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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Not ready for Monday

This weekend went by way too fast. My son Mitchell has been ill since Tuesday and I took him in to Prime Care on Saturday. I have to say that it is down right discouraging to see a sign that says 'Your wait time will be 2 1/2 hours' when you walk in the door. We were not there that long but it does make you think twice about staying.

The up side is knitting of course. I started and got about 1/3 of the way through a pink umbilical cord hat. The nurse was curious and said that she loved to knit. She asked Mitchell if he was going to learn to knit and he said yes. He also told her that his big brother can knit. Mitchell is such a talker that he gets a lot of attention.

We went home with an Rx for suppositories to stop the... well, just in case you are eating I will just say "illness" and leave it at that. He is feeling much better but we are being very careful about what he eats. I'm hoping he will return to preschool tomorrow but I'm not sure he's ready.

I have inherited a Yahoo Group and would like to put an invitation out to any local knitters. The group is Stitch 'n' Bitch - Grand Rapids, MI Area. It's for any knitter in the Grand Rapids/Holland area that is interested in meeting, discussing knitting subjects and sharing ideas and links. If you are interested you can leave me a comment or email me.

I plan to start the week out with lots of new photos so be sure to check back. Hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday weekend and that we all enjoy a safe and peaceful week.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

In knitting knews...

I'm working really hard to find a balance between knitting, spinning & weaving. Add to that my lovely family, the house and work and it ain't so easy. I spent time last night knitting on a sweater that I started a while ago.

I'm using Berroco Softy
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This is the my progress
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A close up with questionalbe
color but fairly good detail.
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The sweater is very simple. It is two rectangles knit in reverse stockinette, joined at the shoulders in a boat neck and then pick up stitches for the sleaves and knit from the shoulder to wrist. Very straight forward. The Softy is... well, super soft. Very nice stuff. Takes a little getting used to because of the slub things but wonderful none the less.

MY (not so secret) Secret Pal is the best!

Ruby you are wonderful. I was sooooo excited and surprised to get my secret pal package in the mail. As I'm opening it I'm feeling more and more surprise. Everything in this package was unbelievable. It seemed as if there was no end in sight. I was blown away by the lovely yarn and I practically jumped for joy when I opened the adorable little knitted bag and found the stitch markers. It was all so amazing.

This is a picture of
everything that I received...
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A closer view of the
knitted bag and stitch markers...
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And finally, an even closer
view of the stitch markers!
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I think it's obvious why I was excited as I opened it. It was all so thoughtful. I have never knit with Mohair and I look forward to the experience. Everything was just so beautiful, I'm not sure how to express my gratitude and appreciation. Ruby you are the best! Thank you:)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Today's Weaving Progress

I've been working on my weaving sampler today and have learned how to weave in the twill pattern. I'm deciding what to try next... suggestions (and directions) are welcome. I broke a warp but was able to successfully fix it myself. I'm trying hard to relax my draw-in but it's hard for me to not make it tight. This is a picture of what I have done so far today.

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It's just so exciting to see the progress. I can't wait to take it off the loom and see it in all it's glory!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

It's official... I've lost my mind

My question is, "WHAT CONSTITUTES TOO MUCH OF A FIBER ADDICTION?" I loved knitting, wanted to spin and now...

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That's right, a loom. I'm still in shock. I asked at Heritage Spinning & Weaving what I would need "IF" I wanted to get started weaving. I was picturing something along the lines of what a kid might use in school but... before I knew it, Joan had me sold on this floor loom. I don't regret it. She gave me a great deal and so far I think I'm doing well. We started putting it together on Sunday afternoon (after finishing all the wooden parts) and I finished it on Monday. By the time I went to bed last night I had sleyed the reed. This morning I started treading the heddles and then tied it off.

This is a picture of my first project semi-close-up. It's orange and aqua in honor of my DH's love of all things Miami Dolphin!

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I really have no way of knowing if I'm doing it right or wrong so feel free to leave feedback. I had two threads of warp twisted and was able to untie and resley them without difficulty.

This is a closer close-up that shows more detail. This is of course a very simple plain weave but I'm excited none the less.

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In case anyone is wondering, I have not taken any classes and I am teaching myself from the book Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler. I also have the Weaver's Companion but haven't really needed it yet.

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I have to admit, I think there is something soothing about woven material. It's kind of a balanced, ying/yang thing that I seem drawn to. The cool thing is that I can use some of my handspun for weaving.

So, in parting I must ask... am I crazy? Do I have a fiber addiction and do I need an intervention?

Pictures from trip

As I mentioned in my last post, we spent the weekend at my in-laws on the other side of the state (Michigan). My DH and I were able to go to Heritage Spinning & Weaving in Lake Orion.

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If you look closely you can see the snow flakes flying. I have to wonder if it will ever be spring again. I shouldn't complain, I don't really mind the snow and I hate the heat.

Joshua enjoyed it so much that he actually fell asleep on the way home. This might not seem like much but Joshua just doesn't do this. He's a go, go, go kind of kid.

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My DH's parents have all of these wonderful old pictures of his distant relatives. They are so amazing. This is a picture of pictures. The couple are my DH's great, great, great paternal grandparents and the trio of boys are his grandfather and great uncles.

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It's time for dinner so that's all the pics I can post for now. I'll post again today so check back.

Monday, March 21, 2005

[Insert knitty title here]

I am not exactly feeling creative blog-wise. We had a super busy weekend. I worked Friday night... always a joy. We of course stayed up way too late and then my DH said yes to Joshua's request to driving across state.

Joshua wanted to go see his grandma and grandpa, we don't get over there often enough and felt it was a good day to go. It made for a long weekend of driving. I'm still recovering. The weather was quite crappy on the drive over so we decided to stay the night. We all had a great time and had a really nice visit. The boys were especially happy to see them. It was good for everyone.

While there we were able to go to Lake Orion and visit Heritage Spinning & Weaving. It is a wonderful store with all kinds of fiber related materials. I was immediately drawn to the woven scarf that is on their website and featured in Handwoven Magazine. It is the 4H Log Cabin Scarf and it is gorgeous. Joan was wonderful and so very helpful. I'm not ready to tell what came home with me but I will give you a hint... have you noticed a new web ring on my blog?

We headed back on Sunday morning and we couldn't very well drive by Lansing without a quick stop in at Threadbear! It's only been a week and they have even more stuff. I'm wondering how long before they buy out the Taco place next door and expand.

I picked up some more Cascade 220 Superwash in some nice spring colors, a few bobbins for my spinning wheel, some back issues of a magazine and the bag for my Joy. My DH got some cotton to make a knitted tee. It's so hard to get out of there without breaking my budget. At least now I can take my wheel out on the town when the mood hits me.

I am happy to say that Threadbear is now carrying the Knitterella greeting cards! How exciting. I am sad to say that my friend knitterella will be moving soon. She is taking a job with a new company working from home and will move back to her hometown. She's getting married later this year so actually living where she will be wed has to be easier. I wish her all the best and Jill, I will miss you.

As I am rereading what I'm blogging I realize that I have a bad case of run on sentence syndrome. That's okay, admitting I have a problem is the first step in correcting it. I hope everyone has a good night. Pictures will be coming soon... hopefully later tonight but certainly tomorrow.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I've been spinning!!!!

I have been working hard trying to figure this whole spinning thing out. I am the type of person that can't let go of something until I have mastered it... I have a long way to go.

I am doing well at the actual spinning. Still need to work on spinning a smaller guage that is more consistent. I gave plying a shot over the weekend and at first I tried to ply right off of my Joy where my bobbins are stored. It really didn't work for me. I needed more tension to keep my singles from going crazy on me. In the end I improvised with a shoe box and a couple of US 10 needles. This was the result.

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Not bad but quite bulky.

My DH picked up a Lazy Kate called Kate-A-Go-Go. It is very portable and that makes sense considering the portability of the Joy. I plyed two singles together last night with fairly good success. This is what I started with...

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I ended up with this...

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It's in the process of drying and is kind of hard to see. Hopefully when it is dry I will be able to take a better picture.

I guess at this point I am confused on how much roving I need to make a certain project. Is it better to get non-dyed rovings and color as much as you need for whatever you are doing? I will probably post these questions to one of my spinning groups but if anyone can help I would appreciate it. I seem to have more questions than answers when it comes to spinning. Oh well, that just means I have a lot left to learn, yeah!

The Baby Shower

Last Sunday I attended a Baby Shower for a friend from work. It was a very nice get together. As my regular readers may remember, this is the friend that I did the baby blanket and umbilical cord hat for.

This is Kris (uh, the very pregnant one)
& Kerry (a former coworker, also
pregnant, just not as much) at the party.
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I am very happy for Kris and I hope that she & her DH have a healthy, happy, beautiful baby boy. Congrats Kris!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Feeling some what better

My back isn't quite as bad today. I still need some 800mg Ibuprofen but I'm not having spasms. I want to thank everyone for the well wishes. It still overwhelms me to know that people actually read what I have to say and care so much. It means more than words can say, thank you all!

My DH had a great time at "my" knitting last night. He was quite excited when he got home. He got a chance to show off his sweater too. I'm glad he enjoyed himself, he deserves a little fun now and then! Last night also taught him a valuable lesson... when knitting in a group you have to pay extra attention or you end up with extra stitches on you needle.

I have a spinning question for those who are in the know. I plyed my handspun using a couple of US10 needles ran thru a shoebox last time. It worked okay but not great. Would a Lazy Kate work better? Can I control the tension using a Lazy Kate? I guess the easiest way to figure this out would be to get a Lazy Kate and that is what I will probably do. One other question would be does everyone use a spinning chair or do you just sit on whatever? They make it sound like the spinning chair is the greatest thing... is it?

Once again, thanks for all the comments... I love comments! Hope everyone has a nice Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

How sad is this?

I have hurt my back. I'm having spasms above my shoulder blades and I'm not able to do much of anything except lie in bed on pain killers.

Tonight is my knitting night and I can't go. My DH is just leaving the house to go in my absence. Yes, he knits and no, he never gets to go. So tonight he will hang out with the ladies while I try to take care of the kids. It's just so sad for me... boo hoo.

I don't actually mind that he went, I'm just bummed that I messed up my back. I realize that it isn't fair that I always go to knit here and there. Just because he's a man should not stop him from being able to knit socially. Tonight is a good night because I know these ladies will be gentle with him.

I have finished another umbilical cord hat and am debating starting a 3rd one or doing some booties to match first. It's a tough decision.

I hope this post makes sense... keep in mind that I am taking heavy duty pain killers and not thinking too clearly. Keep you fingers crossed that it works itself out for tomorrow, I can't go too many days without doing some major knitting or spinning!

Monday, March 14, 2005

New web rings... for me!

I just joined The Spinning Wheel and Knitting Blogs web rings! It probably sounds crazy but I am really excited about this. One of the main reasons I began blogging was the Knitting Blogs web ring. I guess I thought it would be awesome to belong to such a large group of knitters. Anyway, I'd like to say hi to all the newcomers to my blog! Stop by often and comment if the mood strikes you:)

On the knitting front... I am knitting a second (and then third) umbilical cord hat. One of my coworkers just had two grandsons. Both of her daughters gave birth within a week or two of each other. I just love this hat and can't seem to stop knitting them.

On the spinning front... I worked on plying and after a lot of trial and error I did fairly well. I have started spinning some roving in a natural and brown colorway. I am getting so much better at spinning a smaller guage. I suppose a lesson might be helpful but I'm more of a book learner. I'll have to look into it.

For those of you that are spinners and live in Michigan may I suggest the Michiganspin-in Yahoo Group. I so want to meet other spinners that are "near" me.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Umbilical Cord Hat

I have wanted to knit this hat from Stitch & Bitch for so long but kept putting it off. Yesterday I bought some yarn and decided that there was no time like the present. I will give this to my friend at her shower tomorrow along with the blanket.

This was my progress at bedtime last night...
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Today I was able to finish it!
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The color is more true on the bottom picture. It is such a cute hat that I may make another one tonight. Who knows.

Baby Blanket Done!

Yes, in the dark going 25mph on the way home from Threadbear, I finished the baby blanket! Just in time for the shower on Sunday! It seems small but it is for a newborn so I guess it will work out.

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I'm really on a roll with FOs lately. Hopefully I can tie up a lot of loose ends, so to speak.

Threadbear

We made it home from Threadbear last night. It is usually an hour and 15 minute drive but coming home it turned into 2 hours. The roads were awful and we drove between 20 to 30mph for a good portion of the trip. Thankfully we made it, a lot of cars were in ditches.

I didn't really go to Threadbear for any specific purpose. I get emails talking about all the new stuff that they are getting and just wanted to check it out. I cannot believe how much they have grown just in the couple of months that we have been going there. It's unbelieveable. I did take a sampling of Knitterella greeting cards with me and it sounded like they will start carrying them. I have no vested interest in the cards, just friends with Knitterella, but I felt like they would be a good fit for the store.

I found some Cascade 220 superwash for a baby hat that I wanted to make and my DH picked up another ball of Rowan Denim for a sweater he is making. I got a pair of Addi Turbo circulars in size 7. I was happy with that and ready to go when...

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Out of nowhere I became the owner of a Joy spinning wheel. I have to say it was kind of a shock. It's really my DHs fault. He is such a bad influence on me.

I do love it (thanks for the recommendation Tracy) and I already spun some last night, now I just have to figure out how to ply it.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Yes, we are heading to Threadbear... again

We are once again driving over an hour to visit Threadbear! I love to see all the new stuff they have and to be surrounded by so many other passionate knitters. Rob & Matt are wonderful and their store is always so welcoming.

While in Lansing I'd also like to check out Little Red Schoolhouse Yarn Shop. I have heard that they carry quite a bit of spinning supplies and that's a plus. I guess I am just a curious person by nature and I love checking out new yarn shops.

Since I probably won't be posting again today I will leave you with an email I received today... It was called "The Wave - Keep it going" I figure by posting it here I am doing my part, feel free to borrow it!


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Just wanted to say Hi,

AND HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY

Prison Poncho Position...

I noticed a post on knitchick.blog-city.com about Martha Stewart and her new poncho. It's funny cause I told my DH long ago that I could handle prison as long as I could knit. It really can't be any worse than boot camp... been there, done that! Boot camp that is, not prison.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Angels and new patterns

My youngest boys insisted I take their picture too. It seems to them I only take pictures of my knit'n. This was the view out my bedroom door... aren't they angels?

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Mitchell & Joshua

This would be some patterns and books I picked up at Lizzie Ann's Wool Co. I really love Sally Melville. She just seems so down to earth, I'd like to be her friend... is that weird?

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My DHs new sweater

Now that the other sweater is complete my husband has moved on to a new sweater. He is knitting with Brown Sheep Company Cotton Fleece in Barn Red(CW201). The pattern he is using is from Creative Knitting March 2005 issue. It's called Subtle Stripes for Him & Her. It's a more complex project than he is used to. Just required a little more attention to get started. Now that he's going there is no stopping him.

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A fairly good close up...
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Baby Blanket... not yet

The baby blanket is still a work in progress. Of course if I got off this laptop it might help.

This is what I started with, the colors do not match...
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but then like magic it blends together perfectly (IMHO)
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A close up of the pattern, kind of hard to see, it's a 5 x 5 basketweave with a garter stitch border...
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I have until Sunday to finish but I'm very close. Wish me luck.

Fluo Skinny Scarf

I have been making progress on this scarf. It's kind of on hold while I finish up the baby blanket. It's going to be very small due to a lack of yarn but I think it would work for a young girl.

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A close up of the stitch pattern I used. It'a a twisted drop stitch with a garter stitch base.
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Knit Your Bit Wristlets

Fourth time is a charm, they are finally finished.

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I took some creative liberties and made them work for me. I liked the pattern after I was able to master it.

Finished Booga Bag

I have been meaning to post a photo of this bag for awhile now. I absolutely love it and use it daily. I will be making another one or two or three. Everyone that sees it wants to know where I got the pattern and how much it cost. No one can believe that it was free... thanks Julie! You are the greatest:)

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It holds up well to the weight I put in it... cell, Palm, wallet, etc. I recommend making one for those who have not already given it a try.

My DHs first sweater!

My wonderful husband finished knitting his first sweater. I have not done a sweater yet and had to seam his in order to be able to teach him how to. I don't know if that makes sense. It was very exciting for both of us. He is getting lots of compliments, most people are shocked due to the fact that he is a man.

This is the front after blocking...
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This is the completed sweater...
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A closer up folded view...
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The last picture gives you a better idea of color. He is just so proud of himself. I'm proud of him too, he is doing such a great job!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Just knitting along

I am still working on the baby blanket. I am over 2/3rds done but stuff keeps coming up. Today I spent time at church doing data entry... apparently that is my God given gift. I seem to be a magnet for projects that require computer skills. Tonight I have to work. At least I get to work with Danielle. I haven't seen her in like forever so we can get all caught up. I only have an hour before I need to leave and we have not had dinner (supper for you southerners... aka my family!). I will really try to post some pics tonight, I have a lot of them.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Knitting and the art of procrastination...

I would buy a book with that title. Of course I would hope that it would hold all the answers to my propensity to wait to the last minute to do everything... including knitting a gift. I started a baby blanket for a shower that I am attending this coming Sunday. I have had the yarn for a week but kept putting it off. In my own defense (an excuse) I have been working hard to finish some other WIPs. Anyway, that is where I am right now.

I went back to work this week after a whole lot of time off. I like my job (Pharmacy Tech) but it's stressful at the same time. Saturday was a zoo. The weather was nice so everyone headed in to Meijer. I could rant about how impatient people can be and everything else that drives me nuts but I won't. I just take one day at a time. That's all I can do. I really don't work enough to complain anyway. I think complaining is habit really.

I will be posting some pics hopefully tomorrow. I really have to work on this baby blanket so I must knit!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Answers that inquiring minds want to know...

For those in the Grand Rapids area I will give more details of the yarn shops that I visited...

Threadbender is at 2767 44th St SW in Wyoming. Their phone number is 616-531-6641. It is located in a little shopping area near Ramblewood Apartments by Magoo's Bar.

Stitches Yarn and Needlework is at 4500 Plainfield Avenue NE in Grand Rapids. Their phone number is 616-363-6631. It's quite a way out there (especially from Holland). We took 131 N, 96 E and then got off on Plainfield going north. It's out past Meijer, the one at Knapp's Corner I think.

So I hope that helps anyone in the area for the rest of you... well you probably stopped reading a while ago. If not ignor this post.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

New Web Ring...

I seem to be collecting Web Rings. After my rant on rings I received a comment from bluFELICIA inviting me to join the uKnitted Nations Web Ring. Check it out below. Thank you bluFelicia for the invite and for setting me up so quickly! Your web ring rocks:)

LYS's and knitting

Today my DH and I went out in search of new (to us) yarn stores. First we (re)visited a store in Wyoming called Threadbender. The first time we were there we just weren't thrilled with the experience. After giving them a second chance we are still unimpressed with their customer service. The woman that worked their greeted me and asked if I needed help. She greeted another woman in the store the same way. She sort of said hi to my DH and never looked his way again. Now maybe they don't see too many male knitters but that is no excuse for ignoring a customer. It just kind of rubbed me the wrong way and it offended my DH. As far as yarn and the like, they were well stocked with a nice assortment of patterns, yarn, books, notions, spinning and weaving items. I'm not trying to sway anyone's opinion but we won't go back.

From Threadbender we ventured to Stitches Yarn & Needlework. It's a nice store, lots of needles, notions & patterns. Fairly good selection of yarn and half a store full of cross stitch supplies. The lady in the store spent a good deal of time with my DH looking for a felted coat pattern. Very nice and friendly. We would go back if we were in the area.

Tonight I went to Prayer Shawl Ministry at my church, Ridge Point Community, in Holland. It's nice to meet with other knitters and work together for such a good cause. We talked about branching out to other types of knitted articles. Our church does mission work in Romania and they visit a cancer hospital for children. I would like to knit hats and lap blankets for them. Prayer Shawls are wonderful but I feel like there is so much more that could be done. Maybe I should just concentrate on finishing what I'm working on.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Web Rings & Frustration...

***RANT Alert***

I like to work my way around a ring to see new blogs that I may have never found before. It seems like every time I eventually get to a blog and either I can't find my way out, it sends me to some obscure site totally unrelated to the link or RingSurf comes up and says that the blog doesn't belong to the ring. My question is how can I get on a site using the ring but then it not be on the ring. This probably doesn't make much sense and maybe I need to learn more about web rings. Oh well, life goes on. Thanks for listening.

***RANT Over***

Knitterella Update

I have spoken with Knitterella and I have learned that she is in the process of looking for a Check company to print her checks. She has not heard anything back as of yet but I will keep you all updated. I want to thank everyone that took the time to respond to my poll. It's nice to really see the response in numbers. I'm hoping we will all be writing Knitterella checks soon!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Percentage Bars...

I was so excited to have added the percentage bars to my blog but they are only showing on my one computer. I can't figure out why. I'm still tinkering with them. It amazes me how much time I spend working on this blog. I am in awe of some of the more elaborate blogs out there because I know they must invest a huge amount of time.

If when you view my blog it is all out of proportion you need to delete your cookies and reload. I suppose you could just refresh after opening too. The thing that I don't understand is why I don't have the same viewing troubles on my pc. I'm sorry for the trouble. Someday I may figure all of this out.

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