Sunday, December 7, 2008

Who doesn't love a care package?

I know that I loved getting care packages in college: it made me feel connected to home which sometimes felt very far away and I was only in the neighboring state, not half a world away. So today I spent a couple of hours helping put together care packages for a local organization, Toys-for-Troops to send a little love and support from home to those who are serving our country overseas.


A little bit of everything went into each care package: t-shirt, socks, playing cards, letters from little kids, DVDs, beef jerky, candy, toothpaste, soap, granola bars, snack mix, homemade cookies, hand sanitizer, bandages, and silly putty to name a few. We wrapped the big stuff and the smaller stuff went in as is. Here are some of the DVDs that I wrapped...there were at least 150 DVDs so I grabbed a quick photo of a few while I was wrapping.


Here is part of the line of boxes that we filled. They are the military flat rate boxes and they look small but you can jam a lot of stuff in them!


Honestly, the biggest challenge of the days was trying to avoid the news cameras that were there to collect footage. I turned down two requests to be interviewed on, no thanks! There is a reason why I am the person who takes the I can avoid being in the pictures! I did agree to answer a couple of questions for the man from The News-Gazette as I have a soft spot for print journalism from my time working at The Daily News when I was in college. I was not the most coherent so thankfully I don't think I will end up in the article.

If you want to help this organization, it isn't too late. If you go the the website, you can still submit a donation to help cover postage.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

'Tis the season

In my family, December has always been the time of year that we actively do something charitable. We give money to various causes throughout the year but in December we like to be a little more hands on with our giving: putting together food baskets, adopting a family for the holidays or buying gifts for kids who are wards of the state. This year my mom got two names off the DCFS tree at her workplace and tonight we went shopping and bought presents for a 17 year old (who wanted items for her baby) and a newborn. I think my mom always picks babies to buy for because she has no grandchildren and won't be getting any grandchildren anytime soon! In addition, I purchased some items for the Crisis Nursery which is a privately funded local organization that provides 24-7 emergency help and respite care for families.

As some of you may know, for several years I have been trying to convince my parents that I don't need presents during the holiday season. I have suggested they give the money to charity in my name or buy things for a charity instead of getting me something but every year I get shot down. They are my parents and they want to get me gifts. This usually leads to a feeling of guilt during the holidays. I am very fortunate and I don't really have any needs, just wants and I feel bad when I get more stuff every year. So this year I finally came up with a win-win solution and I talked with my mom and she agreed to go with it. My parents will be buying me yarn so they can give me something (which makes them happy) and I will use the yarn to knit for charity (which makes me happy). I think that most of the items that I make will go to Warm Woolies, an organization sends wool clothing to children in need all over the world.

I am interested in hearing what you do to support charities around the holidays. Do you do something new every year or do you have a charity or two that you always? I am sure there are lots of great organizations that I don't know about and lots of creative ways to help that I haven't thought of so please leave a comment and educate me!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Unoriginal Me

I have been in the hat making mood lately because hats are in need due to the winter weather we have been experiencing and because hats are a quick knit that keep me motivated by allowing me to feel super productive. I broke down and made the Yarn Harlot's An Unoriginal Hat (ravelry link -- if you don't have ravelry there is a link to the pattern pdf on the Yarn Harlot's blog) which I know has been made by eleventy billion other people but this hat is cute so I joined the rest of the lemmings and took the unoriginal plunge. Here is a picture...of course, since it isn't on a head, it looks kind of deflated and you can't get the full beauty of the cable work but I don't have a hat form and I didn't want to model the hat myself so this will have to do.


In fact, I liked the first one I made so much, I made another. I was able to get two hats out of one skein...but just barely. There was about 4 inches of yarn left when I was done pulling the stitches tight on the top of the second hat.


I think these hats might be a wee bit addicting to anyone who has a fondness for cables. I am planning on sending these two hats to the local homeless shelter as I am sure that someone there needs a hat to warm his head.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Snow

This morning I had to head in to work for a little bit and when I stepped outside I was greeted by a still, beautiful winter morning. The first snow of the winter season.

snow 029

snow 004

snow 010

snow 019

It was a wet snow that hugged the outlines of everything and muffled the sounds of the morning. I wanted to stand there for hours but worked called.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Message in a collage

Since my friend K asked if I had updated the blog recently, I thought I would give her a little shout-out. K, there is a message of sorts in the collage...can you figure it out?

My creation

In knitting news, I may have fallen off the yarn wagon but fortunately I had 10 skeins of yarn to cushion the fall. That's right, my order from The Loopy Ewe came today: 8 skeins of Cascade 220, 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, a Go Knits bag (medium size), and some DPN holders. In my defense, there was a sale on the Noro and the knitting bag and I had a $25 credit. Also, I have gotten involved in several charity knitting endeavors on Ravelry so the Noro will be made into hats for homeless teens and the Cascade will be made into scarfs and other items.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


I just got back from voting which begs the questions...have you done your civic duty today?

Here are a few observations:
1. I was voter number 275. (We use a scantron machine and it records what your ballot number is which is kind of nifty.)
2. There was a first-time voter at my precinct today. I could tell because she went to the wrong polling place and they had to send her to the right one.
3. While the people at my polling place were still predominantly elderly, I saw a few people my age voting (a first in the 9 years I have been voting at this polling place).
4. There was a steady stream of voters and I had to wait for a polling booth (another first).

So, if you haven't voted today, please head out to the polls and vote. If you live in a large city or precinct there may be long lines so take a book or some knitting to keep you occupied while you wait. Oh, and don't forget to say thanks to your poll workers!

Monday, June 16, 2008


Those of you who know me well know that I have a thing for photos. I am the person you want to find when you have vacation photos because I will look through all of them and make a fuss. So when I ran across a photo meme on one of the blogs that I read, I just had to participate. Here is my result:

Photo meme june 16th

1. Jennifer, 2. Heirloom Tomatoes, 3. 1019 Owl-SH, 4. Forest Green, 5. Clive Owen Filming Duplicity in NYC, 6. soda cartons in color, 7. Criccieth Beach Wales, 8. apple pie, 9. Ghostly Photographer in the Creepy Forest, 10. "you've got a friend", 11. Photo Friday: Nerdy, 12. nerd grrls of the world unite

And here is how you can play along at home...
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

If you do opt to play along, please leave me a comment with the location of your creation so I can see it!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Another Quiz

What is it about online quizzes that I find so amusing?

You're A People's History of the United States!

by Howard Zinn

After years of listening to other peoples' lies, you decided you've
had enough. Now you're out to tell it like it is, with all the gory details and nothing
left out. Instead of respecting leaders, you want to know what the common people have to
offer. But this revolution still has a long way to go, and you're not against making a
little profit while you wait. Honesty is your best policy.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I have been doing some knitting, I just have been bad about posting. Right now I am working on a wrap but it is very slow going. I was feeling bad about how long it was taking me until I spoke with Brigitte from Klose Knit about her method of doing lace patterns. I am also working on a couple of scarves to give away and I am having another stab at making a pair of socks. I ripped out the first sock that I tried using the Magic Loop method so I am giving DPNs a try. I will post progress shots later.

Friday, January 4, 2008

You express will get wool.

On Wednesday night, a woman that I have worked with for a little over 6 years worked her very first overnight shift. She kept wandering around trying to find something to do as the pace is pretty laid back most nights and there is a little bit of down time to be had. We were talking about how other officers pass the time and I mentioned that maybe she should bring in a craft project 'cause she is a crafty kind of gal. She innocently replied "maybe I will finally teach myself to knit." I was cool and calm and didn't let on how exciting I thought that was. I just mentioned that I knit and she thought it was nice. We changed the subject and I am sure she didn't think anything else about it. On Thursday, I brought in a bag with two balls of wool, needles, and a book (Stitch-n-Bitch Nation) and handed it to her and said that she no longer had an excuse not to learn. She seemed excited by it so maybe she will give it a try. I hope so. Evidently, I am a knitting enabler.

Oh the places I've been...