Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another Month has come and Gone

But it sure has been productive. :)

Socktoberfest wrap-up: My goal was to knit 5 socks during the month of October. Instead I knit one. I did however learn a lot from this sock. Toe-up cast ons, chart following, etc. And I finished it today, just in the knick of time. Here's a sneak peak for my Harvest Sock swap friend, I'll be sending it along soon.

The other 4 socks were neglected due to Wayne's sweater and some other Christmas knitting, but I still feel like I celebrated some socks and will definitely do this again next year.


Coming up soon: More Christmas knitting - I just picked up yarn for a gift for a new, but dear friend. Some baby knitting for a baby that has the audacity to be born around Christmas. :)


Duration: 30 minutes
Average Speed: 12 MPH
Distance: 4.7 miles
Calories Burned: 260
Did I fall? Nope.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Pumpkin Madness

My creation
Originally uploaded by princess_bleck.

Today, just because Alison wanted to, we made some pumpkin pies from a pumpkin.

We started off with a visit to the pumpkin patch. Some handknits joined us - we used my French Market Bag to collect our little pumpkins and brought along Emmy's quickly finished pixie hat. For a mere $5 we got our baking pumpkin and some little ones to draw on.

We gutted the pumpkin and cut it into chunks, set them on the stove to boil and got to coloring. A word of advice to anyone who attempts this, boil the chunks with the skin on and peel once it's cooked - it's lots easier.

Mixed in some spices and ta da, after an hour in the oven, we had pumpkin pies!

Happy Autumn! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I may possibly have the BEST SECRET PAL EVER!!!

The dog started barking, which is not cause for alarm, but then I heard a package dropped off on the front porch. Curious, I'm not expecting anything.

I go out to get the box and it's from Amazon.com. Even more curious, I know I haven't ordered anything from there.

I open the box and I'm mystified that it's a copy of Stephen King's new book!! But I didn't order this, I'm still thinking. Then I see the note - it's from my Secret Pal!

She has apparently been researching me and shares my love for all things King and knew I'd want this ASAP. It's true, I've been calling the library on a daily basis waiting for it to come in.

THANK YOU SECRET PAL! You're awesome!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Autumn is Here

The crisp air has been good for the Megaknits family. We've been getting out of the house, spending family time together and not watching as much TV.

Or knitting.

I'm a little bummed about the lack of knitting time, but I'll live.

We had a busy weekend, the highlight was a trip to the Orlando Science Center. It was really fun watching Alison explore. It brought back lots of great memories of visiting similar places with my sisters when we were young. Plus, we got some funny pictures.

I've been working at my Harvest Swap Sock and it's coming along nicely. Last night I threw caution to the wind and worked the chart during knitting. I was really impressed that I didn't make any mistakes - and I made it through a whole chart repeat! I'm starting the gusset today.

Amanda brought this little pixie baby hat that she had knit for a friend. We tried it on Emily and I almost died because it was so cute. I stalked Amanda down on craftster and found the pattern she used. I'm going to have to modify it to make it bigger, but I'm going to try to knit one up quick since it's getting so chilly here.

Also, Wayne's sweater is not doing much. I started the first sleeve, but haven't gotten very far. Adrienne made me feel a little better about the increases in the rib pattern last night, so maybe now I'll stop dragging my heels.

And in the wonderful mail today I got my baby sling from drewbabydesigns. It's gorgeous and Emily and I really like it. It's like she's always being cuddled. :)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vanity thy name is Megan

After learning 100 things about me, don't you want to know 48 more??

1. FIRST NAME? Megan

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My Mom’s college roommate.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last night when Emmy woke up screaming for the 5th time – teething, ick!

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Love it. And I get lots of compliments on it. I’ve considered making it a font.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Really thin roast beef.


7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Nope, but I have a blog.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, although in college I came dangerously close to parting ways with them.

9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? If I was on the Amazing Race.

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Honestly, Lucky Charms, but I never buy them. Sans marshmallows, my fav is Cinnamon Life.


12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I'm a Mom. Hell, yes.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Mint Chocolate Chip, preferably white.

14. SHOE SIZE? 9.5



17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I miss my sister Aileen.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I want my friends to post this. :)

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Jeans, hunter green shirt, barefoot.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Granola Bar.



23. FAVORITE SMELL? Coffee. Lime. Clean baby.

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Wayne, stuck on the Turnpike.


26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Sure.

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Gin & Tonic


29. EYE COLOR? Blue

30. HAT SIZE? Medium.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes, I just started 3 weeks ago.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Moe’s Billy Barou nachos, with steak, black beans and bunches of sour cream.


34. COFFEE OR TEA? Coffee, definitely.



37. FAVORITE DESSERT? My Mom’s Junior Mint Chocolate Cake – a birthday favorite.



40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Pop Co. by Scarlett Thomas; Eat the Seeds by Sheldon Armitage

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Laptop, no mouse.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? America’s Next Top Model

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Ali singing, Emmy ‘talking’


45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? In miles, the Grand Canyon.



48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Saw it in Fricknits. :)


I'm playing a little bit of catch up on wonderful things that have come in the mail.

I won a contest that Nicole had to move some liquid chocolate bars that she tried and didn't necessarily fall in love with. Since winning she's celebrated her wedding anniversary and been in her sister's wedding - I love marriages! Congrats all around Nicole! I still haven't tried the 'bars' since I had to go get a bunch of diabetic labwork done recently and didn't want to jinx myself, but as soon as I do I'll post about it.

And today I received my yarn winnings from Aija from her 'kindness of strangers (with yarn)' contest. She was gifted with some Noro for her Lizard Ridge and wanted to pay it forward. She sent me 2 hanks of lovely Koigu. I love it! She's making some crazy-fast progress on her Lizard Ridge, stop by and encourage her if you get a chance.

Underneath the yarn you can see a) a maple leaf that Alison brought in and informed me meant that it is now autumn. So if you weren't aware of the season change, Alison has declared it autumn. b) the packaging from my sz. 2 16" addi circulars that I ordered to start - - -

My Harvest Sock Swap sock!! This sock is very important. It's my first tow-up sock. It's my first sock on two circulars. It's my first texture-driven versus colorway driven pattern. It's all so exciting! Thank goodness I only have to knit one. :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Fast, like lightning!

No, I'm not referring to how quickly Wayne's sweater is working up - just to how quickly I have to get this post up and back to the busy-ness.

I have been working the sweater and this morning I happily made it to the end of the body portion, now I need to dig around for my 16" needles and start arm #1. Unfortunately, Wayne has equally long arms to match his long torso - pray for my sanity. And for arm #2.

And isn't this the cutest sweater! I fell in love with the hint of shimmery silver tinsel.

Did I knit it? Nope.

Could I have? Yes. But it was so much easier to buy at Target. :)

No cycling this past weekend, my partner in crime was on a family camping trip. But hopefully tomorrow I'll be back at the gym and Saturday I'll be back on the trail.

Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm a Soccer Mom!

Alison had her first soccer practice on Wednesday evening! She was so excited and can't stop talking about soccer. Wayne went with us and it turns out he's excited about soccer too. There are a bunch of drills that Ali has to do between practices and they did them when we got home. Then again last night. It's really great daddy/daughter having fun time. :)


I think I suffer from knitting A.D.D., I can't seem to work on anything for very long lately. Granted Wayne's tall and that's making his sweater take forever - miles and miles of endless ribbing. And it's hard to feel like you're getting anywhere.

So I started a sock - I have a goal of 5 for Socktoberfest, right - not any particular sock, just a sock. I wish it were my Harvest Sock Swap sock, but I'm still waiting for the needles. Back to the sock, you can feel a lot of accomplishment with a sock. Woo hoo, I turned the heel! And then, woo hoo, I'm done, that didn't take too long. I'm not quite to the second woo hoo, but a little accomplished feeling goes a long way.

Last night I felt that I could revisit Wayne's sweater - only about 4 more inches to go before I start the raglan shaping. Just keep knitting, just keep knitting.


To further my A.D.D., I bought more yarn. To start yet another project. I ordered the Plymouth Tweed I need for Knitty's Twiggy Tweed. It's gorgeous! I ordered it from kpixie and it was cheap - a whole purse for just $12!! So while I was ordering, I looked around the site and found a great kid's learn-to-knit kit. Soon there will be photos of the 'Teach Ali to Knit' process.

Sidenote: those kpixie chickies pack a wicked cute package. :)


a flipped Escalade
the much-better-than-the-first, second episode of LOST
'sporty-sportsteam' Alison

coconut body spray
yummy wool wash
cookies baking during SnB

sand in the sandbox
hugs from my girls

soccer ball kicks
emmy crying
lots of acoustic guitar

chocolate chip zucchini cupcakes
juicy roast
dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookies


cool links wrap-up:

Thanks Aija! I won her contest for some free Koigu!

Check out Chris' blog for updates on contests and swaps, she updates almost every other day.

Interested in designing?? Check out this great contest. (Adrienne definitely should.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

4 x 4

I must first comment on the beautiful weather we've had the last couple of days. No 90-degree heat. A nice cool breeze. Very clear with no rain. It's gorgeous.

But it's gotten so, so dry. Poor Wayne has at least 2 nosebleeds everyday, I can't seem to get a dryness out of my throat. You can tell someone was thinking ahead at Walmart - when I walked in last night, one of the 'featured items' on that aisle where you walk in was a huge humidifier. I have to imagine other Floridians are suffering the same symptoms as us.

I almost didn't knit all day on Saturday, but managed to snag 1 row of Wayne's sweater before bed. A little more on Sunday, but most of my progress since last post was made yesterday.

Saturday started with a very long bike ride. Andria and I rode 20 miles and it kicked my bootie. You know how when you workout you're either super-energized after the fact or practically dead in a ditch?? I was definitely closer to dead. I managed to eat some lunch (I was ravenous) before crashing for a nap. Saturday night I made the most delicious zucchini and chocolate chip cupcakes (inspired by Jody's dad) for the church picnic on Sunday.

They were a hit and we had a lovely time making new friends and eating some grilled food. Plus Alison got to run around like a maniac for a couple hours. All that fresh air made me still sleepy on Sunday night, so I only managed a few more rows.

Last night was filled with more 'architectural' endeavors that kept me from knitting. All told, I'm right around 10 inches of the 4 x 4 ribbed body of Wayne's sweater, only 7 more to go until the raglan shaping starts. :)


Duration: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Average Speed: 12 mph
Distance: 20 miles
Calories Burned: 1176!
Did I fall? Not a chance. :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Happy Friday

Somebody got her very own Auntie Beanie quilt today!! Woo hoo!

My sister, Aileen, is a very talented quilter. And when she's not conducting scientific research in the lab, she steals moments to make some good looking blankets. This is the third one our home has been blessed with: Alison has one on her wall from when she was born, Aileen made a t-shirt quilted playmat (made completely out of used t-shirts) for Ali when she was a baby, and now Emmy's blanket. I need to run to Target and get some wall clips so we can hang it.

More good news: both chickies are feeling better! They're not 100% yet, but no one is dripping and there are a lot more smiles.


'Mystery Men' - thanks Harriet!
Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia & Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses
lethargic Alison

grape cough medicine
lovely flowers from my husband

crusty noses
KnitPicks gloss - soft!
wool for Wayne's sweater

finally today, laughter :)

diet dr. pepper
orbit gum - Wayne's got me addicted
brownies mixed in with ice cream


I'm up to 6 inches of Wayne's sweater done. And all with one ball of yarn - I'm getting the impression that for once, instead of too little, I've ordered way too much yarn. Maybe I'll make a matching hat.

This morning I recast-on my magKNITficent 'No Sugar Added' sock. The twisty rib pattern is much more noticeable in the solid-colored yarn. I'll post pics of it soon.

And I ordered the needles and finalized the pattern I need for my Harvest Sock swap sock. That's 2/3 of a knitting post dedicated to socks! Viva la Socktoberfest!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

...sniffle, sniffle...

There are times when you know you’re a Mom: sitting through a 2-hour ballet recital just to see your princess dance for 2.5 minutes, going to see every Disney movie the weekend it comes out even if it’s during naptime, and days your kids are sick.

A horrible cold has visited our home and laid out a full-on attack of anyone under 4’ tall. We’ve had days of runny noses, watery eyes, aspirators that make little girls scream, coughs, nebulizer treatments that no one wants to sit through . . . it’s starting to take it’s toll.

Only a Mom, when faced with a dripping kid (eyes, nose, mouth) will succumb to the request to sit in your lap. You’ll give up all hope of staying healthy (although so far I am) just to comfort them. You’ll sit through Barbie Fairytopia Mermaidia, not knitting to hold them. And when it’s over, you’ll sit through Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses, still not knitting because this the first time in 3 days that she hasn’t cried in over an hour.

I have gotten started on Wayne’s sweater though, in those moments when both chickies are sleeping and the house is quiet, except for stuffy nose snores. :)


In other knitting news, I’d cast on a worked a bunch of rounds on my magKNITficent ‘No Sugar Added’ socks with some ArtYarns Ultramerino that Nicole had given me for my birthday. I’m not in love with this yarn in conjunction with this pattern. It’s a verigated colorway and the verigation is too busy for the pattern. I think I’m going to scrap them and start over with a solid color – maybe my new Knitpicks Gloss from Harriet.


The first five people to respond to this post, will get some form of art, by me, about [or tailored to] them. I make no guarantees about quality or type, but I will assure that I will give it good effort and that the art will be individual to you.The only catch, of course; as with most memes, if you sign up, you have to put this in your own journal as well. Don't be afraid. :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Name Game

Nicole posted this and I thought it was cute. If you'd like to be 'tagged', leave a comment so I can see your funny names. :)

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: ( pet and current street name)
Brewski Valiant
2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your moms side, your favorite candy)
Jack Milky Way
3. YOUR "FLY Guy/Girl" NAME: (first initial of last name, first three letters of your middle name)
T Del
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Blue Elephant
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Della Rutland
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom's maiden name and first 3 letters of the town you grew up in.)
7. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The", your favorite color, favorite drink)
The Blue Gin (& Tonic)
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first name of both your grandfathers)
Jack Harley
9. FUTURISTIC NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne and the name of your favorite shoes)
Happy Converse
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother/father's middle name )
Dolores Joseph

Socks, Swaps, Sweaters and Stash Flash

Sock yarn stash flash

Socktoberfest is upon us. I've already cast on my first pair of socks - the aforementioned magKNITficent 'No Sugar Added' socks in ArtYarns Ultramerino 4 - and they are coming along well. My Socktoberfest goal is to finish 2 pairs and my Harvest Sock Swap sock. A total of 5 socks. I may do more, but I don't want to set too lofty a goal and then get dissapointed. Plus, there are other things on the needles (or about to be) that demand attention as well.
Which brings us to the first great thing I got in the mail today. The yarn for Wayne's Men's Raglan Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I went with handpainted yarns in Black Forest and I love how it looks. The colorway is a little darker than the picture shows, but I wanted to show the colors so I took the pic in natural light. It has blacks, grays, dark greens, a little deep purple, but not too much. Very manly. And nice to touch.
More great things in the mail: my KnitFlix package from limedragon. This chick has got to be the greatest swap partner ever! Every little thing seems very well-researched. Here's a list of my goodies:
* Sugar-free Dove Mint Chocolates. I love mint and chocolate. I love sugar free. Woo hoo!
* Light, natural flavor popcorn. I love popcorn that isn't too salty or buttery.
* A sheep plushie for Alison - she's excited to have a friend for Lamby.
* A caterpillar toy for Emily - Ali had a similar one that was an alligator that we called SlobberGator, this is perfect.
* A pack of post-it flags, with things like 'go', 'see' and 'enjoy' on them. Perfect for dreaming through vacation pamphlets and knitting books. These will seem even more perfect when she gets her package.
* A neat-o photo album keychain. It's magnetized so it stays closed and holds two little pictures. Maybe of two little girls. But Wayne may get jealous if I don't include him too. Maybe two little pictures of Wayne holding two little girls.
* A fun, purple pen which has already been spirited away by Ali whose favorite colors happen to be pink and purple.
* Okay, now the very great part - 2 skeins of lovely, soft KnitPicks gloss in a gorgeous dark blue. It's really soft. Really.
* And the flicks - I lucked out and rec'd 2 movies. Mystery Men, a favorite which I only previously owned on VHS and American Flyers, a cycling movie from the early 90s with Kevin Costner and lots of Specialized brand stuff. My bike is a Specialized. See how great that matches me. Well researched.


And I did a lot of talking about the amount of cotton I own. Well, here it is. This isn't actually all of it but some of it is leaving the house as whole balls and not knitted items, so I figured it didn't count. Each of these balls equals 2.5 knitted items. That's a lot to get working on.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Secret Pal 9 Questionnaire

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

I love all things superwash, or machine washable in general. I’ve had one too many things get felted accidently, so know all knitted items have to be machine washable in our house. I’m especially taken with ArtYarns Supermerino – it’s so soft and comes in great colors. I also enjoy knitting with Cascade 220 and Noro Silk Garden for felting projects. KnitPicks Shine Worsted is wicked nice to work with too. And cheap.

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

My straight needles are in two separate handmade needle rolls, divided by length. My DPNs are in a Clinique makeup bag. My circs are in their original packages, stacked on the side of my knitting basket (they really need a home). And my hooks are in a short, plastic tube that most of them came in.

3. 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 just over 2 years. I originally learned in 2000 from my Mom. We went on a family trip, driving from Florida to Maine, and I needed something to do. We stopped at a WalMart and I picked up some needles and yarn and proceeded to make the most God-awful “scarf” the world has ever seen. I was discouraged and gave up, never really learning what I was doing. A couple years ago, the February issue of Martha Stewart Living included instructions on how to knit and I re-taught myself. I’ve been going strong since then. I would say I’m an intermediate to advanced knitter. I’ve matured past the scarves and more scarves stage, I’ve knit socks, I can knit cables and bobbles, I haven’t tried lace, but I don’t think I have the patience for it.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I have a wist:

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)

I like light scents, like citrus and green apple. I also love ‘clean linen’ scents. I wear Clinique Happy and Bath and Body Works Coconut body spray.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Yes. But I’m also diabetic, so I have to limit my sweets, or make sure that they carry a bit of protein with them. I’m a big fan of fun-size candybars. I love chocolate. I love caramel. My favorite candybar is MilkyWay, but a Snickers is better for my bloodsugar. I love plain and peanut M&Ms. My favorite color M&M is green.

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

I make cards and have a ridiculous collection of rubber stamps. I tried spinning, but Wayne told me he’d just pay for me to buy yarn.

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

Here are some bands I like: the Fray, Indigo Girls, Sarah MacLachlan, the Killers, Dashboard Confessional, Audio Adrenaline, Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, you get the idea, right? And yes.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I like blues and greens. I love black and wear a lot of it, but not in a goth way. I really like pinks. I’m not a fan of yellows and oranges, but can dig them as accent colors. I like some browns, as long as they aren’t too yellow.

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

I have two great kiddos, Alison is 4 and Emily is 3 months old. I’m married to the love of my life and we also have a dog named Brewski.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Not really, I’m in Florida and it gets cold here for about 2 hours a year. I could maybe rock a hat, but flip flops are much more appropriate.

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

I like to make little sweaters for my girls – they’re whole garments, but knit up lots quicker than adult stuff. I also discovered the joy of knitting socks this summer.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Christmas presents. Socks. Washclothes. A sweater for me. About to start a sweater for Wayne.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

I love handmade gifts.

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

I am a die-hard fan of Addi Turbo circular needles. I buy them from some guy in Taiwan thru ebay for cheap.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I have a swift, but no ball winder.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Maybe a month or two. I will either finish or give up so nothing sticks around too long.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas. I love how people’s attitudes change for the better around the holidays. How they’ll go volunteer at a soup kitchen or donate a bunch of old clothes.

19. Is there anything that you collect?

Lately it seems like I collect sock yarn. But besides that, nothing really.

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

I’m going to revist this question. I don’t subscribe to any knitting magazines, but would love to.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Ooo, I want to learn Magic Loop. And how to knit one sock inside another.

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

Yes. Length = 10.5 inches (tip of big toe to back of heel); Size 10 shoes.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

June 12th