0. That's the way I like to see them start the football season. I have always hated the customization of cell phone rings. Well, that was until last week when I downloaded my first one. What is it you ask? The Monday night football theme song of course. It puts me in such a great mood when my phone rings now. I finally understand why everyone else has been customizing their own phones, it's so fun and anything that makes you happy to talk on the phone is well worth it.
We headed into Chicago Saturday to meet up with my Aunt who is in town on business. We started our day with a tour of the public library, all 9 floors of it. I held up the tour searching for a Bach concerto I've been wanting to get my hands on. The piece I wanted was lost or stolen, go figure. I was glad I finally took the time to go check it out.
Also in Chicago this weekend was the Celtic Festival in Grant Park. I didn't even realize this was held every year. We enjoyed some Irish singers and dancers while drinking a pint of brew. The art fest had some incredible aran knits. Man I'd like to learn to do this in the future.
We ended the night in front of Buckingham Fountain which we had never seen lit up. It was beautiful.

It was a great way to spend the last weekend of Summer 2006.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Library Time

We visited a local library today and my son came across a survey. It stated, "Would you be interested in a cafe/bakery inside the library?" My son quickly circled all the "yes" options with an additional comment of "please offer hot chocolate too." What a great idea. This summer while on vacation we stopped by a library with a cafe/bakery option. It was so cool I took pictures.

There were other "cool" things I had never seen in a library before. Take a look at the entrance to the Children's department. A huge saltwater aquarium and a neat bubble feature as you enter.

This sign was made for people like me who forget they have a cell phone and always forget to turn it off upon entering. I didn't forget this time.

They have an awesome water fountain inside the entrance that continues on outside the building as a small stream.
Of course this all comes with a price. Their media department is more like a Blockbuster. All types of media, videos, CD's, DVDs, and audio books are housed inside a separate room with it's own entrance and exit. There is a "price list" for this room that starts at $.50 for books on tape to $4.00 for non-fiction/educational videotapes.

We love libraries. My son has on his to-do list for next summer to visit the Library of Congress. The website offers a virtual tour and it looks magnificent.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A fiber sanctuary?

Yesterday, the kids and I headed to the county fair. I swear I didn't coach them on the animal rights thing before we went. You would have thought so by how freaked out my oldest was about how all the animals are doomed to the slaughter house next week after the fair ended. I was the one trying to get his mind off of it by asking him to please not think of it and just enjoy being at the fair. The Lions booth were selling $1.00 raffle tickets for a chance to fill your freezer with 1100 pounds of beef. We went over to take a look at what was moving inside their shed. It was the actual cow that would be put into your freezer. A beautiful hereford with georgous brown eyes and so sweet nosing my son's hand to be petted. My oldest begged for me to buy a ticket because if we won we could save it from becoming hamburger. "No, I will not turn my yard into a sanctuary for farm animals. I don't think the neighbors or the city would approve of it either." After this I tried to avoid the barns and we took in the antique tractors, vegetable displays, and craft barns. In one of the vendor display sheds I came across a friendly couple running a spinning and weaving supply booth. We originally stopped to say hi after seeing a sign for "Finn/rambouillet sheep". The youngest was excited a sheep was named after him. All the yarns came from their own sheep and they invited the kids to come visit sometime. It was refreshing to meet someone friendly for a change. After I checked out their website I came across a site for a custom fiber processing mill. That would be so neat to have a small farm with alpaca and sheep and have the fleece cleaned/spun and dyed to what I wanted. Yes, I can see a "fiber" sanctuary in my backyard now that would be cool.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's all about me

I finished another project for me this weekend. A crochet shawl that the kids think makes a great blanket for when they're lounging on the couch.

Yesterday I started a pair of rib-and-cable mitts. I placed an order through knit picks on Friday to finally start work on a lace shawl. Hopefully I can get past the fact that it's an animal fiber and I will be able to keep and wear it. This may become a project for someone else when completed so I don't dwell on the fact that sheep were probably harmed or killed just to provide me with yarn I could have found a substitute for. Anyway...I'm excited to be working on projects I want to complete for a change.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Great fun

Yesterday we headed up and over to Six Flags for a day of roller coasters and water park fun. The weather was perfect, sunny and 70's. A bit cold for the water park but we hit all the slides that were open.