Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our New House!

We finally found a house to rent in Michigan! And not a minute too soon... we put the money on it yesterday and we move tomorrow! It's been a pain in the ass finding a place and I'm just so glad to have it. It's in Madison Heights, a suburb of Detroit. Not the nicest area, but definitely not bad like Detroit either. It's 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, large kitchen, large living room, fenced backyarn, comes with all appliances, and a little shed in the back. Pricewise, it's a little higher than we'd like, but a great price for the area.

The living room. These pics were all taken by the rent man. I just stole them off the ad.

Kitchen. There's a stove there now. The laundry area is behind the photographer.

Bathroom. This, like most houses in the Detroit area, was built in the 50s around the auto manufacturing. So, a lot of retro colors and such. But it's not too bad and it's only for a year. We're trying to get my brother to move in once he's finished with Army training to help with rent and to have him in the area (he has no one in Georgia and I have no blood kin in Michigan).

More pics to come this weekend once we're up there! Can't wait!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I finally got around to blocking the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I really love this! Unfortunately, I'm not keeping it... this will be gifted to Alicia, my SIL, for her wedding on Friday. Charlie asked me two days ago if I could knit something nice for the wedding (he really thinks I have speed fingers, I guess!). This was the only thing I had that was remotely giftable for a wedding.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Little Update

I quit my job on the 17th! 2 days early, but oh well. It feels so good to be free of that place! I've been spending my time doing everything but knitting, it seems. I've been cleaning the apartment, training Barrett, doign laundry, riding around with Charlie doing some Army stuff, etc.

Here are some project bags my mom made for me. I love them! They are perfect and so cute. She used 550 cord (aka, parachute cord) for the drawstring... great idea since it's so smooth.

This is a cute little bag from Three Bags Full on etsy. It was a RAK gift and I love it! I've wanted one of these bags for the longest time.

Progress on the Roma Shawl for the TTL KAL. It's slow-going. Each repeat takes a surprisingly long time to complete with this fine fine fine yarn and it's growing just a tiny bit with each repeat knit. I do love it, though. I still have a ways to go before I can start the border (which I really can't wait to do... I'm itching to knit with the Buffalo Gold!).

Look what Charlie got me! Remember my old boy, Squishy? I miss that rat like crazy. There can never be a replacement for him, but these two are my new babies. The top one is Grendel, my little siamese girl. Such a sweetheart. The bottom one is Kel (as in Kel-Tec), Charlie's bareback blue male. They are the start of my breeding program (another gift from Charlie... permission to breed as long as it doesn't get out of hand, lol).

Pics I took of Barrett today. She's growing so much!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review, Knitting, Pets

I've been itching for a new bag. One that would be good for everyday carrying, knitting, and one that has a good spot for my gun to be carried concealed (please, only do this in accordance with your state's laws regarding conceal carry!). I ordered this Namaste Zuma from Jimmy Beans Wool and it meets all my needs and expectations!

I chose the Zuma over the other bags for its size, appearance, and price. At 69.00 that price was right for a bag that had the things that I wanted. I originally ordered the Peacock color, but the nice ladies at JBW emailed me very quickly to say that it was out of stock and that they'd be happy to either send a color that was in stock or mail the rest of my order right then and send the peacock when it came in at no extra charge! Excellent service! I chose to go with Eggplant, which was in stock, and I'm happy with it.

The bag is large. It easily holds one or a few wips, my everyday necessities (keys, wallet, phone, etc), and then some. I love the accordian pocket in the front... my Grendel handgun fits perfectly in there... snug enough to keep it in place, nothing else in there to interfere with grabbing it or to cause a negligent discharge (something that always made me afraid to cc in a bag before... I want the gun to have its own separate place free from pens, lipgloss, or anything else that might pull the trigger), and roomy enough that I can grab it quickly if needed. The opposite side of the bag, on the back, there is a great little zippered pocket that is perfect for my keys and wallet and phone or any combination of those three things! The main part of the bag opens very wide and has open-top pockets inside for little things. I can easily fit my wips, notions kit, a small book, plus whatever else I want to carry with me at the time.

The faux leather is wonderful. I love leather, but it's too expensive for me right now! This bag is very attractive and wears great. I've already spilled something on it and have had both dogs and cats walk on it... all the spill took to clean up was a wipe down with a damp cloth and the bag has yet to get claw scratches on it.

I guess my only real "complaints," if you can call them that, are that the bag might be a little too large for me. I'm 5'2" so I'm a little self-concious about how large the bag looks on my shoulder. I really think that's just me, though, as I have received a few compliments on it already. Also, the straps don't both stay on my shoulder. Again, I think that has more to do with my size that anything else. The inside strap stays fine, the outside one falls. No real biggie, just an observation. All in all, I highly recommend this bag and Namaste in general!

The other part of my order... 2 BSA Pretty Cheep Bags. Very inexpensive and really cute. I need some bags for the move and these are great.

Here's my current go-to project for when I want to just sit and knit. It's the Oatmeal Pullover in Knit Picks Cadena, Seraphim colorway. I'm loving this sweater! It's an easy and quick knit and I think the result is very cute. My gauge is a little off, but I'm trying it on and it seems to fit ok. It's meant to be worn with a few inches of negative ease and I think, as far as I can tell, I have a good fit in this sweater. I really hope it's cute on me. Like I said before, at the very least I'll have an around the house sweater for my first Michigan winter.

Here's my progress on the Roma Shawl for the TTL KAL. It's slow-going!!! I'm using laceweight and that's really slowing things down. I have no idea how many repeats I've done... just going to stop when I think it's large enough. I haven't read ahead in the pattern to see how the edging is done, so I might have to do some maths when I get there. I like how it's looking, though. I really need to work on this more since it needs to be finished by September 20-something to qualify for the price drawing. I think it'll be my travel knitting for our upcoming move. I would work on it more now, but a full pattern repeat takes quite a bit of time at this point, so I don't have much opportunity. My last day at Walgreens, EVER, is the 19th, so I'll have a little freetime after that to give it more attention.

*sigh* What's wrong with this picture? No, not the fact that Charlie is exhausted and it shows, but the tiny little kitten that isn't Bams, Colt, Rocky, or Savage. Yep, that's a new one. Meet Red Ryder (named for the bb gun). We call her Red. I found this little thing IN THE DUMPSTER last week. Someone threw her away. She was so hot and weak/sleepy. We gave her a bath, fed her, then tried to decide what to do with her. Didn't plan on keeping her, but we named her and got a collar and tag for her, so she's ours. Colt's in love with her and she's in love with Charlie. Of course, I rescue the little thing and she prefers Charlie to me. Oh well, Savage and I have become buddies, so it's ok. Oh, and speaking of Colt, my poor little man broke his leg this week in a cat tree accident. He ran too fast, jumped too hard, and got crushed when it fell on him. He's gimping around on three legs, but we think he'll be fine.

How adorable is this?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Pet Parade (and a new sweater in progress)

I guess I'll get the sweater out of the way first. This is the Oatmeal Pullover (Rav link) I started on the 30th. I have always kinda steered clear of using bulky yarns for garments because, while not overweight, I'm not really a skinny mini and I think bulky yarns can sometimes make a person look, well, bulky. But, I really fell in love with this pattern and it is flattering on all body types from what I can tell by looking through Ravelry project pages. So, I'm trying it. If anything, it can be a wear-at-home sweater. I am moving to Michigan in a month, after all.

Anyway, details... Knit Picks Cadena in the Seraphim colorway I ordered specifically for this project (how about that! Actually using yarn purchased for the project it was intended for!). I wanted a light color and this dusty lavender was all they really had. I like it though and it's a very quick knit that's for sure. My guage is a little off on row but spot-on for stitch, so I'm going with it. Knitting the 36" size.

Ok, now for the pet parade part. Remember how I said that Barrett was the last pet in the Knoll household for a while? Well, that went to hell real quick, huh? A guy in Charlie's Army nursing class had 2 cats (note the use of the past tense 'had') and he chose us to be their new family. Of course, we agreed to it because we are complete suckers for anything living and furry. The guy and his wife just had their first baby and weren't devoting enough attention to their kitties, who were used to being the center of the family and spoiled rotten. These two came home with us yesterday. The blue guy above, who we named Rock Island ("Rocky"), is very skittish in his new home, but is slowly coming around. We did see them in their home environment and they are very friendly, but are a little freaked out by Colt and Bams (and Gideon and Barrett) right now.

This is Savage (we named them for gun companies, just like Colt and Barrett). He's a little more personable than Rocky, but is still very scaredy cat right now. They are slowly making their way out from under the bed to explore. Soon enough they'll be best friends with Colt and Bams (who, by the way, are so wanting to meet their new brothers, but are being very respectful and allowing them their time and space).

A new-ish pic of Barrett playing in the apartment. She's gotten even bigger since this pic! She's growing so much and is such a smarty. Her training is coming along so well... she's crate-trained, housebroke, and will sit, heel, stay, and speak (bark on command).

Our little Bamberdoodle. She is so silly and was "hiding" in the kitchen. She got herself into this bag thinking that we couldn't see her. Silly kitty! No worries, though, Charlie cut a breathing hole for her.